EARTHREALM – In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Elder Gods announced earlier today that Mortal Kombat will resume this week with the caveat of mandatory masks and testing.

“The safety and well being of the Kombatants is our top priority,” read the statement from the Elder Gods, who run the Mortal Kombat tournament. “The last thing we want is to put anyone in unnecessary danger. So we’re requiring mandatory masks and regular testing so that we can safely resume this legendary fighting tournament.”

The plans are in adherence with the latest phase of reopening Earth Realm. For many Kombatants, the news has been met with excitement.

“I’m glad they’re taking the necessary steps to reopen the tournament,” said Subzero, who has been out of work for the past several months. “The quarantine has dealt a Krushing Blow to the economy, and people like me can’t wait to get back to work.”

Meanwhile, some Kombatants are worried the measures don’t go far enough to ensure a safe environment for the tournament to continue.

“It’s clearly still too hazardous to safely resume the current Mortal Kombat tournament,” argued veteran fighter Scorpion. “Too many of the stages are indoors, the rules aren’t always enforced, and some people like Kenshi don’t even wear their masks correctly. I don’t think I’m ready to go back to reeling in opponents closer than 6 feet after impaling them with my classic Spear attack.”

Other Kombatants were critical of the mandatory testing.

“The COVID-19 nasal swab tests are painful and intrusive,” explained Sindel, a vocal opponent to these measures. “It feels like they’re jamming a sharp stick into my brain. They might as well just push it all the way through my skull in a slow-motion cinematic manor, uppercut me off of a bridge, and then let me fall to my death into a pit of a thousand spikes.”

Despite a few concerns, most of the Kombatants can’t wait to return to the Mortal Kombat tournament later this week. When asked if the Kombatants would receive additional compensation for competing in these hazardous times, the elder gods quickly responded, “No.”