Epic is going big on professional competitive Fortnite play. The developer announced today that it will provide $100 million (!!!!!) in funding for Fortnite prize pools in the 2018-2019 season. In a brief blog post, Epic said it wants Fortnite competitive play to be “more inclusive” and focused on “the joy of playing and watching the game.”
“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different,” Epic said. “We plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”
More details on the structure of tournaments and eligible platforms will be announced “in the weeks ahead,” so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.
This is a really big deal, in part because the $100 million prize is more than double the $38 million in total prize money that Valve’s Dota 2 paid out in 2017 across all of its tournaments, according to E-Sports Earnings (via CNBC). The International, which is Valve’s massive Dota 2 event, paid out the biggest prize pool in gaming history last year with almost $25 million for the single event. For another point of comparison, the inaugural Overwatch League tournament will pay out a total of $3.5 million in prize money for its entire season.
Fortnite brings in more than $1 million every single day from its mobile version alone, according to SensorTower; Epic makes even more money from the console and PC editions. The game is free, but players can spend real money on cosmetics (which do not impact gameplay whatsoever).
At E3, Epic will host a celebrity Fortnite video game tournament where celebrities and players will play Doubles matches together.
In other Fortnite news, Epic is finally adding jetpacks to the game tomorrow as part of an update. Content update 4.2 arrives shortly after the end of Fortnite’s latest limited-time mode, Solo Showdown. Unlike other special events in the game, Solo Showdown was a competition in which players competed to earn a spot on the rankings board based on their score, with the top 100 players taking home a prize of V-Bucks. The standings can be found of Fortnite’s official blog.