The AESF has deferred its inaugural e-Masters tournament in Chengdu to 2021 due to COVID-19 ©AESF

The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has announced that its inaugural AESF e-Masters Chengdu tournament will be deferred to 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This follows on from an announcement made in July that the tournament was indefinitely postponed due to the virus.

The event was initially postponed in February, having been scheduled to take place from February 28 to March 1 2020.

AESF has stressed that plans to conclude the tournament are still on track and a revised plan is now being discussed between the governing body and the Organising Committee of the AESF e-Masters Chengdu.

The tournament is still scheduled to take place in the Chinese city of Chengdu, which will also host the 2021 Summer World University Games.

Despite its online capacity, esports has also fallen victim to COVID-19 ©Getty Images
Despite its online capacity, esports has also fallen victim to COVID-19 ©Getty Images

"The AESF maintains that we are committed to see the e-Masters through to the very end, concluding what promises to be a long-term annual tournament benefiting the Asian esports scene on every level," read an AESF statement.

"That said, ensuring the welfare and safety of the participating teams and athletes, fans and Organising Committee is always first priority for the AESF.

"Therefore, please allow us to diligently monitor the situation and will resume the tournament once all safety criteria is met.

"We will keep you informed of any changes as we progress and wholly appreciate your understanding in advance and support to AESF in regards to this matter."

A total prize fund of $700,000 (£516,00/€573,000) had been announced for the tournament, which was due to feature multiple game titles.

Several teams had already qualified to compete in Chengdu at regional qualifiers.