What just happened? With vaccines on the horizon, there's plenty of optimism about the world returning to normal next year, but game companies remain cautious. Epic has confirmed there are no plans for in-person Fortnite tournaments in 2021, and Valve has canceled a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major tournament in spring.
Epic writes that while it does eventually intend to hold in-person tournaments again at some point in the future, "our priority for any such event is the health and safety of our players and staff. With so much still unknown about what is practical and safe, we do not plan to hold in-person events in 2021, including a Fortnite World Cup."
Fortnite's online events will continue to take place next year. Epic writes that Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) Trio events will keep going throughout 2021, and the FNCS for Chapter 2 - Season 5 is set to begin February 4th, 2021. "This date allows plenty of time for players to adjust to the new season and give our team more time to make adjustments before FNCS play," says Epic.
The company adds that while FNCS will remain the constant measure of success in competitive Fortnite, it is "looking at other avenues for high-level competition 2021." Epic is also planning more weekly and unique tournaments, along with Creator Cups throughout the year.
Epic Games isn't the only firm to scrap next year's in-person tournaments. Valve has decided to cancel its Counter-Strike spring Major, which was due to take place in May 2021. It writes that the Majors will not take place until "Regional Major Ranking (RMR) LAN events are safe to hold around the world." Unlike Epic, Valve did use the word "pandemic" in its statement.
Despite the upcoming vaccines, it seems a return to crowded venues isn't on the agenda just yet, especially as Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told NBC Dateline that it's unclear whether those vaccinated could still carry and spread the virus. There's also the question of rollout times and the large number of people who will refuse to take the vaccines.
Image credit: Roman Kosolapov