As we know, Epic Games’ plans for Fortnite esports are monstrous, at least prize pool-wise. The developer is putting $30M on the line for its World Cup event alone, which is only a fraction of the $100M yearlong circuit.
According to a recent announcement, the Fortnite World Cup will be a months-long journey. Starting mid April and ending in July 26-28 with the World Cup Finals, Fortnite’s esports circuit will feature a series of $1M weekly cups and online qualifiers, culminating at the grand show in New York City.
Today, Epic revealed where exactly the World Cup Finals will take place: It’s the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s Arthur Ashe Stadium — a 24,000-seat arena as part of a massive tennis complex. The stadium will be given a Fornite-esque theme and fans will be able to enjoy the show at the modest $50 per three-day ticket (starting price).
The Fortnite World Cup is the first serious attempt to esports-ify the world’s most popular battle royale. A $100M yearlong prize pool and will put Fortnite as the second highest prize money awarding game of all time by the end of the year, rivaled only by Dota 2. Yet the skeptics are plenty and not without reason: Epic Games’ handling of basic esports fundamentals, including lack of dedicated competitive servers and dropping major patches just before important tournaments, have shown that the company is not aligned with the industry’s standards in large part.
At the same time, while Fortnite will likely not push out the traditional esports titles, having such a lavish World Cup circuit is necessary to prolong its dominance over the battle royale market. Fortnite is locked in a market share battle with Respawn’s Apex Legends, whose presence on Twitch is already declining, and having a competitive circuit over Apex’s lack thereof is one way Fornite can extend its lead.