A number of mainstream esports events, including the 2020 Fortnite World Cup, Dota 2’s The International, Evo 2020 and several DreamHack events, have been cancelled.
Valve Shelves Dota 2 The International Until Further Notice
Back in March we reported on how COVID-19 had affected esports, suspending a number of flagship events. Now, nearly two months later, the cancellations continue, even if esports has proven a more resilient beast than professional sports.
On Friday, Valve released a statement that it would delay The International 2020, Dota 2’s main competitive event, and crowning competition in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).
Citing the highly volatile landscape for local gathering restrictions, the company said that it didn’t feel confident enough to communicate firm dates [for the event’s possible return] in the near future. Even though the event has not been ruled out entirely for 2020, Valve will most likely push back the date for some point at 2021.
Meanwhile, the company said that it would use the opportunity to restructure the DPC season for the fall. The International is one of the most significant events on the esports calendar with a massive prize pool that has been growing in leaps and bounds over the past decade, to reach $34 million for the 2019 edition of the event.
The 2020 Fortnite World Cup Suspended
It was going to be the second Fortnite World Cup held in-person until April 30, when Epic Games said that they would have to cancel the event. Now, a new online format and tournaments will replace the main gig that has enjoyed solid viewership and interest so far, even if the competitive angle has lacked a bit.
Commenting on the developments, Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, said that it was not sure when things would return back to normal. Yet, the company mentioned that it would try to “put on some form of Fortnite World Cup in 2021.”
At Least Three DreamHack Events Postponed
DreamHack, the global gaming and esports festival, has also taken a hit, with several of its flagship events this summer now forced to sit out COVID-19. As a result, DreamHack Summer, Dallas, and Montreal will have to be moved back to 2021.
However, the company reassured that it would stick to its winter schedule, with six events on the calendar. DreamHack Valencia, on the other hand, was scheduled for July, but it will now be moved to October 8 through October 12.
The other five DreamHack events on the calendar are Rotterdam (October 16), Hyderabad (October 30), Atlanta (November 13), DreamHack Winter (November 27), and Madrid (December 11).
DreamHack co-CEO Marcus Lindmark said in a statement that the decision had been hard to make. Yet, it had been necessary. Some formats changes will also apply. For example, StarCraft II Masters and Warcraft 3 Open.
EVO 2020 Cancelled, A New Online Tournament Promised
Unfortunately, Evo 2020, one of the biggest events the fighting gaming community was looking forward to, was also canceled. Organizer Alex Jebailey was skeptical if any events can come back to normal in summer.
However, Evo has promised a replacement online tournament which won’t be anything like the in-person event. The team will try to come up with a new format entirely. As per the Evo’s decision and Jebailey’s skepticism, it’s very possible that we won’t see any FGC event this summer.
On the plus side, many professional sports have switched to esports. NASCAR has been running the eNASCAR iRacing Invitational Pro Series, pulling in some impressive viewership numbers.
Nevada has given the go-ahead to bet on many esports events, including CS:GO, Dota 2, Overwatch, League of Legends, and others.