When the first Fortnite World Cup kicks off this April, the widely-popular Battle Royale game will have early bragging rights as the first ever esports title to put up a whopping $30 million in prize pool.
Previously, Dota 2 set a new record for largest total prize pool in esports with a little over $25 million for The International 2018. Dota 2’s marquee tournament, The International, has also held the esports prize pool crown for five years in a row, a streak that with the International 2014. But, for 2019, it seems like Dota 2’s run as the most lucrative esports in terms of prize money is about to come to an end.
Epic Games, the brains behind Fortnite, made the announcement in a blog post on Friday. In it, they shared details about the First Fortnite World Cup.
According to the blog post, the first Fortnite World Cup will officially start on April 13 and will run through June 16 with ten weekly online qualifiers open to every player with up to $1 million in prize money up for grabs for the top players. Then, once the 10-week qualifiers are over, the top 100 players, along with the top 50 teams, will all congregate in New York City for the LAN finals of the first Fortnite World Cup from July 26 to July 28 to fight for the $30 million prize pool.
First Fornite World Cup Officially Announced
In their initial announcement last year, Epic Games explained that they want to get “behind competitive play in a big way” and that they certainly did. Although the inaugural competitive year of Fortnite was met with the occasional issues, Epic Games delivered.
More importantly, their $100 million investment for the entire season was not all for naught.
Ever since Fortnite launched, Epic Games has pulled in $2.4 million in 2018 alone. This 2019, Fortnite is expected to make Epic Games roughly $300 million a month in in-app purchases.
Given those kinds of numbers, putting up $100 million in prize pool for the entire year to help support the competitive scene is a small price to pay. After all, the top players are also popular streamers. The more incentive they have to keep playing Fortnite, the more viewers they’ll have, and in turn, they more people will play the game.
Of course, the timing of the announcement is quite interesting.
While Fortnite remains the most popular Battle Royale game today, other titles in its genre are threatening to take over. In particular, Apex Legends, developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA, is already breaking the viewership records that Fortnite previously set. More importantly, today’s biggest streamers are all playing Apex Legends over Fortnite. This includes Fortnite’s poser boy, Richard Tyler Blevins, otherwise known by his in-game monicker, Ninja.
Fortnite is currently in its 7th season, which will conclude on February 28.
What do you think of the first Fortnite World Cup? Will it help establish Fortnite as the de-facto Battle Royale game? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.