There’s been a trend for a couple of years now for esports and traditional sports to be rubbing shoulders. Epic Games Fortnite is the latest to set an example, vising The Australian Open tennis tournament.
In tennis, the Australian Open (AO) is one of the four Grand Slam events in the circuit. This year, it will award more than $42 million dollars and carries enough prestige to make it a lucrative stage for an esports event. Recognizing this, Epic Games are bringing Fortnite to Melbourne with a $50,000 AUD (approx. $356,000 USD) event. The tournament will be open to Australia and New Zealand residents.
AO’s Fornite Summer Smash will feature two tournaments: solo and duos. The solo tournament will be open to the first 500 eligible players. Winne will take $100,000 AUD, leaving $50,000 AUD to the 2nd and 3rd place runner-ups each.
The duos tournament will be a ProAm even, featuring some of the region’s largest streamers, including Loserfruit, Lachlan, Muselk, Lazarbeam and MrFreshAsian. It will have a combined prize pool of $100,000 AUD, with all winnings going to a charity of the winners’ choice.
Melbourne has already played host to a number of esports events. The city welcomed the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League finals and the Season 2 finals of Overwatch Contenders Australia.
Other Australian towns have also made steps to improve their esports infrastructure. In May, the first dedicated esports arena in Australia opened doors in Sydney. The country’s cultural center also welcomed two CS:GO Intel Extreme Masters tournaments in 2017 and 2018. A third one will visit Sydney again, May 3-5, this year.