IGN cancels IPL6 eSports tournament

IGN ProLeague 6 canceled with less than a month's notice, sources tell GameSpot.

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The IGN ProLeague 6 event scheduled for March 28 through 31 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas will be canceled, multiple sources close to the situation have told GameSpot.

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The event was to feature headlining competitions in Blizzard's Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and upcoming expansion Heart of the Swarm, Riot Games' League of Legends, and Ubisoft's ShootMania Storm.

Sponsors of the IGN ProLeague event have told GameSpot the products they sent over for sponsorship are being returned to them. Korean-based league OnGameNet said yesterday that the IPL6 League of Legends Korean qualifiers have been canceled due to change in management policies and financial difficulties.

The IPL website has also removed links on the front page to reserve hotel rooms for the weekend.

Professional teams, players, casters, media, and fans from around the globe have already bought plane tickets and hotel reservations to IPL6. Executives from several teams have told GameSpot they have already paid for plane tickets for their players to play through the open bracket.

Players who have qualified online to the main event would have had their accommodations taken care of.

"Generally speaking, such flights cannot be refunded," Axiom Gaming Head of Marketing John "Totalbiscuit" Bain told GameSpot. "Flexible tickets are far more expensive and so eSports teams do not usually purchase them. In our case, were IPL6 not to go ahead, we are able to get the majority of the flight money back due to the choice of airline."

"Some other teams may not be so fortunate since most airlines do not refund those tickets," added Bain. "So, essentially, those who were bringing players to the open bracket are probably going to take the hit. It will be a non-issue for those who qualified since they were not paying for it to begin with."

Major League Gaming CEO Sundance DiGiovanni has already offered discounted tickets to the MLG Dallas event to those who purchased spectator passes for IPL6.

IPL6's expected cancellation comes shortly after the announcement of Ziff Davis parent company J2 Global's purchase of IGN. An internal memo by Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah, posted on Polygon, said the company was looking for active buyers of IPL. "IGN's role going forward will be to broadcast and cover a variety of eSports events," said Shah.

Potential buyers for the IPL brand are said to have reached a wide range of options, from other leagues to game publishers and developers.

Both IPL and IGN declined to comment when approached by GameSpot.

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