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Combo Breaker 2021 cancelled due to COVID-19, will stage online “digital festival”

After being cancelled last year, Combo Breaker won't happen in 2021 either due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Combo Breaker 2021 cancelled due to COVID-19, will stage online “digital festival”

Combo Breaker 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers have confirmed.

Combo Breaker has become one of the biggest events on the fighting game calendar, and as many likely expected, it now won’t go ahead for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic.

In a post on their official website, organisers wrote: “Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and following government guidance regarding mass indoor gatherings in 2021, we are confirming today that Combo Breaker is unable to host its annual convention this Memorial Day Weekend. 

“The ongoing impact of COVID-19 has made safely hosting an indoor event of Combo Breaker’s size impossible this May in Illinois; and Illinois is our home. Last year, when Combo Breaker was cancelled for 2020, we believed we would be gathering together to play games again later this spring. To accept that life has other plans for us is deeply frustrating.”

Anyone who booked hotel reservations through Combo Breaker will have their purchases automatically cancelled, with your deposit set to return shortly.

Organisers however have promised they’re working on plans to stage a “multi-day digital festival” event as a replacement, although it’s unclear what this will involve.

“We have a lot of work to do to bring our vision to life and we are looking forward to sharing it with you,” the post adds. “In the meantime, please play fighting games. Keep practicing. Enter online tournaments. Watch streams. Be active in community servers. Support one another. Know hope.”

While it isn’t surprising to see esports events continue to be cancelled, it does raise questions of whether FGC event organisers will be able to bounce back from having two years of cancelled events - especially as the FGC is the most underfunded scene.