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Epic Games Cancels 2020 ‘Fortnite’ World Championships

”Due to the limitations of cross region online competition, there will not be a Fortnite World Cup in 2020,“ Epic said Thursday

“Fortnite” developer Epic Games has canceled its Fortnite World Cup competition this year, citing concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And for the first time since its flagship title launched in 2017, Epic has canceled all in-person events through the rest of the year in favor of hosting them online.

“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,” Epic said Thursday. “We don’t know when a return to large, global, in-person events will be practical, but we’re hopeful to be able to put on some form of Fortnite World Cup in 2021.”

Epic had not set a date for the 2020 Fortnite World Cup but planned to hold the event sometime this summer. To pacify fans that aren’t getting their usual dose of pro “Fortnite” competition, Epic will instead host regular Cash Cups, competitive matches that players of varying skill levels can play for cash prizes. Epic will also bring back its amateur competitive Fortnite Championship Series (FNCS) event, which it said “will be returning each season for the rest of 2020. … We will iterate on formats to improve player experiences.”

Epic also said it will increase its broadcast capability to cater to viewers who are stuck home and looking to stream live “Fortnite” competitions. “We’ve heard the feedback. We are bringing back official broadcasts starting with the FNCS Invitational this weekend! Tune in for all of the action and more competitive news,” Epic said. The first broadcast starts May 2 at 1 p.m. ET on Epic Games’ Twitch and YouTube channels.

Epic has already found that engaging fans in live events, both in-game and out, are a way to reel in an even larger audience than usual as quarantined gamers look desperately for content. Last week, Epic held a virtual music show inside “Fortnite” for rap star Travis Scott, who debuted a new single with fellow hip-hop artist Kid Cudi — and the stream attracted over 12 million viewers on its first day, breaking previous “Fortnite” in-game event records.