Coronavirus claims another victim: Australia's biggest dedicated esports venue

Fortress Melbourne, located within Melbourne's Emporium shopping center, officially opened to patrons last week. However, from the 18th of March, it'll be closing them again.

Citing concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, cofounders Jon Satterley and Adrian Giles said in a statement that "In the current climate, we believe this is the socially responsible action to take to protect the health of our team and patrons."

"While we have implemented several social distancing strategies and reinforced our cleaning efforts and hygiene protocols, the state of the global situation goes directly against our mission to bring live social gameplay to Australia."

The ambitious venue features a purpose-built esports arena, esports-ready gaming PCs, a dedicated LAN lounge and high-performance bootcamp facilities for pro-players.

No date or time-frame has been set as to when Fortress will reopen. However, the duo say that "we have been overwhelmed by the support and excitement Melbourne has shown us since we’ve opened. We cannot wait to reopen our doors once we’ve all made it safely through this challenging time."

Fortunately for those who have already signed up for a paid membership, Fortress Melbourne say they won't be charging anyone and will be pausing all memberships until the venue reopens.

You can read the full statement here.