Epic Games is eager for people to get competitive. In the 2018-19 season, they’re offering $100 million to Fortnite competition prize pools, likely to encourage more people to run competitions for its Battle Royale hit. They said, “We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way.”
In a statement released today on the Epic Games website, the Fortnite team made the announcement in time for competitive play, which is being introduced this season. They’re offering money for fan-run prize pools instead of running eSports competitions themselves because they “watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best,” they said. “We plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”
$100 million is an awful lot of money, which is a testament to how successful the game is. In February of this year alone, the game made $126 million in revenue, and the number of Twitch users watching Fortnite on the platform has already broken past 250,000 peak consecutive viewers. This popularity has gone so far as to see Thanos as a playable character in an official crossover with Marvel, which garnered equal amounts of excitement and outright confusion due to its unexpected arrival.
This push for more competitive encouragement comes after datamining last week revealed that Fortnite will be getting a new competitive mode, allegedly called “Close Encounters”. We should also be expecting the long-awaited jetpacks that were teased a while back that’ll come as part of this mode. All of this according to the datamines should be expected in Week 5 of this season. It looks like Epic Games’ eagerness for more competitive play is to preemptively prime their player base for these planned additions.
In the coming months, we should start to see some Epic Games-funded Fortnite competition prize pools, and it’ll be interesting to find out how successful the scheme will be.