Epic Games to Host $360,000 Fortnite Tournament at Australian Open

Epic Games will host a Fortnite tournament at the 2019 Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 26 and 27. The Fortnite Summer Smash is offering a A$500,000 ($360,000) prize pool and was open to the first 500 eligible people to sign up.

Registration was limited to Australian and New Zealand residents age 16 and over. The on-site qualifying event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26, before the women’s singles tennis final. The format will be solo-style with 100 players advancing from the qualifying round to the finals the following day. On Sunday, a six match final event will take place at Margaret Court Arena just before the men’s single tennis finals. Everyone who makes it to the Fortnite finals will win at least A$1,000 ($720) with the overall winner taking home A$100,000 ($72,000).

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“Fortnite is a global phenomenon, and we’re excited to host the Grand Slam of competitive gaming events at the Australian Open in January,” said Craig Tiley, Australian Open Tournament Director, in a press release. “The Fortnite Summer Smash at the Australian Open will see some of the best gamers from around the country do battle just hours before the world’s best male tennis players compete for the AO title.”

There will also be a duos pro-am event featuring Australian gaming and entertainment celebrities following the Fortnite singles finals. Prominent Fortnite streamers confirmed to be competing in that event include Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten, Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott, Elliott “Muselk” Watkins, and Harley “MrFreshAsian” Campbell. A total of A$100,000 ($72,000) in charity donations will be rewarded during the pro-am.

Registration for the solo Fortnite Summer Smash event opened on Wednesday, Jan. 9, but is already closed. Spectator tickets are on sale now from Ticketek, with kids tickets starting at $5 and adults from $49.95.

SportTechie Takeaway

Fortnite’s global popularity has seen several major professional sports seek tie ins to the game, with Tennis Australia being the latest. Last November, the NFL signed a licensing deal with Epic Games while the MLBPA hosted a Fortnite tournament featuring MLB stars such as Trea Turner and Lance McCullers Jr. in December. However, the MLBPA’s competition was only open to current and former MLB players, whereas the Australian Open Fortnite event will feature amateur and professional level gamers.

Read more: sporttechie.com

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