Recent events have caused a lot of casualties in sports. For the most part, Esports has continued… albeit while working from home. Even though the games are already played virtually, not every tournament can survive. Epic has officially canceled the Fortnite World Cup 2020. The tournament was thought to be going ahead, presumably while being played at home, the big spectacle event is instead going to be taking the year off.
Where does this leave competitive Fortnite for the remainder of 2020? In around the same position as a lot of other sports. The big events can no longer take place so fans are left making do with whatever is put on. For football fans, this means the Belarus Premier League which is inexplicably still running, for Fortnite that means even more of the FNCS which is beginning to look a bit tired.
Canceled Fortnite World Cup in 2020
The Fortnite World Cup was by far the biggest event held competitively for the game so far. It managed to attract an audience on a scale unseen for Fortnite and even propelled its winners into household names. A lot of this was due to the scale of the event. Epic threw a lot of money into making competitive Fortnite a success in 2019. With the option to make the World Cup an attention-grabbing spectacle gone, Epic’s motivation for holding the tournament at all has gone too.
They announced the cancellation at the end of April:
Physical Events – For the rest of 2020, all Fortnite competitions will be held online. Due to the limitations of cross region online competition, there will not be a Fortnite World Cup in 2020.
— Fortnite Competitive (@FNCompetitive) April 30, 2020
The motivation for canceling the world cup is understandable. Without the spectacle of a huge event, the event doesn’t have the same appeal. Putting on a huge tournament and large prize pool got Epic a lot of publicity for Fortnite and definitely saw a boost in cosmetic sales. Without the spectacle of a big event, committing to the competitive scene and the Fortnite World Cup 2020 doesn’t have the same benefits.
This is slightly disappointing sighted compared with other sports though. The majority of games that normally compete in public settings like Overwatch are continuing, just behind closed doors. FNCS is still going on, but the mishmash of in-game tournaments just don’t hold the same weight.
What’s Left for Competitive Fortnite in 2020?
Competitive Fortnite isn’t over because of the canceled Fortnite World Cup. The FNCS will continue on with a new season for each in-game season. However, this event is beginning to creak. More seasons of the same are showing diminishing returns for Epic. This isn’t down to the event itself becoming stale, other games manage to draw attention from just the same format every year. Rather, this is down to the way Fortnite works with this event. With a lot of other tournaments going on, and a big reliance on streamers instead of pro players that practice in private, these events don’t bring the same crowds as with other games.
Epic has also promised more cash cups and other events, which is likely to include more in-game concerts. This isn’t much of a replacement to a big competitive event though. 2020 for Fortnite is likely to be a bit of a dull year. Hopefully, Epic can replicate some of the success of 2019 for Fortnite in the future, and revitalize its competitive community. However, for now, it is disappointing that they’re unwilling to hold big events remotely.