17 October 2019 Pandemic

Announcing the 2020 Pandemic Survival Season

The worldwide cooperative gaming tournament is back with a twist

Pandemic Survival is back for another season in 2020! When we ran our first Pandemic Survival tournaments in 2015, we were thrilled to introduce a new kind of competitive play based on Pandemic’s award-winning cooperative mechanics. Since then, teams all over the world have faced outbreaks, cured countless diseases, and saved humanity from the brink of disaster!

After five years of this unique tournament format, we’re excited to announce that the Pandemic Survival world is getting wider. Up to this point we have always run tournaments using the original Pandemic game in the modern world of disease control (and we will continue to do so throughout the year with more accessible Pandemic Discovery events—more info to come!).

That said, future seasons of Pandemic Survival may also feature other games in the Pandemic System. This means that games like Iberia, Rising Tide, or Fall of Rome—based on the same great gameplay, but in a different setting—have a chance to hit the tournament tables in the years to come.

For 2020, we’re excited to announce that Pandemic Survival is taking an eldritch twist. The 2020 tournament season will feature Reign of Cthulhu, our Lovecraft-inspired Pandemic System game.



Save Humanity from an Ancient Evil

In Reign of Cthulhu, players are investigators tasked with stopping the Old Ones, ancient beings of bizarre intelligence, who threaten to awaken and destroy the world. Instead of diseases, players must keep cultists, shoggoths, and insanity at bay as they attempt to seal the four gates before all is lost!

Keeping with the Survival format, the core rules of Reign of Cthulhu will be adjusted to suit tournament play, reducing the randomness and creating a level playing field for you and your teammate to prove your Pandemic skills. For more detailed information on the Reign of Cthulhu tournament format, check out the rules document available here.

As in past seasons, players will all face the same preset scenario—only your choices as a team will make the difference. Rules for winning a tournament remain the same: the first team to win the game or the last team standing is the winner!

Fabulous Prizes

Although saving the world is its own reward, prizes await players at all levels of Pandemic Survival! At the Regional level, all players will receive a special metallic-purple set of shoggoth and cultist miniatures for use in their games of Reign of Cthulhu. These will only be available in the Regional kits, so if you want to get your hands on them, talk to your local games store or convention about hosting a tournament!


Regional winners will move on to the National level, where all players will receive a special metallic-blue set of investigator miniatures. Additionally, the National Champions will earn a spot at the World Championship, including paid airfare and hotel to the Worlds host city (somewhere in Lovecraft country—exact location to be announced at a later date). The World Championship prize will also be announced as we get farther along in the season.

Are you ready to face the Old Ones? Get your copy of Reign of Cthulhu and start prepping for the 2020 season of Pandemic Survival!

Any Other Changes for the 2020 Season?

In our efforts to incorporate community feedback and help the Pandemic Survival program grow for the future, we’re making some other changes:

  • Kits will focus more on prize support. Like the samples shown above, prizes will be themed to the Pandemic System game in use for the current season, and will be available only through these kits—so come join us at a Survival Regional to claim your metallic monsters! Every player who participates in a tournament will receive their own set.
  • Players are required to bring their own copy of the game to compete (1 copy per team of 2). This eases the burden on stores and conventions having to store opened games between events, meaning more venues will be able to hold events no matter their space. Just put that well-loved copy you’ve been practicing with into a bag and head to your local tournament!
  • Organizers must coordinate with the Pandemic Survival contact before running qualifying events. Make it official, get access to marketing graphics for your event, and make sure Z-Man knows when your event is so we can promote it on our calendar!
  • Look out for Pandemic Discovery events! Still want to play the Pandemic base game tournament-style? We’re developing Pandemic Discovery kits, which will allow organizers to hold more casual events throughout the year, separate from Regional qualifiers and the current tournament season. Keep an eye out for more info in the coming months!

How to Participate

Interested in participating in Pandemic Survival in 2020? Registration for interested retailers and event organizers is open now! 


To find a Regional qualifying event:

  • Ask your local game store or convention if they are hosting a Pandemic Survival event.
  • Check the calendar on our Events page.
  • Check the events calendar on the Pandemic and Z-Man Games Facebook pages.

To compete in a Regional qualifying event:

  • Register in teams of exactly 2 players. You will work together—but against other teams—to win the game or outlast the competition.
  • Each team must bring 1 copy of the current season's Pandemic System game (Reign of Cthulhu in 2020). 


To host an official Regional qualifying event:

  • Indicate your interest by filling out the form on the current season page. Your Pandemic Survival contact will follow up to confirm and help you purchase kits.
    • Note: Your event is not official until confirmed by your Pandemic Survival contact. There are a limited number of spaces for Regional events, and we will try to accommodate as many requests as possible to hold events in a variety of locations.
  • If you have questions, please contact [email protected].


For more detailed information, guides for both players and organizers are posted on the Pandemic Survival page. See you at a Survival event in 2020!