The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the video game industry in profound ways, and the esports scene in particular has struggled. Things are starting to change, however, as the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines has led to in-person events returning. Epic Games, perhaps the largest esports organizer yet, is joining the push to bring back in-person events. The Fortnite Championship Series Invitation is coming back for an in-person tournament this November.
The announcement excitedly begins with the message “Fortnite in-person events are back!” From there, Epic confirms that the 2022 edition of the FNCS Invitation will be hosted in-person in Raleigh, North Carolina. The dates of the event are November 12 and 13. The only details about the in-person aspect of the event at this time is that players from across the world will be invited to attend and participate. There is currently no information regarding fan attendance.
Even though Epic is taking this step to bring competitive Fortnite back as an in-person event, it also wants to make clear that player health and safety will remain its number one priority. A warning is made that, depending on public health trends, the FNCS Invitational 2022 could be rescheduled, moved, or otherwise depending on legal requirements and recommendations. Epic also asks potential attendees to start taking care of any necessary requirements for travel, including vaccination cards, testing plans, and other necessary government-issued documentation.
As for the event itself, Epic will be inviting the best Fortnite duo squads from across the world to FNCS Invitational 2022. They’ll be competing for one of esports’ biggest prizes, a portion of a $1,000,000 prize pool. Additional information regarding qualifying for an invitation and potential prizes for competing will be shared in the months to come.
It’s unclear at this time what other competitive plans Epic might have for Fortnite going forward. Fortnite has only seen online competitions since 2019’s Fortnite World Cup, meaning it’s going to take some time before Epic’s esports team is back up to speed. The Invitational seems like a good opportunity to see Epic’s level of preparedness.
While Fortnite players may be excited to see in-person competition returning, there are some questioning whether it’s too soon, as the pandemic is by no means over. North Carolina is even a hot spot in the United States at the moment. Epic isn’t the only company making the controversial decision to return to in-person events, though. But as such a high-profile game, Fortnite‘s going to have a lot of attention focused on the FNCS Invitational, regardless.
Fortnite is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and mobile devices.