Fortnite is one of the most popular video games in the world right now, with 250 million players and a competitive scene that is rising to the top of the eSports world. The 2019 Fortnite World Cup packed out the Arthur Ashe Stadium, which usually opens its doors for tennis majors like the US Open. It also attracted millions of viewers who streamed the event online, proving that e-sports is capable of taking up the stage in the mainstream.
Fortnite World Cup Huge Success
The Fortnite World Cup was a huge success. Epic Games made the announcement back in February, and from April onwards over 40 million players jumped out of the bus to attempt to battle their way through the qualifiers. In the end, 100 solo players and 50 Duos earned their right to compete in this year’s World Cup, along with creative teams and celebrity pro-ams to complete the weekend long line up.
The event was held on the weekend of 26th– 28thJuly, and immediately attracted the attention of gamers and the media alike with its huge $30 million prize pool – a greater prize than any other eSports event in history. It even surpassed the DOTA2 International – previously known as the richest eSports event – which gave away just $25 million in prizes in 2018.
The Fortnite World Cup attracted 16,000 attendants to the stadium, with millions more viewing via an online stream. A total of 2.3 million viewers turned out for the Solo event on Sunday. The tournament also set a number of world records over the course of the weekend.
Solo Event Sets Three Records
The Fortnite Solo competition set the record for the largest eSports individual tournament prize pool with its total of $15,287,000. Even last place took home $50,000.
Eventual winner, the USA’s Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, won a rather insane $3 million by placing first, setting the record for the largest payout for a single player in an eSports tournament. At age 16, he also set the record as the first Solo player to become Fortnite world champion.
Bugha fought and built his way through the six round match, accumulating 59 points from top place finishes and eliminations. He came 26 points clear of second place Harrison ‘psalm’ Chang, earning a clear victory. Bugha will now have to deal with the pitfalls of online fame, and can expect stream snipersleft, right and centre. He is, however, a multi-millionaire, so hopefully he’ll be able to cope.
First Duo Champions Crowned
The Duo competition saw 50 teams play over six rounds. Like the Solo event, the team with the most points at the end of the rounds was crowned winner. The title fell to Emil ‘Nyhrox’ Bergquist Pedersen and David ‘aqua’ W. They scored 51 points to win the $3 million prize, which was split between them, and became the first Duo players to become Fortnite world champions.
The duo of Dave ‘Rojo’ Jong and Jaden ‘Wolfiez’ Ashman came in second place. Unusually, they were playing with Xbox One controllers, which are generally regarded as inferior to the keyboard and mouse setup. To compensate the Fortnite World Cup allowed them to use controllers with a slight auto-aim boost, which did cause a bit of a controversy. However, it was generally seen as a positive that Rojo and Wolfiez were able to represent the console gamer in this landmark tournament.
eSports Gaining Momentum
eSports is gaining momentum throughout the world. The Fortnite World Cup was a huge success, setting four world records, making several millionaires and attracting online audiences into the millions. Though it may not be on the same scale, the J1-Con is well known for its gaming tournaments, and this year the prizes will be bigger than ever before. Bring your own controller to get involved.
Epic Games has spotted $100 million in prizes for the first year of Fortnite tournaments. This catapults the game to the top spot in the industry, and it also boosts and validates the eSports industry as a whole. According to NewZoo, the e-sports economy will top the $1 billion mark for the first time ever this year, so we can expect to see many more high calibre events in the near future.