Fortnite is one of the most searched terms on YouTube – and this is why.
The online game is so big that people have found a way to make mega-cash playing it, and now it even has its own World Cup.
When you imagine a gaming World Cup, the image that might come to mind is of a few people with their PCs, in a hall somewhere that smells like too many showerless days, potato chips and energy drinks – and you’d be really, really wrong.
The Fortnite World Cup is a big-budget affair, attended by thousands of fans.
Here’s The Verge:
This past weekend, developer Epic Games put on the biggest Fortnite spectacle to date. At the world’s largest tennis stadium in New York, the company held the first Fortnite World Cup Finals. It was, as the name implies, a chance to watch the best players in the world compete against each other for a share of a massive $30 million prize pool.
Those who made it in went through a grueling 10-week qualification process against millions of other players. But the weekend was also more than just a competition. Fortnite has long been the largest game in the world — if not in terms of pure player count, then surely in terms of cultural influence. The Fortnite World Cup celebrated that.
The World Cup also had a miniature Fortnite amusement park, a Marshmello concert (he’s the second-highest-paid DJ in the world), and a teaser for the game’s upcoming 10th season.
You could ride a zipline or roll around in a giant ball, and there was a Lazy Links mini-golf course and a giant pirate ship. DJ Yonder (a robotic llama) was behind the turntables, kids walked around carrying plastic cups filled with branded Slurp Juice, and fans lazed around in beanbags next to supply drop crates.
Over to The Telegraph for the deets on the competition itself.
More than 40m players across the world had competed in the online qualifying rounds, from which around 175 were invited to New York City for what one commentator called “arguably the biggest day of their entire lives”.
…Sunday’s solo contest kicked off with light shows, smoke machines and a set by Christopher “Marshmello” Comstock, a DJ who recently held a concert inside Fortnite itself watched by 10m people. The 100 players sat in an outward-facing ring of chairs on a raised platform built in the centre of the arena, nestled under the giant block of viewing screen like abductees under an alien mothership.
Fortnite is a battle royale game featuring up to 100 players (alone, in duos, or in squads), who attempt to be the last player or group alive by killing other players or evading them (hiding in or pretending to be a bush usually does the trick).
Kyle Giersdorf was the last man standing in the final round of the competition, and claimed the $3 million prize.
Just 16 years old, wearing a baseball cap and jacket emblazoned with his team’s logo, he appears overwhelmed as he happily tells the host that “the grind has all paid off”.
On the giant screens above, roughly 20,000 cheering fans, as well as thousands more watching live broadcasts, see his family run up onto the podium and embrace him. As of this moment, he is £2,4m richer. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer bellows: “Your Fortnite world champion!”
Yep. The kid is now a multi-millionaire.
Some more mind-blowing numbers from the World Cup:
Here’s the highlights reel. Skip ahead to the five-minute mark for the moment Giersdorf is victorious:
It’s a sport now, and like a sport, you can go pro and make a whole lot of money.
Tell that to the next person who tries to make fun of your gaming habit.
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