Whilst a fan of Battle Royales in general, I never quite gelled with Epic Games dominant shooter. Many others however gelled pretty hard and this weekend sees 100 of the best Fortnite players from across the globe descending on New York to compete for the largest prize pool yet in an Esports tournament, $30 million dollars, as part of the Fortnite World Cup.
After nine weeks of online qualifiers each of the 100 participants is guaranteed a minimum of $50,000 for taking part, the top four are set to become millionaires and first place scooping a not too shabby $3 million.
For many taking part, this will be the first time playing outside their own homes. “I’ve only ever played in my bedroom so it will be different,” says 15-year-old Benjyfishy talking to the BBC, ”but right now I’m really confident because I’ve been training so much. For the last two weeks, I’ve put in about 12 hours of training every day.”
Qualification for the grand finale has been no small feat and looking over the roster of players taking part, with many of the large established Esports organisations represented (Liquid, TSM, Cloud 9, Faze, NRG to name but a few), there’s one notable omission.
Twitch superstar and Fortnite mainstay Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins failed to qualify for the tournament, but fellow streamer Turner ’Tfue’ Tenney will be hoping to do the streamer community proud after qualifying in week three.
Whilst the main Solos event aims to crown its champion on Sunday, Saturday also sees a Duos tournament with similarly grand cash prizes. To follow all the action as it unfolds head over to the official Fortnite Twitch channel.