Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous esports tournaments have already been canceled or gone fully online. Epic Games didn't lag behind as the company officially canceled the Fortnite World Championship 2020. It will not be held as an online tournament either.
The Fortnite World Cup is a hugely successful esports event that has set the bar very high for other games. In 2019, 2.3 million people watched the Fortnite World Cup online. A total of 19,000 viewers were present during the three-day event. It was played for a total prize pool of $30 million, with the main prize of $3 million won by the American Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf. Although it looked great for Fortnite as a competitive sport, there is now a dose of uncertainty during the coronavirus lockdown.
Although the coronavirus has significantly increased the number of video games people play, it also poses a threat to competitive events where people are physically present. This is especially true for events at the scale of the Fortnite World Cup. It was therefore only a matter of time before the Fortnite World Cup was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Last Thursday, Epic Games unveiled the upcoming roadmap for the competition in Fortnite. Unfortunately, it also contained the news that all events would be held online in the foreseeable future. This also meant that we will have to do without the Fortnite World Cup completely this year.
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.
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
Given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, it is not clear when physical tournaments will be held again, but the developer does not seem to abandon the concept.
We do not know when a return to large, global, physical tournaments will be possible, but we hope to be able to host some form of two-week World Cup in 2021
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
A heavy blow to the image
The coronavirus has taken many things from us and we can now add the Fortnite World Cup 2020 to this list. What was planned as one of the biggest esports events in history is not even an online tournament now.
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Most of the other major sporting events have gone digital because of the coronavirus. That's why it's a bit of surprise when one of the biggest esports events of the year is outright canceled and not even postponed.
The decision to cancel the Fortnite World Cup 2020 instead of fixing problems within the game to allow digital competition shows a lack of foresight and care on the part of Epic Games. The World Cup would have been crucial to Fortnite's competitive ecosystem. If Epic Games fails to protect events like this in the future, it will be a severe blow to the company's image, and Fortnite's esports scene has been shaky before.
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After all, the esports players still have the regular Cash Cups and the Fortnite Champion Series. Both tournament formats will continue online. For more dates and news about Fortnite, just visit us at EarlyGame.