Offline Fortnite events are effectively on hold until 2022, Epic confirms.
Competitive Fortnite Battle Royale’s last in-person event took place in 2019 at DreamHack Anaheim, where thousands of competitors traveled from across the world to compete for a $250K USD prize pool. It was an open event, conducted primarily by the DreamHack production company and Epic Games had minimal involvement.
Since then, the global COVID-19 pandemic that killed millions worldwide ensured that no such event would follow. Professional players had hopes of another Fortnite World Cup, which occurred in 2019 with a $30M USD prize pool and all eyes on competitive Fortnite. In April of last year, Epic Games revealed that another offline tournament would not happen in 2021 in light of the pandemic.
More news surfaced earlier today in this regard, and it seems that another offline Fortnite competition is further away than most anticipated.
All Offline Fortnite Events Postponed Until Q2 2022
BREAKING: Epic not hosting or allowing ANY in-person LAN events until Q2 2022 pic.twitter.com/2k7kelEMq3
— Elite Connor (@Connoreo_) May 31, 2021
Former professional Fortnite player known as “Connoreo” posted a statement on Twitter from Iowa Esports, an organization that hoped to host an event in June.
“Today, Epic Games notified us that they will not allow any in-person events to take place due to the pandemic. They stated they do not plan to allow in-person events until Q2 2022, or when the global impact from COVID-19 has diminished.”
Iowa Esports mentioned their disagreement with the decision, considering the CDC has lifted pandemic-related restrictions. However, the statement included their appreciation of Epic’s attempt to ensure safety until the impact of COVID-19 subsides. It’s an unfortunate, albeit necessary, decision.
The Impact of No LAN Events
For competitive Fortnite players, the World Cup was a defining moment in the game’s turbulent history. Since DreamHack Anaheim, all tournaments, both small and large, have occurred online. The most significant of all — the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) — has seen six iterations following COVID-19. It’s a fair measuring stick of Fortnite’s best, but offline tournaments are something else.
Top competitors are desperate for another LAN; many argue that offline tournaments offer an entirely different atmosphere. It’s challenging to disagree, and millions could attest to the fact that Fortnite’s inaugural World Cup painted a different picture of the popular Battle Royale title. A lot has changed since 2019; countless recognizable players have fallen while others ascended through the ranks during COVID.
Epic’s decision is a no-brainer, unfortunately. While millions of people have received the vaccine, it’s in the company’s best interest to protect themselves from scrutiny. We’ll have to see if anything changes between now and Q2 of 2022, but players should not expect another offline event sooner.
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