The biggest prize pool in Australian competitive gaming will be on offer at the Australian Open 2019. Epic Games announced a Fortnite Summer Smash event, which will take place during the finals weekend from Jan. 26 to 27.
In similar fashion to previous Fortnite events, players will be able to register to compete in a solos tournament, with personalities and influencers participating in a ProAm duos competition. These two events will make up an Australian record-breaking combined prize pool of $500,000 AUD ($357,000 USD). As usual, the winners of the solo tournament will take home cash, and the ProAm victors will be able to direct their winnings to their chosen charity.
"Fortnite is a global phenomenon, and we're excited to host the Grand Slam of competitive gaming events at the Australian Open in January," said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley. "The Fortnite Summer Smash at the Australian Open will see some of the best gamers from around the country do battle just hours before the world’s best male tennis players compete for the AO title."
This is the first major crossover between mainstream sports and esports that Australia has seen, and it'll be a beacon for future events. Australia is a proud sporting nation and, in some communities, people have struggled to understand the significance of esports. The Fortnite Summer Smash is an excellent opportunity to help the scene grow and assist in educating late adopters in a familiar environment.
Australian content creators have already jumped on board in support of the event. Kathleen "Loserfruit" Belsten has signed on to compete in the ProAm tournament alongside Lachlan, Muselk, Lazarbeam, and MrFreshAsian.
Loserfruit is excited about her two favorite games combining forces. “I played heaps of tennis growing up and the fact we get to play my favorite game now, Fortnite, at the home of my childhood favorite game is ridiculous, but I’m going with it," Loserfruit said.
Fortnite fans can register to compete in on-site qualifying events on Saturday, Jan. 26, with winners progressing to the finals on Sunday. For more information on how to qualify, including terms and conditions, please visit the Australian Open website. Tickets for the Sunday finals start at $5 AUD for kids and are now available for purchase.