Fancy your Fortnite skills? Epic has announced a mindblowing $100 million eSports tournament prize pool for the first year of competitive play in Fortnite. If you’ve ever wondered just how much cash Epic Games is swimming in right now, this should give you a fairly decent idea.
$100m is an absolutely obscene amount of cash to be throwing around in tournaments, particularly when considering Fortnite: Battle Royale is barely even half a year old. It dwarfs the single biggest prize pool dished out for a DOTA 2 tournament, which currently stands at $24.68m for The International 2017. It’s worth bearing in mind that DOTA 2's prize pool is for a single event, however, and Fortnite’s will be spread out over an entire year. Despite this, Fortnite’s prize pool will be the largest for a single season than any eSport in history.
Just help put that $100m figure in perspective, the fixed earnings for the winners of the UEFA Champions League is $67m, plus the competing teams can earn extra from TV deals. In a nutshell, there is 33% more money up for grabs in Fortnite this year than the winning team (Liverpool or Real Madrid) stands to make from the biggest annual football competition.
“Grab your gear, drop in and start training,” writes Epic. “Since the launch of Fortnite Battle Royale we’ve watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best.
“In the 2018 - 2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions. 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 could be interesting here is what direction Epic is trying to take this. They’re pretty upfront that its eSports structure will be different to other competitive videogames. Epic plans Fortnite eSports to be more inclusive, possibly intimating that just anybody may be able to enter a competition and have a stab at winning. If that is the case, it’s probably high time we all sharpened up our quick build meta before Fortnite eSports kicks off in earnest.
How do you think Epic is going to crack the mystery of making competitive Battle Royale an enjoyable watch? Do you think we could see the introduction of genuinely global community tournaments with huge cash prizes? Let us know!