Epic Games Unveils Fortnite Esports Plans, First World Cup in 2019
Earlier this month, Epic Games announced plans to pour $100 million into prize pools for the first season of Fortnite Esports. On Tuesday, the publisher unveiled their plans for the season, which include the first Fortnite World Cup to be held sometime in 2019.
Fans got the first glimpse at what Fortnite esports will look like during the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am tournament at E3. Players were cautious, opting to play “hide and seek” rather than attempt to eliminate the competition. This led to a long 25-minute main event match. One caster suggested Fortnite could speed things up by using blitz mode for tournaments.
Though it was nowhere near the level of competition that is expected when the player pool is all professional, it was exciting to see. According to K.L. Smith, operations manager for Epic Games, the publisher plans to keep rewarding amateurs. Smith said the massive $100 million in funding would be divided between different competitive levels.
Qualifiers for the first Fortnite World Cup will take place this fall in the form of community-organized events, online events, and major tournaments. Both solo and duo competition options will be included in the tournament series.
Epic also confirmed that it would not follow the lead of esports like Overwatch and League of Legends and run a Fortnite esports franchise, at least not in the first season. The qualifications for the first World Cup will be strictly merit-based. Epic said it would also block third parties from franchising Fortnite teams.
Epic’s E3 announcement did not specify any other details of competitive Fortnite, such as which gaming platforms will be used in the World Cup.