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What is the Fortnite World Cup?

Words by Nathan Irvine

EDGAR gives you a no-nonsense guide to one of the year's biggest eSports events.

What is the Fortnite World Cup?

It's a culmination of a year's worth of playing Fortnite, the world's most popular video game, competitively. Think of it as the FIFA World Cup where thousands of people take part in the qualifiers before heading to the main event.

Who can enter it?

Anyone. Well, Anyone who has access to Fortnite.

Is it free to enter?

Yep. Just like the game itself, entry to the tournament is gratis.

Let's rewind a second - what is Fortnite?

It's currently the biggest game on the planet. It's free-to-play on pretty much every gaming platform you can imagine. From consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One to PC and mobile devices.

How does it work?

One hundred online players are dropped onto a map without any weapons. They must then find a gun, rocket launcher and the like, and blast their opponents to bits until there is only one person left standing. The difference between this and every other shooter is that there's an ever-decreasing circle around the arena that thrusts players into a hectic bottleneck.

Why is it so popular?

People love free stuff. They're into it even more when said free thing just happens to be fantastic. You can also attribute its popularity to its celebrity fans that often play it online. R&B star Drake, Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard all play it.

Right, got it. So where is the final held?

Well, the inaugural tournament just took place in the Arthur Ashe stadium in New York.

Does it attract a big crowd?

Around 10,000 turned up each day at the stadium. According to eCharts 19.6m viewers tuned in to watch the World Cup on streaming platform Twitch. A rough estimate suggests overall figures from combined sites could be more than double this.

What's up for grabs at the Fortnite World Cup?

All 200 finalists will leave with at least $50,000. Yes, you read that right. Fifty thousand dollars. There's a $30m prize pot overall with the winner of the duos (read: two person team) scooping a share of $3m and the solo champ gets $3m for themselves.

Fortnite and eSports are big businesses then?

Huge. Epic Games, Fortnite's creator, makes its cash through in-game purchases such as virtual hats, dance move celebrations and the like. It's the first free-to-play game to make $1bn. The eSports industry is forecast to be worth a cool $300bn by 2025. So expect prize pots for tournaments like the Fortnite World Cup to triple in size.

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