It has been confirmed as of this week that North American LAN Episode III —originally running from January 11th to 13th in Long Beach, California— will no longer be happening for 2019.
Episode III was a spiritual successor to the Rewind LAN series hosted in 2017 & 2018 at Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California. Episode III was announced back in August 26th this year on teamfortress.tv’s Twitter, after the conclusion of Insomnia 63. Thunder Gaming Center was originally set to produce and host the event in conjunction with Matcherino.
On October 22nd, setbacks were announced in the public Episode III Discord from WillScarlet that Thunder Gaming did not have the CPU capabilities to host the event, due to a late reveal that the venue wanted to use cloud-based gaming for the tournament over physical computers. CPU & PC sponsors were requested to contact the staff, and buying accommodations was not recommended until the situation was sorted.
Updates during November 21st to the 25th included alternate venues such as Ultimate in Los Angeles being pursued, but was followed up that Ultimate’s costs were too expensive. An offline event was stated as being worked on for those who had already bought flight tickets, with the goal of still hosting an online tournament.
On December 5th, a final statement was made from WillScarlet on both Discord & teamfortress.tv that the event was officially cancelled:
For the last few months we have tried to work with two venues to find a good home for the LAN, unfortunately neither panned out, for both logistical and monetary reasons. Once we knew we were unable to provide that LAN experience, we were aiming to run an offline event for those who booked tickets and additionally whoever wanted to come that would coincide with an online tournament. Unfortunately we are not going to be able to make that happen and it sucks that this is the case.
I, as well as everyone on the team, volunteered a lot of time trying to organize and make the event work. Although it was quite frustrating at times, we would do it again. For us, the disappointing thing is not being able to make up for the people who spent money on travel. No one wants to organize an event to have attendees book travel and then be unable to deliver on the event.
The rest of the statement, as well as the prior updates, can be read in the Episode III LAN thread here.