Epic Games announced today that they will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions over the next year. The Fortnite team made the announcement via a post on the official Fortnite website. The aim of this huge investment is to boost and legitimise the Fortnite competitive scene. This comes after this weekend’s limited time event, Solo Showdown, which looks like it was a trial competitive mode. The mode took players first 50 games and generated a score based off of place and kills. The results of the current Solo Showdown rankings are on the Fortnite website here. With a strong competitive scene, not only is Epic catering to a hardcore fanbase but also eSports spectators.
“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different” Epic state, “we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.
Fortnite competition and eSports
The clear goal of this investment is to further capitalise on the sudden and rising popularity of Fortnite. With $100 million invested, the momentum of Fortnite’s growth will continue as Epic establish a firm foundation for their competitive scene. Epic specifically state that this investment is for the 2018-2019 season. While this is a small window, having such a significant amount of money promoting competitive Fortnite is key to its long term success. As the competitive scene is yet to properly begin, the investment is a crucial incentive for hardcore players to get onboard.
Another important benefit Epic are clearly aiming to gain from a competitive scene is an eSports community. ESports is growing in both popularity and legitimacy, with eSports finally starting to reach the level of physical sports. With games like Overwatch placing individuals in nation based teams, like Fifa or the Olympics, and League of Legends partnering with actual sporting leagues, namely the AFL, now is the time for Fortnite to cement itself in the eSports scene. Having a strong eSports following will not only make gamers play Fortnite even more, but also watch Fortnite even more. The exposure Fortnite will have through an eSports scene will cement Fortnite as even more of a major player in the gaming industry.
Epic state they will release more information about eligibility and other details in the coming weeks.