In the middle of Fortnite’s ProAm event at E3, Epic Games announced esports plans for its booming battle royale game.
The Fortnite World Cup will be coming in 2019 as the culmination of Fortnite esports. The $100m (£74m) announced last month will be split between community-run, online and major events. Epic made sure to point out anyone and everyone can play in qualifying matches, as it will not be selling franchise spots in a league or guaranteeing positions in qualifiers to any organisations and won’t allow third-party organizers to do so either.
No further word on when qualifying matches will take place but it will be focused on solos and duos.
While the game has been in development for the better part of seven years it wasn’t released until paid early access in July 2017, then free to play early access in September. Along with the battle royale genre in general, Fortnite has gained popularity thanks to content creators like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins.
It’s been barely one month since Epic announced it will be providing $100m in prize pools for the first year of Fortnite esports. This astronomical number is not only the largest prize pool in esports history but overshadows prize pools in every major esports in 2017 combined. With the competitive nature surrounding the game, fans have been begging for an esports structure. The first iteration of esports was at a community event at DreamHack Summer 2017 and the Ninja Vegas event in April. Besides those two, weekly community events are held such as the UMG Keemstar Fortnite Fridays, but as custom servers are not accessible the format is essentially based on kills in squad games.
Regardless of the lack of esports structure major organisations are catching onto the trend of Fortnite and have been putting their faith in players that stand out in preparations of the impeding esports structure. Organisations like Team SoloMid, FaZe Clan and Team Liquid have all signed teams in the past couple of months.
Esports Insider says: It’s an exciting time for Fortnite esports as this is certainly something Epic has been working on for quite some time. The original announcement stated Epic would be doing something completely different and unexpected and they certainly delivered. It goes to show how much Epic cares about its players by also guaranteeing it won’t be selling or franchising positions to any organisations either. We can’t wait to see these qualifying tournaments as we already know players are hungry for competition.