Good news for Fortnite players as today (May 22) Epic Games has announced it plans to plough $100 million into the game’s eSports competitions for the 2018-19 season.
The plans are sure to drive enthusiastic players and new talent to the battle ground.
Fortnite Battle Royale was released in September 2017, and in the few months since then the game has experienced a massive period of growth, following in the footsteps of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The company is now doubling down on ensuring the growth continues.
Epic Games announced the investment in blog post, which read:
Grab your gear, drop in and start training. Since the launch of Fortnite Battle Royale we’ve watched the passion for community competition grow and can’t wait to empower you to battle with the best.
In the 2018 – 2019 season, Epic Games will provide $100,000,000 to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions. We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different – we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.
Stay tuned for more details about competitive structures and eligible platforms in the weeks ahead!
As TechCrunch reports, Fortnite is available across a wide variety of platforms beyond the PC, unlike most popular eSports titles.
In January, Epic Games stated that the game hit 2 million concurrent players, and hit 3 million concurrent and 45 million total players in May, PCGamesN.com report.
While that number continues to rise, the prospect of massive prize money is sure to draw even more players to the game.
Not only could you bag yourself some cash, but it was recently revealed that skilled Fortnite players could also land you a university place.
As the game is not only highly-addictive fun, but requires strong abilities in logic and creativity if you want to succeed, certain universities have started picking up on the essential skills that the game teaches.
Ashland University, Ohio, has announced a brand new scholarship for particularly talented players, with try outs for the Ashland Eagles starting in Fall 2018.
Scholarships will be worth up to $4,000 in tuition and are available for both existing and prospective students. These lucky students will also get the chance to compete on a team representing Ashland University.
As well as Fortnite, this program will also include coaching for Overwatch, Rocket League, Counter-Strike and League of Legends.
Don’t go buying your college sweater just yet though. As well as level of player skill, applicants will also be assessed on their academic record.
So you’ll have had to have squeezed in a few maths classes in between your gaming sessions.
Incoming head coach Josh Buchanan – whose background is in StarCraft II eSports – told Variety:
I think ‘Fortnite’ has a lot of room for players to get creative,
There’s a lot of teamwork in [the game’s core building mechanic] that’s really untapped. A lot of players kind of do fancy stuff, and it looks cool, but it might not be the most efficient.
I think it’s a game that, due to how creative you can be, there’s a lot of potential to get really, really skilled in the game.
Great news for gamers, surely!?
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.