Fortnite's First Completely Open Esports Tournament Has a $1M Prize Pool

Epic Games is plotting the first completely open esports tournament for Fortnite. Following the invitational structure of the Summer and Fall Skirmish series, Epic announced a completely new format for the Winter Royale that is open to all players and boasts a $1 million prize pool.

It has been nearly a month since Epic made any moves in Fortnite esports. The last event was the Fall Skirmish finale during TwitchCon in the last weekend of October. As a result, Fortnite viewership has been inconsistent and lower overall on Twitch.

At the beginning of November, Fortnite had a small viewership spike on Twitch thanks to an in-game event that was picked up by popular streamers. However, by the middle of November viewership had fallen flat. Additionally, the only way to watch last weekend's in-game event was on the channels of streaming personalities in Europe and North America.

Players began putting in serious hours in the game this week in a plan to secure their place in the Winter Royale. The shift from watching to playing is believed to have contributed to the decline in Fortnite's Twitch viewership. Fortnite's last in-game event failed to match the concurrent viewership of past events.

Now in the last days of November, viewers are returning to Twitch to check on the Winter Royale progress. It marks the reintroduction of esports for the title. While a large group of players is hoping to qualify for the tournament, an almost equal group are more interested in following the action of those who will qualify.

Video Games: Fortnite Players Aren't Watching Other Esports
Summary: Young Fortnite players watch a little Overwatch but are otherwise not into esports.
Tags: Fortnite, esports, watching

The majority of younger Fortnite fans are not watching any other esports. According to a survey of Gen  Z players, the generation younger than Millennials, 68 percent have not watched any non-Fortninte events. Over half of the group (56 percent) watched some or all of the Fortnite Summer Skirmish series.

This large and faithful fan group only expressed a significant interest in one other game: Overwatch. Around 21 percent of Gen Z Fortnite players tuned into Overwatch League this year.

The survey was conducted by VentureBeat and included over 900 Fortnite players from Gen Z. The survey was fueled by software from Rival Technologies that allowed Venture Beat to connect with the players through video and images.

The result was a more comprehensive collection of insights into player habits including their emotional and contextual experiences. The biggest takeaway from the survey was the isolated popularity of Fortnite. Fans of the game are predominantly dedicated to just this game and are not fans of esports in general.

According to VentureBeat, this makes perfect sense. It is directly comparable to the fandom of traditional sports. Just because an individual is a football fanatic doesn't mean they will want to watch a basketball game on television.

This is just one example of the diversity among esports. As the industry grows, it will become more and more important for brands to cater to each game's specific fanbase. It proves there is no one-size-fits-all way to appeal to all esports fans. Around one-third of Fortnite fans want to attend more local events.

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