Tom B. July 30, 2019
The viewership figures for the Fortnite World Cup have been calculated and they are impressive.
While the first-place performance of Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf earned a record-breaking $3 million payout, that wasn’t the only record that got broken at the event. According to a tweet by Rod “Slasher” Breslau, viewership for the event reached over 2 million. That makes it the largest ever concurrent audience for a single esports event.
The World Cup Solo competition reached 1.3 million concurrent viewers despite featuring relatively few marquee names. Though the field included players like Turner “Tfue” Tenney and Huynh "Kinstaar" Duong Huynh, many of the most popular and historically most successful Fortnite esports pros failed to make the cut. The duo competition peaked at 1 million concurrent viewers.
In addition to Twitch, the event could be seen on Facebook and Twitter. A special feature was also added in 9.41 update that made the World Cup watchable through the actual Fortnite game client.
For the sake of comparison, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's IEM Katowice Major achieved a peak viewership of roughly 1.2 million, per Esports Charts.
World Cup success bodes well for Fortnite esports' future
Though few knew what to expect heading into the Fortnite World Cup, it proved to be a massive success for Epic Games.
Fortnite’s competitive scene has long struggled with disgruntled pro players and poorly managed events. The qualifiers to the World Cup were no different as there were controversies on an almost weekly basis including buggy updates and cheating scandals.
Despite all that, the Fortnite World Cup managed to hook millions of fans, attract tens of thousands to the arena, and garner mainstream attention. Monumental success such as this will likely encourage Epic to invest more time and resources into the esports side of their game.
If the recently announced Fortnite Championship Series can take hold and if the World Cup can maintain itself as an annual spectacle, Fortnite esports might just be here to stay.