Steven R. August 6, 2019
Anyone that tuned into the event knows that the Fortnite World Cup was a big success. Now the numbers that can confirm this are starting to pop up.
Epic Games is reporting over 19,000 fans attended the event, selling out the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. The strong tally comes alongside record-breaking online viewership and an unprecedented level of mainstream interest in an esports event.
Epic did not offer any specifics, with box office receipts, comped ticket numbers, and day-by-day attendances going undisclosed. Regardless, all signs point to the event being an unqualified success.
Despite a rocky buildup to the event, the Fortnite World Cup immediately drew swaths of fans both to their computers and to the arena. The event kicked off with a Creative competition that attracted solid numbers on social media. That didn’t slow down as the weekend progressed, with the solo finals peaking at a whopping 2.3 million viewers across YouTube and Twitch.
Epic spared no expense in making this happen, either. The World Cup was over a year in the making and the publisher ensured the event had global appeal. The solo and duo events included qualifiers for six different regions to ensure an international player pool, while the Celebrity Pro-Am and Creative competition included influencers and pro players from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and more.
Alongside those strong numbers on streaming platforms was a spike in interest in the game from mainstream media outlets. Though the North American media rarely acknowledge esports events, both local and national news covered the results, with solo champion Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf in particular getting the full celebrity treatment.
The big question moving forward is whether Epic Games will be able to maintain this level of interest in the coming years.
Fortnite stands as one of the most popular games of all time, with a reach and visibility few can match. The first ever world championship for the game was bound to garner a fair bit of interest, but it is unclear if Epic will be able to attract a comparable number of eyeballs at future events.
The publisher is seeking to remedy this by shoring up its esports department, but only time will tell if those efforts will bear fruit.