We’re on the cusp of one of possibly the most ambitious gaming tournaments yet. This weekend, the greatest players in the world will come together to compete for a piece of the $30,000,000 prize pool at the Fortnite World Cup Finals. The team at Epic Games has worked tirelessly over the last year to make this tournament a monumental event in Esports history. We’re here in New York City to attend the World Cup and give you an in-depth look at the festivities.
An epic endeavor
Though the actual tournaments don’t begin until tomorrow, we learned a lot about the Fortnite World Cup during today’s preview event. We were among some of the first people to see the venue and tournament stage. Held inside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the stage features 130 screens and 20 miles of cabling. Every single competitor will have live cameras capturing their face and gameplay for spectators to watch. A lead event coordinator for the World Cup told us that it took 62 production trucks to haul all of the equipment necessary to put the show together. With the show stage clocking in at 240,000 pounds, Epic Games has gone all out to ensure a top level tournament experience for players and audiences alike.
Fans attending the World Cup in person will have plenty of things to entertain them outside of the competitions. Epic Games has transformed the National Tennis Center into the “Fan Festival”, a playground of games and activities that will be open to all attendees before and after the tournaments each day. It’s best described as an extension of the booth Fortnite brings to conventions and shows, such as E3. There’s photo ops, game shows, mini golfing, and a zipline. Not to mention all of the familiar characters I bumped into while exploring the festival.
The road to the finals
Next up, we got to sit down for interviews with multiple competitors from the World Cup Finals. Mr. Savage (NRG), Aydan (Ghost), Nate Hill (Faze), Benjyfishy (NRG), and Twizz (Mindfreak) were all in attendance. The group reflected on their careers up to this point, and what it took to get them to the World Cup Finals. Aydan shared a story about the support he received from his father when deciding to pursue Fortnite. After graduating high school, his dad told him he had one year to make a career out of this. “Dad, if I can make what you make, I get to keep going.” Aydan went on to cross that mark in a month.
This group didn’t make it here on a stroke of good luck. Competitive players put in countless hours playing and honing their strategies to keep their skills in peak form. When asked about how they practice or get ready before big games, each player had something different to share. Mr. Savage stated that listening to some music is what gets him into the zone before a tournament. Twizz said that his routine simply consists of playing as much Fortnite as he can. “I play Fortnite every day. Today is no different.” Twizz makes sure to stay true to his routine, regardless of the circumstances. Nate Hill shared this sentiment.
The Fortnite World Cup Finals officially kick of tomorrow when the pre-show begins 12:30PM EST. The Creative Finals will begin at 1PM and will be followed by the Celebrity Pro-Am at 4PM. On Saturday, the pre-show starts at 12:30 and will lead into the Duo Finals at 1 o’clock. On Sunday, the pre-show will yet again begin at 12:30. The entire weekend of games and activities are building up to the Solo Finals at 1PM, where one player will walk away with $3,000,000 and the World Cup trophy. Watch all of the action on Fortnite’s Youtube and Twitch channels and keep it locked to Shacknews for all of your World Cup coverage.