2019 Fortnite World Cup

The Fortnite World Cup was the biggest eSports tournament of 2019. This highly anticipated event brought together the very best players of the battle royale title, Fortnite. Much of the hype was due to the tournament prize money pool which totalled $100 million.

The Event

This vast sum rivalled other significant and more publicised sporting competitions. It has helped to legitimise eSports. International mainstream news outlets covered each match.

It was set up by Epic Games who also developed Fortnite. When this title was released in 2017, it became very popular with the gaming community. Since then, it has become an essential part of popular culture. Qualifying matches for the 2019 tournament began in the autumn of 2018.

The Finals

Over two million viewers watched the live stream of the final match. The $3 million grand prize was won by Kyle Giersdorf, a 16-year-old from Pennsylvania. The finals took place from July 26 to 28, with 100 players competing against each other. 50 international teams also participated. By getting to the finals, each player was already guaranteed to win $50000 at the very least.

Controversies

Despite the success of the tournament, the developers and organisers did cause a certain amount of controversy. One of the qualifying rounds was scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, an important holiday for American players. An in-game item was also added called the Infinity Blade. It had overpowered stats which gave wielders a disproportionate advantage over other players.

Further controversies came from Epic Games soon after the tournament. When regular players attempted to access the standard Fortnite game in mid-October, a strange event occurred. The game maps were destroyed by asteroids, and the screen turned into a black hole. This was the prelude for a new version of Fortnite called Chapter 2. Regardless of these issues, the game is still exceedingly popular with over 250 million players.