Esports are in a strange place right now, and none more so than Fortnite. While LoL Worlds managed to go ahead last year thanks to a complicated bubble system, the pandemic has wrought havoc on LAN events, with most being cancelled outright.
That’s the case for the Fortnite World Cup, which Epic confirmed would not be going ahead this year. However, the company behind one of the biggest battle royale games has also vastly reduced the prize pools of its online tournaments. Pro players rely on prize pools as their source of income, so it’s understandable that they aren’t happy.
Streamer and content creator Shaun ‘AussieAntics’ Cochrane did the maths, finding that the NAE prize pool has reduced from $55,905 when the Cash Cups first arrived to a mere $10,267 this year. This adds up to just over 18% of the value of the original prize pool for the region.
Here’s his breakdown:
For those curious.
This is the first ever trio cash cup prize pool compared to now for NAE.
First Ever Total Prize Pool (Weekly) – $55,905
New Cash Cup Total Prize Pool (Weekly) – $10,267
(since the new ones are every 2 weeks I halved the total). pic.twitter.com/uYLxleJmyL
— AussieAntics (@AussieAntics) January 10, 2021
The prize pools impact smaller regions even more. Oceania’s online prize pool is currently $1,350 a week, made up entirely from the biweekly Cash Cup. Pro players were up in arms with the reductions across the world, with Benjy ‘benjyfishy’ Fish saying that the game is “the least fun” he can remember.
and every time we see that they lower cash cup prize pool we think that they are gonna put it into fncs or something but it literally never happens
— benjyfishy (@benjyfishy) January 10, 2021
Jaden ‘Wolfiez’ Ashman of Excel Esports and Ryan ‘Chap’ Chaplo also chipped in to make jokes about future prize pools.
Fortnite Competitive Prizepools
2019: $30 million
2020: $3 million
— XL Wolfiez (@Wolfiez) January 6, 2021
cant wait for vbucks fncs prize pool
— Chap (@ChapFN) January 10, 2021
However, FaZe’s Nate ‘NateHill’ Hill and 100 Thieves’ Davis ‘Ceice’ McClellan had some hope about the future of competitive Fortnite – or at the very least constructive criticism for Epic Games.
Hey @FortniteGame if you crowd funded a small % from every battle pass to the Prize pool, we could have real tourneys that people are interested in watching. No one cares who got first place in a vbucks tourney. Dota 2 – 34million. Fortnite – box of cupcakes.
— FaZe Nate Hill (@NateHillTV) January 10, 2021
Still gotta find hope in these smaller prize pool cups. I trust it’ll go back to the old prize pools 🤞🏼🤞🏼
— 100T Ceice (@Ceice) January 10, 2021
Perhaps taking a percentage from Battle Pass sales would be a good way to sustain the Fortnite esports scene, but unless Epic makes big changes quickly, pro stars won’t be happy.