Who knew hundreds of hours spent killing each other online could be so lucrative? Video game powerhouse Epic Games’ viral sensation “Fortnite” will launch its eSports debut at E3 2018 — the world’s premier computer and video game expo — on Tuesday, with the developer offering a $3 million prize pool for charity.
In late May, it was announced that Epic Games planned to spend $100 million total on “Fortnite” eSports prize pools for the first year of competitive play, with the Fortnite Pro-Am during E3 being the first tournament to pull from that promise.
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Fifty pro gamers, streamers or YouTube personalities will pair up with 50 celebrities — including comedian Joel McHale and rapper Vince Staples — for a shot at the $3 million. The winners will receive $1 million to split between their chosen charities while the other $2 million will be donated to charities chosen by other top finishers.
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Although $3 million in winnings is nothing to sneeze at, it’s lackluster compared to more established eSports events. The International, a tournament dedicated to “Dota 2,” paid out a whopping $20.8 million in prizes in 2017. However, back in 2011, The International only paid out $1.6 million for their first tournament; Epic Games has almost doubled that amount for their first investment in establishing “Fortnite” as an eSports name.
And believe it or not, some eSports teams have actually banked that much in prize money per player. The top three notable players for Team Liquid, the top-earning organization on the circuit as of January 2018, have earned over $2.8 million each in prizes.
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According to the E3 schedule, the Fortnite Pro-Am will stream live from the expo on official platforms like YouTube, Twitch or Mixer at 3:30 p.m. PST (6:30 p.m. EST).
Click to read more about saving money at conventions like E3.
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