Epic has no plans for in-person 'Fortnite' tournaments in 2021

The uncertain pandemic recovery will affect esports well into next year.

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Contestants compete during the Fortnite World Cup Duos Finals at Flushing Meadows Arthur Ashe stadium in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., July 27, 2019.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

You won’t want to get your hopes up for a 2021 Fortnite World Cup — or any other in-the-flesh Fortnite competition, for that matter. Epic Games has revealed that it “do[es] not plan” to hold any in-person Fortnite tournaments in 2021. Instead, it’ll focus on the Fortnite Champion Series as the “constant measure of success” in the competitive landscape and hope that physical tourneys can return “at some point in the future.”

FNCS will carry on throughout 2021 and should now be more stable with a standardized trios format. The series for Season 5 starts on February 4th.

It’s not shocking that Epic would keep its physical tourney calendar empty. While COVID-19 vaccines are on the way, the mass immunizations needed to hold safe in-person events could take several months or more. It’s also possible that social distancing and capacity limits will stay in place for a while after vaccines are widely available. It’s simply easier for Epic to rule out in-person Fortnite matches than to gamble on conditions improving quickly.

Other game tournaments, such as Dota 2’s The International, are still considered possibilities in 2021. With that said, don’t be surprised if they follow Epic’s path by either cancelling 2021 events outright or setting strict limits on who can attend.

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