Fortnite World Cup
|Venue(s)||Arthur Ashe Stadium|
The Fortnite World Cup is an annual esports competition based on the video game Fortnite, with the inaugural final events taking place in July 2019 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York. A total US$30 million prize pool was available across the various competitions.
The Fortnite World Cup uses two of the game modes available to the video game, Fortnite. The main World Cup event as well as the Pro-Am use Fortnite Battle Royale, a battle royale game where up to 100 players airdrop onto an island without any weapons or armor, save for a pickaxe. Once on the ground, players must scavenge for weapons, armor, and healing items, as well as using their pickaxe to knock down existing features to gather wood, stone, and metal resources. This all must be done while avoiding attacks from other players, as well as staying within a shrinking circle on the map or risk taking fatal damage outside it. Players can use gathered resources to build walls, floors, and stairs and ramps to use as cover from attacks. The last player or team left alive wins. In Fortnite Creative, players can build unique courses at their own pace, which can be used to create competitive events that can then share with others.
The Fortnite World Cup had online events over 10 weeks from April to June 2019 for people to place. The weeks alternated between solo players and duos teams. During the Saturday of each week, any player or duo could compete with others by geographic region, playing up to 10 matches to earn points through eliminations and victories. The top three thousand players/teams from each region then competed on the Sunday event, again playing up to ten matches to earn points. The top point-scorers in each region from the Sunday event then proceed through to the World Cup, a total of about twenty players/teams each week. An estimated 40 million players vied for spots in the solo and duos World Cup. In the World Cup finals, the competitors played a total of six matches, with points earned for the highest finishers. The solo player or duo with the highest point total after six matches won the grand prize, with other players getting part of the prize pool available. All solo players received a minimum of US$50,000 for reaching the finals, with the top prize being US$3 million. Similarly, each duo team in the final received a minimum of US$100,000 with the top team winning US$3 million.
The Fortnite Creative Cup had a similar online process to select the players for the finals, taking place over five two-week periods from April to June 2019. Each active week, a new Creative challenge is available. Players, once completed with their Creative island, must submit video of that challenge to Epic in that period. For each period, Epic selected three of the best entries by a panel of judges. Each selected entry earns a cash prize of US$5,000 and a guaranteed spot in the Creative Cup finals. From the fifteen winning entries, five were selected by Epic to be used in the Creative Cup finales. In the finales, eight teams of four, consisting of those that had their Creative island selected and other notable Fortnite players, complete in these five events to earn the best overall score. The winners in the finale split a US$3 million prize pool.
The teams for the Fortnite Pro-Am are selected by Epic Games, with each team made up from a Fortnite streamer and a celebrity. The teams each played five matches, with a scoring system for the winning teams. The team with the highest overall score after five matches won the Pro-Am. Each team received a minimum of US$20,000 with the winning team receiving US$1 million.
Epic Games had launched Fortnite in its original planned form, now known as Fortnite: Save the World, as an early access title in July 2017, around the same time that the first influential battle royale game, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was released. Inspired by this, Epic created a variation of Fortnite and released it as Fortnite Battle Royale in September 2017. While free-to-play, the game was supported by microtransactions. Fortnite Battle Royale rapidly became popular, and by June 2018, with the game ported to computer, consoles, and mobile devices, had reached 125 million players. Total 2018 revenue for Fortnite Battle Royale was estimated at $2.4 billion by analysis firm SuperData Research. Epic designated US$100 million of these revenues to position Fortnite Battle Royale as an esport.
The World Cup is split into two different events, one for solo players, and a separate for two-player teams, or duos.
The solo event finals were held on July 28, 2019. The event was won by 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf, known online as Bugha, who took home the US$3 million grand prize.
The duo event finals were held on July 27, 2019, with Emil Bergquist Pedersen ("Nyhrox") and David Wang ("Aqua") sharing its US$3 million grand prize.
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The 2019 Fortnite Pro-Am - teaming 50 popular Fortnite streamers with various celebrities, was held on July 26, 2019, for a US$1 million prize to be split between the winning pair to go to charities of their choice. Streamer Airwaks and music producer RL Grime won the event, their second win after a similar Pro-Am event at E3 2019, with their selected charities being the World Wildlife Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union, respectively. Other teams split the remaining US$3 million prize pool for charity, with each team assured a minimum of US$20,000.
In addition to the games in the stadium, the area around the stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was set up for a number of fan events, such as contests and games, and a concert by Marshmello.
Epic reported that tickets for the 23,700 stadium venue were sold out. An estimated 2.3 concurrent million viewers on Twitch.tv and YouTube streaming services watched the World Cup finales; additional viewers included those watching the final events from within Fortnite, and China viewership.
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