For the first time, the Fortnite World Cup, this (very) popular video game around the world, takes place this weekend in New York. At stake: $ 30 million.
Two hundred players will fight this weekend in New York for the final of the first World Cup Fortnite, with $ 30 million in prize money, an event that aims to maintain the popularity of this game video phenomenon.
They are all young, or very young, these “gamers” who will converge on the huge Arthur Ashe precinct – where the US Open Tennis Tournament is held each year in the Queens district – and will be transformed for the occasion.
The Englishman Mongraal, the Belgian DRG or the French Snayzy, all qualified for the final, are still minor but already known in the world of video games, almost only under their pseudonym player.
Even before the start of the tournament, they are guaranteed to leave each with at least $ 50,000. But they aim for the final victory, which would ensure them three million dollars, almost as much as the winner of the next US Open (3.8 million).
In total, over the entire season, which included ten weeks of qualifying and the final, Epic Games – the publisher of Fortnite – will have dropped $ 100 million in prize money, unheard of.
One way to maintain the success of this game launched in July 2017 and the format “Battle Royale”, in which we must eliminate the other players and remain the only survivor to win.
A revolutionary game
After the hotshot of 2018, which saw Fortnite generate up to $ 300 million in revenue some months, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, the pace has slowed somewhat, according to several sources.
But the game has still crossed, at the beginning of the year, the threshold of 250 million players. “They have not yet reached their peak,” says the analyst, for which “Fortnite is still ten years ahead of him.”
“Revenues have probably fallen to 200 million per month, making it still the biggest success in the history of video games.”
Beyond its community of “gamers” and the income it generates, the game has already transformed the video game industry.
His free model with the ability to make purchases in the game, the “freemium”, “has become the dominant economic model in video games,” according to Jeremy Jackson, analyst firm Newzoo.
” More open “
Another innovation, crucial to reach a wide audience: the ability to play online on all media, PC, console but also smartphone, never seen before.
“The advantage that Fortnite has is that its popularity goes beyond the gamer community, just like GTA, ” released in 1997, says Jeremy Jackson.
Another advantage is the frenetic release of new versions of the game with nine successive waves, a pace “that other studios can not reproduce,” he explains.
“They are always a novelty,” confirms Evan Depauw, aka DRG, 15, who is part of the French team Vitality (many players belong to professional teams). “So there’s always something that forces players to play. ”
Qualified from the first week of competition, DRG has already earned about $ 7000 and already knows he will leave New York with at least 50 000 more dollars.
Evan turned to Fortnite, where he plays an average of 3 to 4 hours a day because there’s a lot more money to be made (than in other games) and it’s open to everyone. Often, in games, there are really very few players who can make a lot of money and be really well known. ”
“It’s more open than other games,” confirms 16-year-old Naofel Zoubiri, aka BadSniper, who also joined Team Vitality.
Fortnite superstar Ninja (22 million subscribers on YouTube) did not qualify for the first final.
Despite the very egalitarian dimension of Fortnite, this weekend’s tournament has its favourites, like the Austrian Klaus Konstanzer aka “Stompy” and Thomas Hörak aka “Tschinken”, partners in the two-team competition on Saturday, or the American Turner Tenney known as “Tfue”, Solo Sunday.
Evan and Naofel are still in high school and have no intention of dropping out, regardless of the outcome of this final.
“I’m trying to have something behind,” says DRG. “If I do not have the level anymore or it just gets boring, at least I’ll have schooling next door. “