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Fortnite’s World Cup was the Most Watched Esports Event Ever on Twitch

Millions Tuned in to See Who Took Home the Victory Royale with $30 Million in Prize Money on the Line

July 29, 2019 by

Fortnite proved it’s still the most popular game in the world as millions of viewers tuned in over the weekend to watch the game’s World Cup grand finals in New York.

After last summer’s first-ever Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am broke Twitch’s all-time peak record with 1.5 million concurrent viewers, Fortnite looked like it could be in trouble last month when the second Pro-Am’s viewership dropped 72% to a peak of only 427k viewers.

But even with Twitch’s most popular Fortnite streamers such as Ninja, Cloak, Nickmercs, and more failing to qualify for the World Cup, Saturday’s Duos finale peaked with an impressive 1 million concurrent viewers as European newcomers Nyhrox and Aqua took home $3 million in the top spot after five intense games.

On Sunday, Fortnite fell just short of topping its own all-time record with 1.3 million concurrent viewers sticking around to see if Twitch’s new most watched Fortnite streamer, Tfue, could live up to the hype.

But it was actually another newcomer, 16-year-old North American, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who placed first in the World Cup Solos event, taking home $3 million and the crown as the greatest Fortnite player in the world.

The event kicked off with Friday’s Pro-Am event featuring the return of last year’s dream team, Ninja and Marshmello; however, it was the team of RL Grime and Airwaks who proved that their first Duos victory at last month’s Pro-Am was no fluke, winning another $1 million for the charity of their choice as 620k viewers watched live on Twitch.

Since exploding in popularity, there’s always been the question of whether the chaotic nature of battle royale games can translate into a highly competitive esports scene. Fortnite now holds the title as the most watched esports event on Twitch above Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s 1.15 million viewers and League of Legends1.14 million peak. And with teams winning events back-to-back, Epic Games seems to have found a format that works for the genre.

The developers at Epic also just announced their plans for a new Fortnite Championship Series which will have gamers playing for millions more dollars during future seasons of the game and feature a heavier focus on year-round esports — a move which should certainly help keep the game popular among both players and viewers.