Fortnite, one of the most popular video games in the world right now, is about to become a professional sport.
Epic Games, the creator of the game, has announced that for the 2018-2019 season it will be providing a staggering $100 million in prize money. Not only is that more than almost every major eSport tournament combined, it’s on a par with tournaments like Formula 1 or even the Premier League.
To put that into perspective, the FA Cup officially awards the winner of the tournament just £1.8m. It’s likely that winners of this Fortnite tournament will be receiving a lot more.
The world of eSports has grown enormously over the last decade thanks to huge viewership numbers and a big increase in sponsorship opportunities.
Arguably the largest eSports tournament currently is The International which sees professional gamers compete against each other within the free to download PC game Dota 2 for a slice of the $24 million prize pool.
Unlike Dota 2 however, Fortnite has the advantage of being both free and available to play on multiple platforms including PS4, Xbox, PC, iOS smartphones and soon Android smartphones.
While the number is impressive, it’s not clear how Epic Games plans to distribute the $100m globally, instead the company simply released a short statement saying:
“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.”
What is Fortnite?
Announced back in July 2017 by Epic Games, Fortnite is a team-based online multiplayer game that allows gamers to either team up and take on hordes of zombies in a mode called Save The World or fight other players in a free mode known as Battle Royale.
Battle Royale quickly became something of a phenomenon as it pits 100 players against each other. The players then have to fight each other all the while contending with the fact that the map is shrinking.
To win the game you have to be the last person standing, either through hiding or by eliminating everyone else in your way.
The premise of the game is almost identical to that of Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG), another online game that has seen huge popularity on PC and Xbox One. Unlike PUBG however, Fortnite Battle Royale is completely free.