×

Epic Games Backing Pro ‘Fortnite’ Tournaments With $100 Million in Prize Pools

Epic Games will be providing $100 million to tournament prize pools for “Fortnite’s” first year of competitive play, which it calls the 2018-2019 season, the comapny announced in a blog post on Monday.

“Since the launch of ‘Fortnite Battle Royale,’ we’ve watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best,” the developer wrote.
“In the 2018-2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for ‘Fortnite’ competitions. We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different — we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”

Epic said it will provide more details about competitive structures and eligible platforms in the coming weeks.

Even in the world of ever-growing, high-dollar esports tournaments, $100 million is a massive amount of money for one game. Valve’s popular MOBA “Dota 2” awarded an estimated $38 million to competitors across 159 tournaments last year, according to Esports Earnings, a community-driven website that uses public information to record competitive prize money. Other big esports titles like “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “League of Legends” awarded $19 million and $12 million, respectively. Overall, Esports Earnings reports that more than $113 million total was awarded to competitors in 2017. The single largest esports prize pool in 2017 was “Dota 2’s” The International which handed out nearly $25 million.

“Fortnite Battle Royale” is currently the gaming industry’s biggest phenomenon. It overtook “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” in terms of overall monthly players and revenue earlier this year and is now the biggest free-to-play console game ever, according to market research company SuperData. Players spent an estimated $223 million on the game across all platforms in March alone, up 73% from February.

Tencent, which owns 40% of Epic Games, recently invested ¥100 million to bring “Fortnite” to China. Half the money will go toward creating in-game content, while the other half will be used to market the game as an esport in the country. Tencent told Caixin Global it has a five-year plan to grow the esports industry in China, one that includes setting up leagues and tournaments, nurturing players, and constructing esports-themed industrial parks.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

  • marvel lenovo ar

    Lenovo, Disney Launch Marvel AR Headset

    Lenovo has once again teamed up with Disney to bring one of the studio’s iconic franchises to augmented reality (AR). After first launching the “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” AR headset in 2017, the two companies are back with a new “Marvel Dimension of Heroes” experience running on slightly revamped hardware. News of Lenovo and Disney [...]

  • Cyberpunk 2077

    'Cyberpunk 2077' Deep-Dive Shows More of Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand (Watch)

    The Keanussance continues. Keanu Reeves made a surprise appearance at E3 in June, announcing that “The Matrix” star would be appearing in the upcoming role-playing video game “Cyberpunk 2077” as a non-playable character named Johnny Silverhand. And in a deep-dive video shown at the PAX West conference on Friday, attendees got a few more details [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content