Fortnite is, without a doubt, the biggest game in the world right now. The game has hit the mainstream like no other, and with such popularity, people have been questioning whether Fortnite is set to become a major esport. Epic Games, Fortnite developers, have answered this question with a very bold promise – to pledge $100m to prize pools of Fortnite competition for the 2018/2019 season. In a statement released by Epic, they said: "Fortnite Competitors! 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!" For comparison, prize pools for CS:GO in 2017 were just under $20m, and around $38m for Dota 2, and these two esports offer competitors a larger overall prize pool than any other.
Is success guaranteed?
With huge personalities such as popular streamers Ninja and Myth, OpTic Gaming CEO Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez and 100 Thieves CEO Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag all consistently being behind the game, and pushing out content that revolves around Fortnite, I'm sure the game won't struggle to see success and make some return on its investment. However, it is worth noting that the $100m does not include expenses such as advertising, event venues and everything else that goes in to creating a successful esport – it is purely the prize pool funding. This puts to rest any idea that Epic weren't making a game for the competitive players, and with this level of funding in just the first year, Fortnite esports could be one of the biggest things to happen to the industry.