NEWS
10/07/2018 14:33 EDT | Updated 10/08/2018 08:37 EDT

Vancouver Canucks Axe Fortnite Video Game On The Road

Is the massively popular game affecting team performance?

The Fortnite booth is shown at E3, the world's largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles on June 12, 2018.
Mike Blake / Reuters
The Fortnite booth is shown at E3, the world's largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles on June 12, 2018.

It's not just kids these days who won't put down the massively popular online game Fortnite. Sports teams are having trouble with it too: the NHL's Vancouver Canucks have collectively decided to ban themselves from firing it up this season.

Centre Bo Horvat told TSN that the team was no longer bringing games with them because they wanted players to interact with each other more on the road.

"Yeah, that's definitely a no-go on the road," he said. "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."

NHLI via Getty Images
Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during a game against the Minnesota Wild on March 9, 2018 in Vancouver.

Fortnite is a game where players are parachuted onto an island and must collect weapons and build defences to survive. One of the game's most popular modes has 100 contestants picking each other off until only one is left standing. What sets Fortnite apart from similar games is its cartoonish presentation. Outrageous costumes and ridiculous dances with names like "Orange Justice" are available as rewards.

WATCH: Study suggests Fortnite could be as addictive as heroin. Story continues after video.

Winnipeg Jets star Patrik Laine who is also known for his love of Fortnite took a shot at the situation, saying that the Vancouver hockey team shouldn't look for excuses for a less-than-stellar season. The Canucks ended up second-to-last in the Western Conference.

"I think they just needed something to blame after last year," Laine said. He conceded that if the Jets started to play badly this year, they would also give up their games. "We kind of made a deal if we're playing like that, we can give up our PlayStations, so we're not going to take them on the road. But I don't think that's going to happen."

Getty Images
Patrik Laine prepares to play against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 8, 2018.

Another Canuck, Jake Virtanen, brushed off Laine's comments: "Whatever. I don't really care what he says," I just think that where we want to go with our team, anything we can do to get better, that's a stepping stone."

Brandon Sutter also fired back at Laine over his snipe.

"It's none of his business at all. We would never have anyone in our room say something like that when they are 21 years old," Sutter said, according to Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun.

Video games get out of control. You're on the road to spend time with teammates.Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs

The Canucks might not be wrong about Fortnite though. More sports teams are concerned about the effect of the game on their players: staying up late to play Fortnite and thus affecting their performance during practice and at games.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner shared that he wasn't opposed to a ban. "I wouldn't mind [a ban]," he said. "Video games get out of control. You're on the road to spend time with teammates."

Getty Images
A gamer plays the video game Fortnite.

A Washington Post article in July claimed that team managements across the league were worried about Fortnite addiction in players they were scouting. And top draft picks like Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk admitted that while the game may help teammates bond, it doesn't help necessarily increase their on-ice skills.

"I don't think it's much benefit [to my hockey career]," Tkachuk said.

Fortnite seeps into other sports

The impact of Fortnite has made its way onto pitches and fields in other sports too.

During the World Cup final, French soccer star Antoine Griezmann performed Fortnite's "Take the L" dance to celebrate scoring a goal.

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price had to assure the world that his carpal tunnel syndrome wasn't from playing too much Fortnite.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, who plays for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, claimed that playing Fortnite with superstar rapper Drake and Ninja a popular video game streamer was better than scoring a touchdown.

German soccer squad Bayern Munich's youth team was even doing Fortnite celebrations on the field.

Across the board, more teams are concerned about how to manage it.

"It's not something the teams will come to you about. A coach or GM won't say [anything], but trainers do," an agent told the Post. "Teams with really young players complained all year about guys not sleeping. It used to be chalked up to them partying and all that, but now it's because of them playing video games all night."

But how much can you really control what adults are doing?

"It's a big issue, and it could affect performance," Olie Kolzig, a coach for the Washington Capitals' minor league affiliate, told the newspaper. "But they're grown men .... You can't hold their hand and force-feed them [advice]..They have to make those choices."

With Fortnite also allegedly being the catalyst for hundreds of divorces, maybe the Canucks have the right idea.

With a file from the Canadian Press