Fortnite could be the reason the Vancouver Canucks performed so poorly in last season's NHL campaign, as the team has banned the popular multiplayer title from being played on road trips during the upcoming 2018-2019 season. The team had an abysmal 2017-2018, finishing with just 73 points - a full 22 points (11 wins) out of a Wild Card playoff spot.
Fortnite, despite being a global phenomenon, has suffered from the same problems that other games have in its position previously. Parents, schools, and coaches have been critical of the game for being a waste of time, even while Tyler "Ninja" Blevins continues to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month playing Fortnite exclusively. Apparently, the decision to regard video games as a negative factor in regards to physical or intellectual performance has now arrived on the professional sports scene.
The Vancouver Canucks have instituted the Fortnite ban following a training camp that saw player Michael Del Zotto first suggest the removal of the game from road trips. While the idea hadn't received much press and never seemed to go anywhere, forward Bo Horvat revealed in an interview with TSN 1040 this week that the team had decided to follow through on the Fortnite ban after all. Horvat expanded:
"Yeah, that's [Fortnite] definitely a no-go on the road. No more Fortnite. No more bringing video games on the road. It's strictly team meals, team dinners, and hanging out with the guys. So we put an end to that."
While that's a fair point, Horvat seems to be overly critical of the video game sensation. He suggests during the same interview that being "cooped up in your room all night, playing Fortnite, is a waste of your time," before stating that he hopes parents and little kids follow his actions and "don't play it."
It's an interesting take from someone whose part of a younger generation that has seen video games become much more widely accepted by the greater public, both as a pastime and as a profession. Another young player in the NHL, Patrik Laine, offered up a rebuttal for why Horvat and the Canucks are instituting a Fortnite ban ahead of the new season:
Patrik Laine on Vancouver’s decision to ban video games on the road: “They need something to blame after last year.” #NHLJets— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) October 3, 2018
Laine later added that if the Winnipeg Jets, his NHL club, began to start playing like Vancouver that they would also refrain from taking their PlayStations on the road in the future.
Although it's easy to criticize the decision to blame a team's performance on using video games to relax rather than spend time together, if Horvat and the Canucks feel that team chemistry is the biggest element holding them back, then the Fortnite ban makes sense. Time will tell on just how effective it is, but if the Canucks' road record drastically improves this year, there's a chance we could see more professional sports teams put something like this into place in the coming months.
Source: TSN 1040 Vancouver