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The incredible magnitude of Fortnite's $ 30 million World Cup




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Earlier this month, the world's best national football teams fought for a total prize pool of $ 30 million (£ 24 million) at the Women's World Cup in France. The US won $ 4 million (£ 3.2 million) in prize money to beat its competitors.

Another $ 30 million sports competition will be held this weekend in Flushing Meadows, home of the US Open tennis tournament. The winner will take home $ 3 million (£ 2.4 million), almost as much as the winners of the Women's World Cup. Given that the competition takes place in the home of a tennis Grand Slam tournament, it is appropriate that the winner win more than this year's Wimbledon champions. The sport that can attract such high prices? Fortnite .

The video game, which hurls 100 players onto an island and leaves them to fight until only one remains, is a modern media wonder. Only the mention of the game in the title of YouTube videos, which is played by 250 million people around the world, is enough to increase the number of views above the average by 500 percent, according to the data released this week by Internet analysts Pew Research Center were published. In the second quarter of 2019, more than 300 million hours Fortnite were tracked on Twitch, according to streaming platform company StreamElements.

"It's the mainstream game in history," says e-sports consultant Rod Breslau. "Every anecdote I've heard in recent years is that Fortnite changed the game. Fortnite has basically raised the rating of everyone in the room so attractive that it's very good [for e-sports] It's the perfect game for people who want to use it as a stepping stone. "

That's why the first Fortnite World Cup should be a huge moment for e-sports. "Although it's not the game that I would choose as a traditionalist for first contact with e-sports, it's still accessible and something that most kids are familiar with and that can slowly introduce the idea of ​​e-sports and that's professional, "says Matt Huxley, E-sports lecturer at Staffordshire University, who has many years of experience in e-sports and has organized competitions for gaming companies.

E-Sport has become a huge industry The Fortnite World Cup Prize The pot is not even the largest of the e-sports world and is ousted in August by another contest – The International – which focuses on another game DOTA 2 . But competitive Fortnite could be the path for the breakthrough of e-sports into the collective consciousness.

While many people unjustly disapprove of e-sports as something for a niche group of the population, Fortnite has become a ubiquitous phenomenon. It's the most popular game among the British 11-year-olds – even more popular than Minecraft (19459015) and FIFA (19459015) on consoles. This is evident from data compiled by The Insights People, a Manchester-based survey company. And the Fortnite World Cup is not just a one-time competition: the most popular game in the world is celebrated over the weekend.

There are a number of events around the World Cup, including a fan festival and celebrity tournaments, before the 100 finalists – out of 40 million players competing in the opening rounds of the tournament – compete for the grand prize. "This weekend, a 14- or 16-year-old could win $ 3 million alone," says Wroclaw. "I think that's really cool."

This is not just a tournament. It lends itself to many of the elements that you see in traditional sports – and could overshadow them in their size. The tournament is as international as any other sports competition: players from 30 different countries will compete this weekend, although they are generally younger than most professional athletes. Some teens who are not older than 14 or 15 years old will be in the race and will certainly win at least $ 50,000 just to appear in the final. Eleven of them are British.

And the audience for the contest is likely to be huge. Almost one in five British children between the ages of three and 18 said they had seen e-sports in the last three months, according to The Insights People, and e-sports are more popular with boys aged 10 to 13 than boxing, motorsport and basketball and cricket.

Four million people watched players in the international game DOTA 2 last year with a total duration of nearly 500 million hours throughout the tournament. Fortnite is not as big as DOTA in China, which will reduce viewership compared to The International – but a pro-am competition staged last year was simultaneously watched by two million viewers Spectator.

While this fades compared to the world's estimated billion spectators at the Women's World Cup, football has a decade-long advantage in e-sports. Promptionality of Fortnite could be of great benefit to viewers – especially considering that players can track the competition through Epic's official stream on in-game screens themselves, they should choose or via one of the competitor's personal streams on sites such as Twitch and YouTube, so that fans can watch the action from the perspective of their favorite player.

However, Huxley disagrees as to the impact of competition on the world of e-sports. The occasional observer could put all e-sports in a nutshell, but there's no reason why a Fortnite fan sees an e-sports tournament for another game.

"It's analogous to sports in this way, there will not be more people coming to the Oval to play friendly games when there's this really successful FIFA World Cup," he explains. "The only advantage, however, is that marketing in the area will reach many people. In terms of financial sponsorship, a rising tide is driving all boats.

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