Epic Games Will Provide $100,000,000 For Fornite eSports Tournament Prize Pools In The First Year Of Competitive Play
Jun 04 2018
Epic Games, the developer behind the hit Battle Royale title Fortnite, has just announced its intentions to invest a ridiculously-large sum - $100,000,000 to be exact - towards a huge esports push. This is a move many have been anticipating (though maybe not involving a sum this big) with top tier organizations such as Team SoloMid and FaZe Clan recruiting players should the game take a turn towards competitive play.
This is an unprecedented move in esports. $100,000,000 is just short of the total amount of money distributed as tournament winnings across all games in 2017 - including titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Despite this announcement, Epic Games still has its work cut out to turn Fortnite into a fully-fledged esports title.
This massive sum of money will help fund prize pools for a number of different Fortnite competitions throughout the 2018-2019 season, said Epic. The company has not yet specified when this season of play will begin, but said last month that it plans to hold a 100-person tournament during E3 in June called Fortnite Party Royale.
Epic didn’t get into specific tournaments or possible formats, but the company did include a hint that it’s looking outside of the box of traditional esports for inspiration.
“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different — we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game,” said Epic.
Based on this, it seems likely that Epic will attempt to bridge the gap between Fortnite’s professional competitors and the massive audience that enjoys playing the game and watching their favorite personalities on Twitch. This wouldn’t be much different from some of the tournaments that the community is already organizing, such as UMG’s Friday Fortnite competition, which brings together some of Fortnite’s most popular Twitch and YouTube stars to see which team can get the most kills.
Ultimately, Fortnite official embracing esports is an exciting prospect in many ways. Esports is a rapidly-growing industry and investments of any kind - never mind $100,000,000 - is a solid contribution to its growth. I’m excited for the future of Fortnite in esports, especially as the Battle Royale genre continues to grow, and I sincerely hope Epic games does more than merely pump money into the scene it’s hoping to create.