Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite, will be investing $100 million to make it a large part of the esports scene. The investment will be prize money for people that will compete in Fortnite tournaments.
The company still hasn't announced when the tournaments it will be funding will begin.
$100 Million In Prizes
In an announcement meant for competitive players, Epic announced its intentions to fund the pool of prize money for esports tournaments. The only time for the prize money that Epic gave was 2018-2019. Epic hasn't announced if it will host a massive tournament for the game or have a series of smaller tournaments all over the world.
Fortnite has a large live streaming presence on Twitch, which is already being used to stream other esports leagues. It is currently the most viewed game on Twitch. Launching an esports league is the next logical step in increasing its already large visibility.
Scott Smith, an esports personality, put the number being offered by Epic into perspective. In a tweet, Smith wrote that the prize money for the top 10 games combined in 2017 came out to $91.2 million.
The Growing Esports Industry
Esports is a booming industry with more and more games trying to launch their own leagues. Games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Overwatch are already well-established. The esports industry is set to grow to $905.8 million in 2018, a 36 percent jump from 2017. It also set to have a global audience reach of 380 million people.
Prize money by other games hasn't reached that level for a single year. Dota 2 has paid out more than $140 million since 2013, and that's more than 900 tournaments. Counter-Strike: GO and League of Legends have paid out more than $50 million. The Overwatch League will be paying $3.5 million in prize money for its first year which will end soon.
More Money, No Problems
While $100 million may seem like an absurd amount of money to hand out for winning a video game tournament, Epic doesn't have any issues when it comes to money. The company is making more than $1 million per day on Fortnite mobile, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower. Giving players the choice to purchase cosmetic items such as costumes and dance moves, Epic made $126 million in February alone.
Epic previously organized a Fortnite tournament which revolved around streamer Ninja. Anyone who paid a $75 entry fee could play in the tournament, and players who killed Ninja would receive $2,500 for doing so.