The Fortnite World Cup Was Most-Watched Gaming Event in History

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Fortnite continues to break records, this time for competitive esports. The Fortnite World Cup, which took place July 26-28 in New York City, reached 2.3 million concurrent viewers on YouTube and Twitch, making it the single most-watched competitive gaming event (outside China) in history. And that doesn’t include fans watching through other social media platforms.

The Fortnite World Cup brought the best players in the world together for championship Solo and Duos matches, a Creative Finals, and a Charity Pro-Am. The World Cup was the culmination of 10 weeks of qualifier matches, including over 40 million players from over 200 countries. The three-day sold-out event hosted over 19,000 fans at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. In case you were wondering, Fortnite is still pretty popular.

Here is the list of all the top winners from each event:

Fortnite World Cup Solos Winner: $3,000,000  

Bugha – $3,000,000

Fortnite World Cup Duos Winners: $3,000,000 (split)

Aqua – $1,500,000

Nyhrox – $1,500,000

Fortnite World Cup Creative Winners: $1,345,000 (split)

Cizzorz – $336,250

Hiimtylerh – $336,250

Suezhoo – $336,250

Zand – $336,250

Fortnite World Cup Charity Pro-Am: $1,000,000 (split)

Airwaks – $500,000

RL Grime – $500,000

You can see the full standings here.

Over the weekend Epic Games announced the Fortnite Champion Series, beginning with the next season, Season X. Every week players can compete to become Season X champions, with a prize pool of millions of dollars. A leaderboard will be added to track your own progress and follow your favorite players.

Fortnite Season X begins tomorrow, August 1.

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Apex Legends Preseason Invitational is the Biggest Apex Legends Tournament Yet

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There’s only way direction to go for popular competitive video games: eSports. EA has announced the biggest eSports tournament yet for Battle Royale shooter Apex Legends with the Preseason Invitational. The tournament will be held in Krakow, Poland in September, and feature 80 3-person teams from around the world competing to win a prize pool of $500,000.

“Competition is in the DNA of Apex Legends and this competitive event will showcase the game at its highest-level,” said Chad Grenier, Design Director, Respawn Entertainment. “This Apex Legends Preseason Invitational advances our vision towards a robust competitive experience with the community at the center. We continue to explore all the entertaining ways both players and spectators can experience Apex Legends and look forward to bringing this event to life.”

The Preseason Invitational is a double elimination format. Each round will determine who stays in the winner’s bracket, and who’s bumped to the loser’s bracket or eliminated entirely. The action will last until 20 teams remain for a final 60-person match to determine the winning team.

Players and teams who think they have what it takes can apply to the tournament by emailing the unique application email address. Applications must include the users’ Origin IDs and competitors must be at least 16 years old. Accepted teams must pay a $150 registration fee. Official tournament rules can be found here.

The Apex Legends Preseason Invitational takes place in Poland, September 13-16.

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The Sophomore Season of the Overwatch League Has Begun

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The 2019 season of the Overwatch League  kicked off last Friday. Taking a page from the NFL playbook, the second ever season began with a Grand Finals rematch between the Philadelphia Fusion and the first season champs, London Spitfire.

The regular season will run through August. You can find the full schedule here.

This season the prize pool has been greatly expanded from $3.5 million to $5 million. The league itself has also been expanded, adding eight new teams, including three from China and two from the US. The new teams are: Atlanta Reign, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Washington Justice, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, and Vancouver Titans.

The teams are still divided between the Atlantic and Pacific Division. The Atlantic Division includes the Eastern US and Canada, and Europe, while Pacific includes Western US and Asian teams.

Every match can be viewed via Twitch.tv, the official Overwatch League website, the MLG app, and Battle.net. Additionally all 2019 matches will be streamed to the ESPN app. Three matches per week will also be broadcast to Disney XD.

“We set a new bar last season in standing up the first major global city-based esports league,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “This season, we’re going to raise the bar again with a focus on fan affinity, making it even easier for the Overwatch League community to watch how they want and where they want.”

Though the Overwatch League features location-based esports teams, the arenas are still mostly under construction. The majority of the matches for the 2019 season will still be played at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. However, this year the league will feature several Homestand Weekends.

The Homestand Weekend events will take place April 27-28 at Dallas, TX, July 6-9 in Atlanta, GA, and August 24-25 in Los Angeles, CA.

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First Ever Week of Overwatch League Boasted 10 Million Viewers

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Anyone who’s still rolling their eyes at esports hasn’t been paying attention to the numbers, and numbers don’t lie. The Overwatch League kicked off its season last week at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, California. The week of competition lasted four days between the 12 global teams, resulting in sold-out physical tickets as well as more than 10 million viewers between Twitch, Major League Gaming, and Chinese streaming services.

“Since we announced Overwatch League at BlizzCon 2016, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when the global competitive Overwatch community could come together under one banner,” said Nate Nanzer, Overwatch League commissioner. “Opening week was that coming-out party for the fans, both in-person at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and tuned in by the millions all over the world, and for the players, whose love for the game came through crystal clear.”

Opening day alone drew an average audience-per-minute ratio of 408,000, with the highly anticipated matchup between the Dallas Fuel and the Seoul Dynasty. Viewership averaged to 280,000 throughout the weekend.

The Overwatch League recently announced an exclusive two-year deal with Twitch as its broadcasting partner. “We had high expectations for the inaugural broadcast of the Overwatch League on Twitch, given our platform’s passionate fanbase for Overwatch,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch. “They really put on an amazing show and fans showed up en masse to support and celebrate Overwatch. Based on the response from the community, Overwatch League is off to a great start and we look forward to watching how the season progresses. This league demonstrates the power and potential of esports, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Blizzard.”

The first season of the Overwatch League will continue through June, with playoffs starting in July. Games are typically played from Wednesday to Saturday. You can see the full schedule here. Note for this first season all games will be played at the Blizzard Arena in Lost Angeles while the other teams build their home venues.