Unprecedented Prize Fund
American company Epic Games announced the allocation of $100 million in prize funds of tournaments for Fortnite in the season 2018/19. Partners will help to hold the tournaments, told marketing director of computer developer in Eastern Europe George Dobrodeyev.
Fortnite was released in the summer of 2017. For a month the number of Fortnite players has exceeded one million. Now this is one of the most popular games in the world – in mid-January, the number of players exceeded 45 million, and on the night of February 4, there were 3.4 million users at one time.
According to the website of e-Sports Earnings, the previous record for the total prize fund was put by the game Dota 2 – in 2017, in 159 tournaments, a little more than $38 million was played. In the top 3 on the total prize money that year also included games Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ($19.2 million) and the League of Legends ($12 million).
Millions In E-Sports
The general director of Ukrainian Natus Vincere (NaVi) Evgeny Zolotarev told RBC that the announcement of a prize fund of $ 100 million, possibly, and promising, but still looks like a HYIP. “Cybersport globally grows by 30% per year, but there are nuances. Every publisher has his own ecosystem. League of Legends is growing, Dota 2 is not, CS: GO is going smoothly, “Zolotarev said.
After the announcement of Epic Games about the prize fund of $100 million potential players, coaches, investors will have an understanding that Fortnite “has a certain future, they can earn, the game will have sponsors,” says Gevorg Hakobyan, an expert in the gaming industry. “In this regard, Epic Games set the bar, which will prevent other Battle Royale – games that have the potential to become e-sports disciplines. We can say that they made it clear to the players that they are number 1 not only now, but at least for the next year, “Hakobyan stressed. Fortnite as a competitive discipline and the leader in viewing video streaming service Twitch has a chance to become one of the recognized cybersport games, agrees the producer of cybersport holding Cyberspace Marta Mishina.
Esports In Russia
Active investment processes in e-sports with the participation of Russian entrepreneurs began in 2015. Then the company Super Evil Megacorp, which developed the multiplayer online game Vainglory, received $26 million from a consortium of investors, among whom was a Russian businessman Yuri Milner. Investments in e-sports were also taken up by businessman Alisher Usmanov. His USM Holdings invested a record $100 million in the development of the group of companies Virtus.pro.
On its basis, ESforce Holding was created – one of the largest e-sports organizations in the world. In May 2017 in Moscow, she opened the largest e-sports arena in Russia – Yota Arena.
Earlier this year, the Russian e-sports market saw two major deals. Mail.Ru Group was bought by ESForce holding. The deal amounted to about $120 million. And MTS acquired the Cyprus company Praliss Enterprises, which owns the gambling club Gambit Esports.
The level of investment attractiveness of e-sports is set by game developers and publishers, said Nikita Bokarev, head of the media management department of the cyber-sporting holding ESforce. “Giant players like Riot Games, Valve and Blizzard are creating a game economy, increasing the audience of solvent millennials,” he explained.