FC Edmonton Cancels Saskatoon Friendly, eCPL Live Qualifier As Alberta Limits Mass Gatherings
As repercussions continue to mount around the globe as governments increase their collective efforts to stifle the spread of COVID-19, today hit very close to home for plenty of Canadians: the MLS, NHL, and MLB were all suspended, Ontario public schools are shuttered until April, and now both British Columbia and Alberta have limited mass gatherings to crowds of 250 – a move which will have massive implications for the Canadian friendlies scheduled at Westhills Stadium.
While the Canadian Premier League has stated it is simply monitoring the situation for now, things can evidently change quite quickly in regards to fighting a highly infectious virus.
In light of the new limit to mass gatherings in Alberta, Canadian Premier League side FC Edmonton has cancelled its Live eCPL Qualifier, where contestants were slated to play FIFA against on another for an opportunity to qualify for the eCPL Finals in Toronto, where a cash prize of $10,000 awaits the grand champion.
Both of FC Edmonton’s qualifier spots – one of which was due to come from the live event – will now be available in the online form of the competition only.
For the health and safety of all our eCPL competitors, attendees, and staff, the ECPL Edmonton Live City Qualification Event scheduled for 14 March has been cancelled. Qualification to represent FC Edmonton at the eCPL Final will be moved to online qualification only.FC Edmonton
Cavalry FC held its Live eCPL Qualifier last week, and Pacific FC held its before that. It remains unclear if the other provinces will follow the suit in regards to limiting the size of mass gatherings, which would see Valour FC, Forge FC, York9 FC, Atletico Ottawa, and the Halifax Wanderers likely cancel their Live eCPL Qualifiers as well.
They would be far from the only Canadian eSports cancellations to occur this week, with OverActive Media confirming that both the Toronto Ultra and Toronto Defiant league events for Call of Duty and Overwatch are now cancelled, with the remaining professional eSports league matches to simply be played online.
While the Canadian Premier League has stated it is still aiming to kick off on April 11, Northern Tribune has heard reports indicating that preseason camps will be heavily impacted by new league-mandated safety precautions which may preclude the squads from a full preseason of training.
This may have been a factor in the club’s decision to cancel two if its planned preseason exhibition matches against the SK Selects, which is a live test by entrepreneur Joe Belan to see if the province of Saskatchewan is ready to field a Canadian Premier League team of its own.
The league has stated it will continue to release updates as it reacts to the country’s fight against COVID-19, which has so far claimed the life of one Canadian. While there have been no mass outbreaks north of the border, Health Canada says it expects such an event to occur, though it also stated that the country was well-prepared for it, too.
Source: FC Edmonton (via Instagram)