After eight weeks and an $8 million prize pool, Fortnite’s Summer Skirmish is closing out with a LAN tournament at PAX West this weekend. Attendees will be able to sign up to compete alongside some of the fledgling esport's big names – so everyone join together with me in praying for a big upset.
The finale will see players competing for a slice of the $1.5 million (about £1.2m) grand prize, with the overall winner being handed a nifty $225,000 (£173,000). The first qualifiers took place yesterday, with two more this weekend before the six-game finals on Monday at 7pm BST.
Every week of the Summer Skirmish has had different rules, as Epic experiment with the best way to turn their battle royale into a spectator sport – i.e. how to encourage players to fight one another as much as possible. This weekend, competitors will have to come in the top ten or eliminate three opponents in order to score, making it much more all-or-nothing than the last mode, 'Big Bonus,' which awarded a point for every kill as well as a chunk of 'em for finishing in first place or eliminating eight opponents.
On the other hand, some players might be encouraged to hide out for as long as possible in an attempt to sneak their way to the top spot, because those who snag victory royales in the six finals matches will also receive a $25,000 (£19,000) bonus. At least, that would be my strategy, both for the money and for the fact that a random PAX-goer netting the prize for managing a single lucky shot on a pro at the very end of the game would be an excellent, excellent story.
You can watch the matches on just about any streaming platform: take your pick from Twitch, Facebook, Mixer, Twitter, or YouTube. I can’t imagine that it’ll be long until the Battle Bus shows up on your telly alongside the Overwatch League, either. Maybe Epic are saving that for their next esports season, which will presumably also be called something suitably alliterative. Autumn Affray? Fall Fracas? Winter Wrestle?