Like it or not, the Fortnite World Cup is building eSports popularity

Whether it’s FIFA, Rainbow Six, Call of Duty, or Dota, eSports has attracted lots of attention and prize pools over the last few years. It was only a few years ago that the Dota 2 tournament pulled in a total prize pool of over $21,000,000. What was once something that was scorned has slowly been growing into one of the largest tournaments around.

Fortnite World Cup Prize Stats

Stats show that the Fortnite World Cup 1st place prize was larger than that of Wimbledon, the Indy 500, and The Masters. That was just for the winner of the solo tournament. The total prize pool was $30,000,000. Here is a list of the winners for each category:

Fortnite World Cup Solos Winner: $3,000,000

Bugha (@bugha) – $3,000,000

Fortnite World Cup Duos Winners: $3,000,000 (split)

Aqua (@aquaa) – $1,500,000

Nyhrox” (@nyhrox) – $1,500,000

Fortnite World Cup Creative Winners: $1,345,000 (split)

Cizzorz (@cizzorz) – $336,250

Hiimtylerh (@hiimtylerh) – $336,250

Suezhoo (@suezhoo) – $336,250

Zand (@zandOfficial) – $336,250

Fortnite World Cup Charity Pro-Am: $1,000,000 (split)

Airwaks (@airwaks) – $500,000

RL Grime (@RLGRIME) – $500,000

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It is very strange to think that the 16-year-old boy who won $3,000,000 at the Fortnite world cup. Especially when you consider that Tiger Woods made less at The Masters. Granted, Tiger likely got lots of additional income from incentives and endorsements, but it is still surreal for those of us that watch competitive gaming. The Fortnite World Cup isn’t building eSports popularity by prize pools, it has had an effect in a few other ways.

Fortnite World Cup Viewership

Over 19,000 fans physically attended the three-day Fortnite World Cup Finals in person. This was a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium for all three days. This is not the most impressive turnout, as years ago, there was a tournament in Poland that brought in 100,000 in-person attendees. However, concurrent viewers peaked at over 2.3 million across YouTube and Twitch, on Sunday during the Solo Finals. This makes the Fortnite World Cup the most-watched competitive gaming event (excluding China) of all time. These numbers do not include those who watch the tournament in-game and on other streaming and social media platforms.

National Media Coverage

Sure ESPN has broadcasted many eSports tournaments previously, but when was the last time you’ve heard about an eSports tournament on national television and massive online media outlets to this extent? CNBC, FOX, CNN, CBS, ABC, and basically every other news outlet has featured the news of the Fortnite World Cup and its 16-year-old winner. It may only be a matter of time before most every large scale tournament is featured the way the Fortnite World Cup as been.

The Fortnite World Cup is helping with the image of eSports. Whether you’re a fan of the game or not, you can’t deny that Fortnite is growing in the eSports industry. Watching non-gaming co-workers, parents, and friends talk about this puts a huge smile on my face. Now if I can get them to watch Gran Turismo racing and the Six Invitational, all will be perfect!

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Nick Keogan
Nick Keogan 35 posts

I've reviewed gaming and tech for over 10 years now. I'm a family man based out of Utah. Grew up in the Greater Washington DC Area.