EPIC has told teams and organizations they shouldn’t expect any in-person events for Fortnite or other games well into 2022 due to the ongoing global health situation.
Live events like the 2019 Fortnite World Cup helped to cement the game’s popularity as an esport, but like most other pro scenes over the last year and a half, LANs have been a thing of the past.
Now, it seems like teams will have to wait even longer to play face-to-face based on an announcement from EPIC to teams and organizations on May 31.
BREAKING: Epic not hosting or allowing ANY in-person LAN events until Q2 2022 pic.twitter.com/2k7kelEMq3
— Elite Connor (@Connoreo_) May 31, 2021
Elite Esports player/manager Connoreo posted a message the team got from EPIC that apparently confirms there will be no in-person LAN events until Q2 (April) of 2022.
“They stated they do not plan to allow in-person events until Q2 2022,” Connoreo wrote. “We do not completely agree with Epic Games… however we do respect Epic Games and their consideration to keeping everyone safe.”
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As EPIC broke the news, various tournaments were canceling and refunding ticket holders, leaving organizations to decide what their next course of action is, now not being able to participate in LANs.
This comes on the heels of the wildly successful VCT Masters Reykjavik LAN event for VALORANT. Even though there were no fans in the stands, hundreds of thousands of viewers still tuned in to watch the players compete face-to-face.
But, EPIC and Fortnite are not alone with holding off on returning to live play. Major VCT events seem to be the exception, as Overwatch League, CSGO, and CDL all have yet to return to live events as well (though CDL plans to return to live play for the Stage 4 Major).
EPIC did apparently leave the door open to go back to live events earlier than 2022 based on their message, so we could see a return to live events sooner than later – but it doesn’t look too good so far.