Some of the top NBA 2K gamers will be delayed in competing in this season's league ©Getty Images

The National Basketball Association (NBA) 2K League esports season has been delayed due to the ongoing logistical problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of the initial opening day on March 24, the league will focus on "preseason competitions" played remotely by teams, a similar approach to China's League of Legends Pro League, according to The Esports Observer.

“The health and well-being of our players, teams, and fans is of paramount importance,” said NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue.

"We will continue to evaluate the situation and do everything possible to bring the excitement of the NBA 2K League to our fans through remote preseason exhibitions and other content."

Many esports competitions have been postponed or cancelled recently including leagues involving games such as Overwatch and Call of Duty, with E3 2020 - the biggest convention for gaming - also being cancelled.

The virtual league follows in the footsteps of the NBA, which was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday after a player tested positive for coronavirus. 

COVID-19 has infected more than 142,000 people globally, with the United States being home to 2,329 of those cases and 50 people dying.