FIFA has cancelled the FIFAe World Cup and FIFAe Nations Cup 2021 esports tournaments in light of the pandemic.
The FIFAe World Cup 2021 was scheduled to be hosted in London, UK from August 6th to 8th, while the FIFAe Nations Cup 2021 was scheduled to run in Copenhagen, Denmark from August 20th to 22nd.
Organisers said the full amount of prize money for each event will be equally distributed between all qualified players and member associations. The qualified players at the FIFAe World Cup will receive their share individually, whereas the member associations (aka organisations, or orgs) will receive their share for the FIFAe Nations Cup.
Esports News UK asked organisers why the tournaments aren’t being run purely online instead.
A FIFA spokesperson said: “FIFA has explored alternative solutions and has come to the conclusion that an online replacement tournament would not meet the competitive level expected of the event.
“The competition regions, as introduced in the 2021 season, are to be adhered to for an online tournament and therefore would not be a sufficient replacement of the FIFAe World Cup 2021. The best regional players have already been determined and crowned at the regional playoffs of the EA Sports FIFA 21 Global Series.”
A statement on the FIFA.gg website reads as follows: “In light of the current global COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on travel and events beyond FIFA’s control, FIFA has decided to cancel the FIFAe World Cup 2021 and the FIFAe Nations Cup 2021.
“Unfortunately, the FIFAe Nations Cup 2021 and FIFAe World Cup 2021 have been subject to the disruptive effect of the ongoing pandemic and subsequent global travel restrictions currently in place for qualified teams and players from around the world.
“Various stakeholders also raised concerns during discussions about the hosting of the tournaments in relation to the dynamic global situation. The latest developments would not guarantee the integrity of the competitions as well as the safety and health of all involved parties, which continues to be a priority for us.
“The FIFAe team would like to express its gratitude to all involved parties for their commitment and the tournament preparations made so far as well as to all the efforts by the players and member associations throughout the season.”
FIFA said it will continue to monitor the situation concerning the ongoing pandemic globally, as well as any potential impact on the upcoming season.
It said the FIFAe team is ‘looking forward to the future of FIFA esports’ and that FIFAe will be back next year ‘with more competition at the highest level’.
Esports News UK has asked a spokesperson why the decision was taken not to run the tournaments purely online – we’ll update this article if we hear back.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.