Genesis Eight has been postponed due to health and safety concerns surrounding the Omicron variant of COVID-19, in addition to worries regarding how the event would actually operate.
Initially, Genesis was set to return from taking a one-year hiatus from Jan. 28 to 30, but the team behind the event has now pushed it to April 15 to 17 at the same venue, the SJ McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.
Genesis is one of the biggest fighting game events and is usually the single biggest Super Smash Bros. tournament each year, but the tournament has been unable to run in its usual timeslot the last two years due to COVID. And now, just two weeks before the event would make a comeback, it has been pushed back again.
“We know this feels abrupt and very close to the event date, but the conditions that necessitated this decision were just as abrupt,” Team Genesis said. “We have taken everything into consideration and made what we believe is the best decision possible for the safety of our attendees, staff, and the quality of the event itself given the circumstances and the timeline.”
According to the update, the current staff was also unsure if they could operate the event with the current volunteers without going over its allotted timeframe. With lacking numbers and several key staff members reportedly opting to not attend due to health concerns, Team Genesis was already worried that running G8 from Jan. 28 to 30 was already going to be a big gamble.
That, along with more than half of the event’s vendors pulling out and a rising number of competitors requesting refunds, could have put the future of Genesis in jeopardy without this delay, even as the team takes a hit in operating costs in doing so.
“By postponing, we will be incurring costs into the six-figure range,” Team Genesis said, “Any other alternative would have shut our doors for good, and we would not be able to do another Genesis event again. Thankfully, we are fortunate to have a venue that could accommodate us and move the event to a viable date, something that not all events operating in this omicron peak have the opportunity to do, and we ask that you extend your understanding towards them.”
This delay could end up being really good for the event, as several players were planning to skip the event due to relevant health concerns. If the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic improves by April, attendance could increase compared to what it would have been if G8 stuck to its original date.