Big numbers, I’ve come to understand, are what people enjoy in video games more than anything. Friends, I have a small number of Fortnite Battle Royale big numbers to share with you. Epic today announced details of the Fortnite World Cup, which will take a bite out of the $100,000,000 (£77 million) they’re putting up for prizes this year, including $1,000,000 (£770 thousand) each week of World Cup qualifiers and $3,000,000 (£2.3m) for the winner of solo World Cup finals. Those are big numbers indeed. Epic confirmed more big numbers yesterday too, saying that their free-to-play hike-o-shooter hit a peak of 10,700,000 million players online concurrently. That’s a smaller number, but still plenty big.
Those 10.7 million players were online together during February’s in-game concert by Marshmello, mind. During regular, non-event times, the game only managed a paltry 7.6 million players. Pah! That was last Saturday, February 16th, and presumably it’ll break that record soon. Season 8 is on the way, after all.
That’s… pretty big. These numbers are for the whole game, on all platforms, but y’know that is big.
As for the Fortnite World Cup, that’s kicking off with ten weekly online open qualifiers running April 13th to June 16th. The top 100 solo players and top 50 duos will be invited to the Fortnite World Cup Finals, which run July 26-28 in New York, New York – the city so nice they named it after a refreshing fruit. That apple will be wrapped in a huge amount of money.
$1 million will go out each week of the qualifiers. The finals themselves will draw from a pool of $30 million (£23m), and everyone who reaches this stage will go home with at least $50,000 (£38k). The winner of the solo tourney will take home a big $3,000,000. Which could be a 13-year-old, if a parent or guardian gives permission. $3 million would buy a whole lot of… wait, do 13-year-olds just spend their money on Fortnite skins these days?
Epic intend to continue dropping $1 million in their weekly tournaments, running at least to the end of 2019, and some of that $100 million will go to other tournaments run by other folks around the world.
Fortnite: people like it, so it has big numbers. To my old eyes, it is mighty obtuse as a digital sport to spectate. 100 players on the field means there’s no real flow to follow, skipping around between players in search of action. Every match is its own clips montage. And sure, Fortnite is huge on Twitch, but a large part of the appeal there is the streamers as personalities. (“What personality?” you may snark and mate, I do not know, loads of the big’uns seem mega-boring.) The notoriously inhospitable Dota became a lot friendlier as a digital sport when Valve lined up good commentators and great presenters, though the stories of Dota’s rounds and players are a lot easier to follow with only ten in each match. But hey, Epic think it’s worth it, and I’ll just not watch it cos it’s not for me. Epic say the Finals will include side-games with modes other than plain ol’ battle royale so perhaps some of that will be more to my taste.
At least Epic have sworn blind they’ll think twice before again doing anything as foolish as introducing a ridiculously strong and change-changing weapon right before a huge tournament, crossed their heart and hoped to die stick a needle in their eye.