A brand new trophy, called the Axe of Champions, for the winners of Chapter 2 – Season 2 of the Fortnite Champions Series was not the only big esports news announcement to come from Epic Games this coming weekend. The company has also revealed a brand-new online-based Fortnite tournament that will operate mainly on an invitation-only basis.
Up to 600 players across seven different regions will be competing for a total prize pool of $2 million in what is being called The Fortnite Championship Series Invitational.
How will the Invitations be organized?
In each of the seven regions up to 500 players will be invited to participate based on the following criteria:
- The top 100 players from Chapter 2; Season 2 PC FNCS Finals
- The top 100 players from Chapter 2; Season 2 Console/Mobile FNCS Finals
- The top 100 players from Chapter 2; Season 2 FNCS Finals
- The top 100 players from Season X FNCS Finals
- Up to a further 100 players from the region will be invited by the sponsors Epic.
In addition, each region will have an additional allocation of 100 spaces available for players to earn a place in the event through an Open Qualifier for Champion Ranked players in each region. If the players qualify, they will take their place against up to 500 of the top invited Fortnite players to compete for a share of their regional prize pool.
The tournament will operate in a slightly different way to the Chapter 2 – Season 2 in that rather than a doubles event, this new tournament is a solo format event that will also feature a different scoring format to that used in previous Epic events.
The tournament will be contested across three successive weekends, starting on the 2nd May 2020 with the first of the Open Qualifiers taking place ahead of the main event.
The seven regions where the competition will be contested are as follows:
- North America East
- North America West
- Middle East
The tournament is the first large-scale Epic-sponsored Fortnite event since the $30 million Fortnite World Cup which took place last July at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadow, New York. That tournament was won by 16-year-old American Kyle Giersdorf, who claimed a $3 million top prize.
Since then Epic has maintained a presence in online Fortnite gaming by sponsoring a number of smaller events across a variety of regions, platforms, and formats since then.
The extensive prize pool for the new invitational event is not surprising, latest figures from Esports Earnings show that behind Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite competitions have awarded the most prize money to competitors, with a total of over $85 million awarded across 537 tournaments and to 3,283 different players.
That puts Fortnite just ahead of League of Legends in the list and well clear of its main genre competitor, PlayerUnknown BattleGrounds, which lies in 6th place with just over $23 million awarded to players across 271 tournaments.