Riot Games have sent out an announcement via the official PlayVALORANT Twitter account that the hands-on gameplay events that were scheduled for people to be able to test Valorant for the first time have been canceled as a result of the coronavirus scare.
VALORANT's goal is to bring the world together in the spirit of competition and creative play but in current circumstances, flying folks in to play under one roof isn't smart.
We're cancelling March's hands-on gameplay events – let's play without the health risks. Stay tuned.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) March 3, 2020
The news first broke earlier this afternoon, when Rod “Slasher” Breslau shared an email that was sent to pro players, streamers and content creators from the Valorant team directly. The message read:
Dear Creators, Pros, VALORANT Friends and Community Members,
It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to cancel our VALORANT gameplay capture events this month in Los Angeles and Barcelona. Due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), as a company, we need to stand by our policy of putting Players first, and unfortunately, this means steering away from our original plans to meet you in person at our event.
To be honest with you, this totally sucks. As integral members of the gaming community, we worked super hard to craft an experience to present our game and our story to you in the best environment possible. We are working hard on our side to put some finishing touches on a digital solution which will let you get your hands on the game from the comfort of your home setups. While it is certainly not as cool as what we had planned, it is our top priority to empower you to be the community’s entry point for your gameplay commentary and education.
If you planned additional activities in Los Angeles or Barcelona beyond our event, let us know. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for additional information pertaining to early game access and capture.
Looking forward to seeing you (digitally) soon,
The VALORANT Team
While this news will surely come as a bummer for the content creators that were hoping to get their first real look at the game, players can be hopeful for an online beta test in the future, as mentioned in the above statement and in a follow-up tweet on the official Valorant Twitter page.