Epic Games has announced today that for their first year of competition, they will provide 100 million dollars for their prize pools in the 2018-2019 season.
They made the announcement in a short blog post on their website in which they said that they are committed to competitive play and excited to give players a chance to battle with the best of the best. They also stated that their vision of competitive play will be different, since they plan to make competitive play more inclusive and focused around “the joy of playing and watching the game”.
Grab your gear, drop in and start training. Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions.https://t.co/ZcBe9fZD0S
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) May 21, 2018
Investing $100,000,000 in prize pools is no joke. The largest prize pool that esports has seen so far was $24.6 million for the Dota 2 International 2017. Of course the $100 million that Epic Games is providing is not all going to be in a single prize pool, but it’s still an enormous amount compared to the prize pools we are used to seeing.
This announcement goes hand in hand with an announcement that Epic Games made earlier this week, in which they introduced a competitive game mode to Fortnite, in which players could earn heaps of in-game currency. Epic Games certainly don’t hide that they are really focused on introducing competitive play for the game with 2 announcements in such a short time frame.
Making Fortnite’s competitive play “different” by making it about “the joy of playing and watching the game”, does seem a little bit strange. Professional players and fans of other competitive esports obviously enjoy playing and watching their respective games as well. It might indicate that Epic Games want their tournaments to be little more lighthearted compared to the seriousness of Counterstrike or Dota 2 tournaments.
Making the tournaments more inclusive however, that could mean something interesting for competitive play. If organized in a proper way, it could mean that players of any skill level might be able to compete in Fortnite’s competitions, whereas in other esports the competitive side is extremely exclusive, as only the top 1% of the player base can achieve that level.