by Heather Kroeker
The developers of the popular free-to-play multiplayer game Fortnite have announced the biggest-ever prize pot in eSports history, which is twice as big as Wimbledon’s.
Epic Games announced the $100 million (£75 million) figure in a blog post on 21
May for the inaugural 2018/2019 Fornite tournament season.
There currently aren’t any formal Fortnite competitions taking place, but the
announcement has many eSports professionals and enthusiasts excited about what this means for the industry’s future.
“It’s good news. It shows they’re serious,” said Dominic Sacco, Content Director
for the British Esports Association. “I think it’s interesting because Fortnite came along very quickly and became one of the most popular games in recent times. For Epic Games to come along and announce [the prize pot] before Fortnite is even established as an eSport is a big statement of intent.”
“The tournament scene and the longevity of the game are dependent on the publisher,” said Yao. “The 100 million figure is obviously eye-opening, but it only reinforces the direction eSports is going in.”
The eSports industry as a whole was worth $1.5 billion USD in 2017, according to analyst firm Superdata.
“Fornite is great because it’s accessible and reasonably family-friendly, so it’s a game played by gamers of all ages and can bridge that gap,” said Sacco.
Both Team Secret and Fnatic, one of the world’s most famous professional
eSports teams, had announced their plans to move into Fortnite even before Epic
Both teams are excited about the announcement and Fortnite’s future in professional eSports.
“It’s great news and we can’t wait to see what is coming next and how Epic is
going to innovate the scene,” said Benoit Pagotto, Fnatic’s Marketing Director.
“We expect Fornite’s popularity and cultural impact to continue to grow.”
Team Secret’s John Yao agrees, and believes that Fornite will be more than just
an overnight phenomenon. “I bet on it staying,” said Yao.
“You don’t pump 100 million into a game if you don’t think its here to stay.”
Epic Games has yet to announce the exact details of the tournaments and the
distribution of the prize money.
Featured Image by Pexels for Pixabay