Professional Esports Leagues: Fortnite

Professional esports leagues are becoming more and more popular with each passing day and what was once considered to be a nerdy pastime is now an extremely lucrative hobby. Fortnite was created in 2017 by Epic Games and has been extremely successful worldwide. No one could’ve imagined just how big this game would turn out to be, often being dubbed a cultural phenomenon. Fortnite has quickly made its way to the tournament platform of the esports gaming scene. Just two years after its creation, Fortnite now has its very own World Cup Championship with much more in store for its second year after the success of year one.

Fortnite has it all when it comes to what people that like video games want. Weapons, fighting and coming out victorious when all of the other players have fallen to the games hostile environment. Teams have formed all over and earnings for tournaments and qualifiers are huge. Winnings range in the millions to hundreds of thousands of dollars, all for surviving in the safe zone circle of the game. Many of the best players in Fortnite are teenagers. Now that the game is part of its own esports championship series, the world will have a lot more teenaged millionaires on their hands.

Fortnite – COVID-19 Update

So far, the professional Fortnite schedule has been deeply affected by COVID-19. As far as we know, there will be no in-person Fortnite events in 2021 for the whole year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Online competitions will continue, but that means that there are no plans to hold the 2021 edition of the Fortnite World Cup. The first-ever Fortnite World Cup, held in 2019, drew over 3 million viewers, so there is a strong economic incentive to hold one, but there are currently no plans to do so.

What Is Fortnite?

Fortnite is basically the Hunger Games for gamers. Now, before you diehards start thinking that this comparison is awful, for all non-Fortnite players, it’s a great example. The game involves one goal; to survive and obtain more ammunition than anyone else.  Players parachute in a territory that they choose at the beginning.  These locations get smaller as the game goes on. They are given one weapon to battle others, a pickaxe. But, every place is full of hidden weapons to collect and fight others in the field. Each location has a safe zone that is marked off by a circle.

After a certain amount of time has passed, all players must get to the safe zone or risk being bombarded with continued hits until they reach the circle of safety or die trying. You can either play on your own or within a squad of no more than four. As time goes on, the safe zone becomes smaller circles within the original, making it harder for anyone outside of it to survive. In the end, the last player or squad still standing wins the game. 

Fortnite Tournament

Epic Games, the development company behind Fortnite has decided to develop competitive esports leagues due to the success of the 1st Fortnite World Cup held in August 2019. The second Fortnite World Cup was unfortunately cancelled because of concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, but many other companies have begun floating the idea of professional Fortnite tournaments. Some players have begun organizing their own tournaments while Epic, the company responsible for developing Fortnite, has announced several new competitive tournaments of its own. Once the threat of COVID-19 is no longer so pressing, expect Fortnite to remain an extremely popular esports event moving forward.

The Fortnite World Cup

The Fortnite World Cup held ten weekly qualifiers each week online from April to June. Money could be won during these qualifying games with a total of $1 million each week distributed equally among winners of the week. The top 100 qualifiers for the solo and duo tournaments are then entered into the Fortnite World Cup. Players span the globe. Each of the 100 players in both categories then plays in a series of Fortnite games for three days. At the end of the third day, winners are announced based on how well they played over the course of the tournament. Staying alive is key.

Popular Fortnite Teams

There are quite a few Fortnite teams out there, in fact, you’ll find a list of the top 25.  There is a list of the top four teams based on popularity. FaZe Clan is number one with a team roster of eight players from the United States. The team in second is Ghost Gaming, consisting of seven players and located within North America. In third is Team Liquid with five players. They are from the Netherlands. The team in fourth due to their popularity is Team SoloMid, with a roster of five players in the United States. These teams are the most popular worldwide and three out of the four are based in America.

Biggest Prizes And Earnings For Fortnite

The very first Fortnite World Cup took place in the summer of 2019. The 100 players that qualified to be in the championship were guaranteed $50,000 win or lose. The winner of the solo tournament, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, 16, walked away with $3 million.  Other winners included Thiago “King” Lapp,13, who won $900,000 taking 5th place in the solo category. Four players all walked away with seven-figure winnings. For the Duo category, the $3 million prize had to be split four ways.  In total, the World Cup had $30 million in prizes up for grabs for the winners making Fortnite and esports tournaments, in general, quite a lucrative market – even compared to the legal sports betting industry. Even pro sports tournaments make the equivalent or less in grand prizes than that of this championship.

Fortnite Adds X-Wing Glider To Game

Fortnite is paying homage yet again to Star Wars with its latest piece of equipment for players of the game, the X-Wing Glider. The glider sells for 1200 V-bucks if gamers wish to add it to their arsenal. These gliders are helpful for transportation of players throughout the game and can be used to get to new heights for a better view of the playing field, as well as allowing for jumps and other moves where the glider swoops in to save the player from death had these moves been done without it.