Esports has become massively popular over the years. So huge that we’ve seen worldwide tournaments taking place, such as the Fortnite World Cup. In 2019 we had the first World Cup, and it was a huge success.
Players and fans flocked to New York to see what it would look like. 2020 was going to be even bigger and bolder. It wasn’t. The coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that, forcing Epic Games to cancel the 2020 World Cup.
And things didn’t look much better for 2021 either, with Epic Games again having to cancel the highly anticipated competition. But more than two years since its first global outing, 2022 is on the horizon.
Sure, it’s still a long time away, but that’s just more time for Fortnite competitions, and it paves the way for a successful second World Cup. We hope.
The Ongoing Rise Of Fortnite
In 2017 when Fortnite entered the fray, it began as a player vs. environment (PvE) game. The aim was for you to finish levels by collecting materials and creating your own bases to fend off zombies. It was fun. But Epic Games wanted something that would really reel in the players.
And they got that through inspiration from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUGB). All of a sudden, a free, battle royale multiplayer game that put players against each other. It didn’t take long for Fortnite to change the way it was played, and judging by its popularity and millions of players, it’s done it for the better.
It was such a simple premise as well. One hundred players fly in via parachute onto an island with just the clothes they’re wearing and a pickaxe. And then you were off. You could craft, get weapons, build defenses, and you could go it alone or form part of a team.
However, the aim of the game was to still end up champion and be the last player standing. This was made easier by the Storm Eye, a feature that restricts the map, meaning you have to enter the area and confront other players. There’s no shying away from the fight, and if you do, then you’re out of the game.
It’s a familiar thing that PUBG did…but there’s a lot of arguments and conversations about that which we’re not going to go into. Suffice to say, Fortnite has become one of the most popular online multiplayer to this day and can count celebrities such as Drake as one of its players.
Fortnite has grown in many different ways. It’s added new features that keep things fresh for its players, such as the 20 vs. 20 vs. 20 vs. 20 vs. 20 mode, which lets you build up more of a clan before going on the attack. It’s also had numerous famous Twitch streamers broadcasting the game to a wider audience.
And of course, it’s been hugely popular in the world of esports, where it continues to hold tournaments, such as the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) and World Cups…when pandemics allow for it.
Esports In The Midst Of A Pandemic
There are lots of people out there who easily dismissed esports. They thought it was just a hobby that had gained more traction. But during the peak pandemic period in 2020, esports was still there when regular sports was stopped.
Already it knew what life was like working online, and online tournaments were becoming more popular with fans who were only used to physical games. Add to the fact that lots of people were stuck at home, and video games were finding their way to many a living room.
The World Cup is a pinnacle of esports, and while it’s obviously a shame that it’s been canceled two years in a row, the 2022 World Cup needs to start preparing now before the fanfare wanes.
Epic Needs To Get Epic
If the World Cup keeps getting pushed back further and further, it won’t take long for fans to get disheartened and look for new excitement elsewhere. For example, The International – Dota 2 event is going ahead in Romania this year.
But it’s not just fans, it’s the players too, and without them, obviously, the World Cup won’t be as it should. To make sure Epic Games can give some good news, they need to keep the momentum going into the new year. Here’s how we see it going down.
Whether it’s the NFL Super Bowl or esports competitions, sponsorship plays a key role for the competition itself and the players. It helps to keep the momentum going, letting us know that the World Cup is taking place and lots of big companies are behind it.
Since esports has opened itself up to the betting market, bookmakers are also proud sponsors, helping pump more funds into it and offering odds on esports competitions – if you’re interested, you can see more on one of the sportsbook sites. Basically, with big brands backing the tournament, it would give it the credence it deserves.
Keeping The Players Happy
Esports is already lucrative, with competitors earning millions, such as the world’s best Fortnite player, Bugha, who is estimated to have earned over $3million through his Fortnite triumphs. He’s a big name that draws an even bigger crowd.
He was also the king of the competition at the inaugural 2019 World Cup, and he truly dominates the game. The allure of huge prize money is tempting to ensure players return to the World Cup, but there are many other multiplayer shooters out there for players to jump ship, such as PUGB.
If pro players start taking on other games that are holding regular big-money competitions, there’s the danger of Epic Games losing out. By having more contests in the lead-up, players won’t want to leave to try out any new games but instead hone their craft and play for the big bucks at the World Cup.
Market Like Crazy
Marketing is key to practically any sports tournament. It’s essential in building awareness of it while also getting people to buy tickets to the finals and following it from the start. With commercial sponsorship behind them, Epic Games needs solid marketing campaigns.
From TV to radio and websites and email to social media campaigns, they need to be attacking from all fronts to make sure the whole world knows about the 2022 World Cup. And even as we get closer, they need to keep promoting it.
It’s going to be one of the most exciting esports competitions in the world (the last one was), so Epic just needs to make sure everybody’s aware of that in the lead-up and hasn’t looked for thrills elsewhere.