In July, 16-year-old American Kyle Giersdorf won the Fortnite World Cup as a solo player – claiming prize money of $3m as part of a tournament that saw $30m handed out in total.
Most of us play video games for fun and certainly with no expectation that we’re going to bring home a few million dollars.
But gaming tournaments are increasingly popular among younger players.
Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, which has become its flagship game.
It reports that more than 40 million players participated in the Fortnite World Cup, and around 19,000 fans attended the tournament in person in New York. The finals were watched by 2.3 million viewers on YouTube and live streaming platform Twitch.
The North Carolina-based company was founded in 1991 by Tim Sweeney and has plenty of other games under its belt, including Gears of War, Unreal and the Infinity Blade series.
Tencent became a minority shareholder in Epic Games in 2012, as the games developer realised the games-as-a-service model was the future.
China’s Tencent is the world’s largest gaming company, and in the first half of 2019 total revenues were up 18% compared to the same period in 2018. This was after a challenging 2018, when regulatory approvals for games were frozen, which hit Tencent’s financial results.
But at the start of this year, China lifted the freeze and its results for the second quarter beat market expectations.
In the second quarter, total revenues were 88.82 billion renminbi ($12.92 billion), a 21% increase on a year earlier, while operating profit rose 26% year on year to 27.52 billion renminbi ($4 billion).
The company reported online games revenues grew by 8% to 27.31 billion renminbi, mainly attributable to smartphone games.
US-based video games company Electronic Arts (EA) is likely to be a familiar name to those who play football game FIFA, or the hugely popular life simulation game The Sims.
EA has also jumped on the competitive gaming bandwagon and in May hosted the first ever FIFA 19 eChampions League in Madrid, Spain. The winner took home prize money of $100,000.
Having been founded in 1982, EA now has more than 300 million registered players globally and in 2018 reported net revenue of $5.15 billion. Its growth continues, with the company announcing total revenue of over $1.2 billion in the first quarter of this year.
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