Fortnite: Battle Royale publisher Epic Games has announced its plans for their game’s grand entry into esports with the Fortnite World Cup set to kick off in 2019. The tourney will feature a $100 million total prizepool split among different levels of competition that will be open to all.
During the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am tournament in E3, K.L Smith, Esports Operations Manager at Epic Games, gave the fans present at the event a glimpse into the game’s future in esports, saying the $100M it previously committed to funding prize pools will be split between “many different events at all levels of competition.”
While the Fortnite World Cup is slated for 2019, the qualifiers will already begin this fall with the developers backing community-organized events, online competitions, and major organized tournaments that will primarily focus on solo and duo play.
“Anyone can participate, and anyone can win […] Whether you’re in the competition or watching at home, we want this to be fun for everyone,” said Epic in a statement.
Epic also detailed that qualification to the World Cup will follow merit-based principles and that it will not sell any franchises or teams and will not allow any other third party to do so.
This will go against the trend followed by most other esports leagues, like Riot’s League of Legends Championship Series, Blizzard’s Overwatch League, and 2K Games and the NBA’S NBA 2K League. Aside from selling franchises and teams, these leagues also allow sponsors both direct and indirect participation in their competitions. Epic has yet to reveal its stance on sponsors for its players, teams, or leagues.
Epic also has yet to provide any information on what platforms the World Cup would be played on or any of the rules for the competition. However, they assured that more information would be released soon, along with a schedule for the 2018 qualifiers and a player code of conduct.
Fortnite’s mainstream success is undeniable, but it remains to be seen if it can carry that over to a venture in the esports industry. As Epic’s plans for Fortnite esports have yet to kick into full gear, everything is still up in the air. Investing $100 million is a significant first step though.
Image courtesy of Epic Games.