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Epic Games announces Fortnite Championship Series, to be held in November

Following the ease of COVID-19 restrictions in the United States, Epic Games has announced the return of in-person Fortnite Championship Series this November in North Carolina.

The Fortnite team began the announcement by simply saying, “Fortnite in-person events are back!”

“We are excited to announce our plan to host the FNCS Invitational 2022 in-person on November 12 and 13 in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA,” Epic Games wrote.

Epic also reminded everyone who will be involved in FNCS Invitational 2022 to put health and safety first and always follow public health guidelines.

“Please note that our players’ health and safety are the number one priority for holding any in-person event,” Epic said.

“If public health trends change, or regional laws or recommendations shift at any point this year, we may have to reschedule or change these plans.”

In addition, Epic Games asked participating individuals to prepare vaccination cards, any future testing plans, and other government-issued documentation to avoid unnecessary complications prior to and during the event.

“For anyone anticipating an invitation, please make sure any required travel documentation is secured well ahead of time, i.e. passports, visas, other government-issued identification, vaccination cards, etc,” the company added.

“Please also check your country’s guidelines for international travel as well as the USA’s travel requirements for non-U.S. citizens.”

$1,000,000 prize pool

Epic Games will reward a total of a $1,000,000 prize pool for this year’s FNCS event and additional information on how to qualify for an invitation and potential other prizes for competing is expected to be revealed after the summer.

“We will be inviting a selection of top FNCS Duos from around the world who will have the opportunity to compete in a single lobby for a share of a $1,000,000 prize pool! We plan to share more details on the FNCS Invitational 2022 in the coming months,” the announcement said.

Previously, Epic held the Fortnite World Cup back in 2019 as its online tournament before the pandemic hit worldwide. Therefore, this year’s FNCS will be Epic’s first step in coming back to the offline tournament for the Fortnite pro players and community.

COVID resurgence in NC

Another aspect to consider is the venue itself. North Carolina is currently seeing the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, state data shows. The new confirmed COVID-19 cases in NC recorded more than 27,600 new cases in the last week alone.

“We are seeing much higher numbers, and we are seeing that those numbers are really increasing over time in a lot of our urban locations,” said Rachel Noble of UNC Chapel Hill’s Institute told Spectrum News.

“The rate of increase this week with the numbers is higher, which means that not only are the numbers going up, but the speed with which they are increasing is getting higher and higher,” she said. “That’s concerning.”

Epic is certainly considering all options to make sure FNCS Invitational 2022 would meet public health guidelines, including finding a new venue as many Fortnite fans have been waiting to return to live tournaments for almost three years.

Fortnite is available now on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.