The long speculated 2020 Fortnite World Cup is now in jeopardy as Epic Games hints towards mass LAN cancellations
2019’s Fortnite World Cup boasted one of the largest prize pools in all of Esports history. This year, the entire production may not even happen. Before we continue, I want to make it clear that this is an opinion piece, stringing together facts revolving Coronavirus and the Esports landscape. None of this is guaranteed, but Epic has strongly hinted as to where they are trending through past and current action
A precedent has been set
The Esports scene hoped for the best, but expected the worst. Rod “Slasher” Breslau discussed why Coronavirus will have an overwhelming impact on the gaming scene
I spoke to Yahoo Finance on the coronavirus affecting the world of esports and gaming with Blizzard and Riot postponing games in China for the Overwatch League pic.twitter.com/VpcIS7uLPR— Rod 'I don't sign NDAs' Breslau (@Slasher) January 31, 2020
TL;DR - although general gaming (from home) will not be affected, LAN events will take a huge hit. The problem stems from large live crowds that Esports communities foster. Many of those leagues revolve around live events, but if it’s at the cost of your audience’s health - health will always take priority. Quite a simple decision, both from a PR and moral stance
Over the past few weeks, the following live gaming events have been cancelled/postponed
Riot’s Valorant - an early release beta for top creators - Los Angeles
VALORANT's goal is to bring the world together in the spirit of competition and creative play but in current circumstances, flying folks in to play under one roof isn't smart.— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) March 3, 2020
We're cancelling March's hands-on gameplay events - let's play without the health risks. Stay tuned.
Visit our sister site, Valorant Tracker, to stay updated on the developing situation
EA’s Apex Legends Global Series Major 1 - Arlington Texas
For the health and safety of our players, we have decided to postpone the Apex Legends Global Series Major 1. Online Tournament 2 scheduled for March 21 and 23 will still take place. For more information, please see below. https://t.co/YCUJhwdF2G— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) March 6, 2020
In addition to Apex Legends, major EA titles such as Madden have also been affected. Read EA’s blog for the full itinerary
Epic Games’ Rocket League Championship Series - Dallas Texas
This one should be the most alarming to any Fortnite gamers out there looking to secure a bag in the largely speculated 2020 World Cup. Epic Games is in direct ownership of Rocket League after acquiring its parent company, Psyonix. Leads at Epic Games must have been involved in the decision, which offers us insight as to what they will do to other titles (like Fortnite)
[Breaking] Box Fight Championship - Las Vegas
BFC Las Vegas update pic.twitter.com/OETuQpeGss— Box Fighting Championship (@BoxFightChamp) March 6, 2020
Today it was announced that the Box Fight Championship, hosted by The Fortnite Guy and Team Kungarna, would be cancelled. It seems to be at the request of Epic Games, once again painting the picture that Epic will not be hosting a World Cup spectacle that will top last year’s
Can’t the World Cup just be… online?
Simply put, no. 2019’s World Cup featured players from 6 global regions - spanning from NA-West to Oceania. If half of your qualifiers are forced to play on 100-200 ping, it leaves an extremely unfair advantage. The only alternative is hosting a private LAN event with no spectator audience, an almost equally subpar result
LAN events rely on fans to buy tickets, merch, and concessions at the event to pay for renting the stadium and flying out/accommodating the players. For a Battle Royale game that would host 100 solos, 50 duos, and families of the players, the money just wouldn’t add up to host an event of that grandeur
Although I am not a scientist, it is theorized that Coronavirus acts similar to the flu in that it’s easily passed in the Winter, but struggles in the Summer. Given that last year’s World Cup was in the heart of summer, the real question is: will there be enough time to coordinate an event with such little time to spare?
Time will answer the aforementioned question that everyone is asking… and we’ll be here to cover it
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