What to Know
New York City will be home to the Super Bowl of gaming this weekend with a whopping $30 million prize pool
The event that could lift e-sports to new heights
Thousands of gamers are in the city to spectate the Fortnite World Cup taking place Friday through Saturday in Queens
New York City will be home to the Super Bowl of gaming this weekend with a whopping $30 million prize pool. It's an event that could lift e-sports to new heights.
Thousands of gamers are in the city to watch the Fortnite World Cup taking place Friday through Saturday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens. Over 40 million people attempted to qualify for the tournament but only 200 spots are available in the finals. Some of the players competing are as young as 13 years old.
"The Fortnite World Cup is going to put gaming on a whole another level. The prize pool of $30 million is going to put so many eyes on the game. Honestly, I'm just excited, excited for gaming," pro gamer Blaze of Faze Clan tells NBC News' Gadi Schwartz.
Faze Clan is one of the most popular e-sports organizations in the world, with over 210 million fans across social platforms. They also happen to have the most players competing in this weekend's events.
If you're unfamiliar with the basis of "Fortnite," just ask any 12 year old.
The hit game has over 250 million registered players worldwide. To put it simply, Fortnite is a battle royale shooting game in which 100 players are dropped into a map. They have to look around for guns and other items to eliminate other players and be the last one standing.
While many parents don't want their kids to be spending all their time on video games, gamers say that young people can learn a lot and benefit from the tight-knit community.
"I think you can see that in some of the younger players that we see here," said 23-year-old Sam Pearson, a pro-gamer from New Zealand. "Not just in terms of the dedication or the hard work that they put in but the time management, juggling not only the time that you're spending playing the game but reviewing your game or working on your skills outside of the game."
The 3-day event will kick off with a Pro-Am on Friday where 50 professional gamers are each paired up with a celebrity. Some of the big names include Tyler Blevins, better known as Ninja, who will be paired with music producer and DJ Marshmellow. The artist even has his own cosmetic skin in the game and once hosted a live concert on Fortnite.
Other celebrities who will battle in a $3 million charity prize pool are actor Jordan Fisher, WWE star Xavier Woods, actor Dante Basco and even NSYNC's Joey Fatone.
Fifty duo teams will compete for six matches on Saturday and 100 solo players will face off on Sunday.