Epic is the next big game developer cutting physical esports tourneys from its schedule as it deals with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has
the 2020 Fortnite World Cup outright in addition to moving all other Fortnite events online. While it was no surprise that an in-person event wasn’t going to happen, Epic added that the “limitations of cross region online competition” also made an internet-based tourney impractical.
Physical Events - For the rest of 2020, all Fortnite competitions will be held online. Due to the limitations of cross region online competition, there will not be a Fortnite World Cup in 2020.— Fortnite Competitive (@FNCompetitive) April 30, 2020
it was “hopeful” it could put on a Fortnite World Cup in 2021, but was otherwise focusing on FNCS (including official broadcasts) and Cash Cups. Third-party events will get support, but they must be internet-only “until further notice.”
We don't know when a return to large, global, in-person events will be practical, but we're hopeful to be able to put on some form of Fortnite World Cup in 2021. In the meantime we have more info about online events with FNCS, Cash Cups, 3rd Party Events and Broadcasts.— Fortnite Competitive (@FNCompetitive) April 30, 2020
The move isn’t completely surprising. An in-person World Cup might have had few attendees even if lockdowns lifted overnight, and issues like lag and time zones make a truly global competition impractical. Still, it’s a significant blow to Epic’s esports plans for the year. The World Cup is supposed to be Fortnite’s marquee esports event, and its absence leaves a conspicuous void in the competitive calendar.
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