Update: Epic Games’ battle royale phenomenon “Fortnite” has reached 125 million players in less than a year, the publisher/developer announced on Tuesday. Soon, each one of those players will have a chance to compete in the game’s competitive 2018-2019 season.
Epic will be supporting community organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world where anyone can participate and win. Last month, it announced it’s providing $100 million to fund prize pools during the season, which will culminate in the first ever Fortnite World Cup in late 2019. It will split the money between many events at different levels of competition worldwide.
Epic made the announcement during its “Fortnite” Pro-Am at E3 on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Fifty professional gamers and 50 celebrities paired up to compete for $3 million in prize money. Participants included streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Markiplier and Myth; comedians Joel McHale and Ron Funches; NBA players Paul George, Andre Drummond, and Reggie Jackson; and more. Ninja and his partner DJ Marshmello won the event and split a $1 million prize that they will donate to their charities of choice.
“Fortnite” World Cup Qualifiers begin in Fall 2018 and will be based on merit, Epic said. It won’t sell teams or franchises, and it won’t allow third-party leagues to do so either. The World Cup itself will focus on Solos and Duos, but there will apparently be plenty of opportunities to squad-up competitively too.
Epic will share more information on tournament rules, player code of conduct, platforms, and the Fall 2018 schedule at a later date.
“Fortnite” launched as a paid-for early access title for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in July 2017. The standalone battle royale mode came out in September that same year. “Fortnite Battle Royale” came to iOS in April and, on Tuesday, Epic Games released it on Nintendo Switch as well. Over two million people downloaded the Switch version on the first day, according to Nintendo.