During an epidemic, it's only natural
LCK host Min-ah Kim dropped from broadcast due to coronavirus concerns
League of Legends Champions Korea, or the LCK for short, is well into its 2020 spring season. Unfortunately, the renowned esports tournament has been marred by the shadow of the coronavirus epidemic time and time again and its host Kim Min-ah got caught up in it all.
Kim Min-ah, also known to us as Mina Kim, is a gamer, former weather forecaster and JTBC announcer who got together with the LCK back in 2019. She's remained one of the most popular figures on the LCK scene aside from the pro players due to her charming personality and the fact that she has zero shame about being a gamer. This is how she was introduced to everyone:
It is then no wonder then that esports fans were immediately concerned when they received the announcement that Mina was being taken away from the broadcast because she had developed a fever.
Now, a fever might seem like such a minor thing but due to the still-spreading coronavirus epidemic, the LCK has implemented strict measures to ensure the health and safety of both staff, players and fans. Since coronavirus symptoms at the start are identical to those exhibited by the standard flu, the host had to be removed along with anyone who might have been in contact with her, including journalists.
The good news is that it appears that Mina is actually going to be fine. She had to get tested, of course, but the test came out negative, as reported by ESPN's Ashley Kang who was on site and also had to be quarantined as a precaution.
A symptom of something else
While it may seem like a lot of commotion for nothing, the LCK organizers did the right thing. Large gatherings of people during an epidemic are serious business and every possible health concern should be treated with the utmost severity.
Nevertheless, the ongoing situation with the coronavirus has scared many esports fans away and the usually packed arenas now stand empty.
That is not to say that the fans weren't eager to support their favorite teams, they just did it online. Twitch viewership has skyrocketed since a lot of people preferred to stay home.
However, what happened is yet another example of an event that has nothing to do with esports, affecting esports on a grand scale. The LCK organization has done everything in its power to ensure maximum safety for everyone present but while we don't have the exact numbers yet, they probably lost a lot of money even though they did everything right. The esports scene might lose even more as events get canceled or people start making panicked decisions to stay at home for more esports events around the globe.
We, at EarlyGame, are glad that Mina Kim is safe and congratulate the organizers on being serious about her symptoms. We hope that soon, we will be able to enjoy esports without the looming threat of a pandemic.