Fortnite Winter Royale 2019: Results, Highlights and More
The second annual Fortnite Winer Royale was held this past weekend from December 20-22. Originally held in 2018 with a prize pool of $1M USD, Winter Royale was brought back by popular demand — and bigger than ever. This time, the prize pool was a massive $23M USD, 23 times the amount of money Epic Games gave away last year.
Along with the increased prize money came a change in format. Winter Royale 2019 was a duos tournament. The tournament was split into three days with three different scoring formats. On top of that, every platform and every region competed separately. This means that North America East PC players, Europe console players, Middle East mobile players and so on, all had their own tournaments. The inclusivity was a welcome addition and allowed every single type of player a chance to win some prize money.
Let’s take a look at how all three days went down. We will focus on the PC duos tournaments for North America East (NAE), North America West (NAW) and Europe. We chose these regions because they have the largest populations along with the most professional players.
The scoring format for day 1 of Winter Royale was rather unpopular in the competitive community. Teams would receive 15 points for a Victory Royale and one point per elimination. This puts extreme emphasis on Victory Royales but placing highly, in general, was not rewarded at all. Teams could consistently place high but if they did not come first they would have no points to show for it.
This unique format led to some of the most popular duos getting snubbed. Tfue and his new duo, Scoped, came in eighth place with 117 points in the NAE region. Two of their 14 matches they placed 2nd. The difference between placing 2nd or 1st is an astronomical 15 points each game. Had they won both of these matches, they would have placed first in day 1 of the tournament.
Nonetheless, day 1 was filled with excitement. The duo of FaZe Diggy and Marzz took first place in the NAE region. Their five Victory Royales put them a tier above the rest. Take note that the second-place team of innocents and Ajerss outslayed them 111 eliminations to 71 but still fell behind by 5 points — showcasing the importance of Victory Royales in this format. This stellar performance by FaZe Diggy and Marzz would net them $4K USD each.
Thomuss and wavyjacob started off their dominant weekend with a first-place finish in the NAW region. Their 199 points were the highest total of the day for any region and put a 41 point buffer between then and second place. With 139 eliminations over 15 matches, Thomuss and wavyjacob could not be stopped. Thomuss and wavyjacob earned $3K USD each for their efforts.
Veolce Saevid and Superior Scolly took home first place for the Europe region in day one. The winning duo beat out second place by a margin of 22 points; an impressive feat considering Europe may be the most talented region in all of Fortnite. Some of the bigger names that placed in the top ten include the duo of Mitr0 and Crr along with E11 Stompy and his partner, COOLER aqua, the World Cup Duos Champion.
Despite the outcry from some pro players over the scoring format, the top of the leaderboards consisted of many of the familiar faces we always see. This is evidence that regardless of the format — pros are pros for a reason — they know how to adapt.
Day 2 of the 2019 Winter Royale provided a much more forgiving scoring system. Placement points were rewarded all the way up to 28th place, putting more of an emphasis on strategic placements instead of just victories exclusively.
Fan-favorite duos took over on day 2 of the NAE region. At the top, we have LZR Kreo and Envy Bucke. This pair of players have been making a name for themselves in the competitive community lately and they kept the momentum rolling into day 2 of the Winter Royale. Esports Player of the Year and World Cup Solo Champ, Bugha, achieved third place with his duo partner TL Stretched.
One of the most interesting parts of this tournament is that players are not locked into a specific region. All weekend we saw duos participate outside their home region in an attempt to “steal” a piece of the prize money from other regions. We saw Mitr0 and Crr do just that on day 2. They placed an impressive sixth on NAE servers while playing on high ping. Even under these unfavorable conditions, they were able to beat out some of the best talents NAE has to offer — on their home court.
Thomuss and wavyjacob went back-to-back, taking first place yet again on day 2 of the Winter Royale. Thomuss and wavyjacob have a firm hold on the NAW region; they are undoubtedly the team to beat. They each earn another $3K USD — could they pull of the 3-peat on day 3?
MCES Orkh and MCES PodaSai pulled off one of the first big upsets of the tournament. This underdog duo beat out the stacked lobbies of the Europe region and claimed first place. While their 75 total eliminations weren’t the highest, they capitalized on the day 2 scoring system and scored the majority of their points by consistently placing well.
The popular duo of FaZe Mongraal and NRG benjyfishy made their first notable appearance on the leaderboards with a fifth-place finish. COOLER aqua placed inside the top 10 for the second day in a row, showing why he is a World Cup Champion.
All-in-all, day 2 provided the most competitive scoring format and the one that led to the most stacked end games. It was easy to tell that this is the kind of scoring format most pro players prefer.
The scoring format for day 3 was a hybrid of day 1 and day 2. Placement points were rewarded up to 12th place and as always, each elimination was worth 1 point. Many duos voiced concerns over exhaustion and fatigue due to competing in multiple sessions from the previous days. However, this did not stop them from griding out day 3 and providing fans with another entertaining day of competitive Fortnite.
innocents and Ajerss crushed day 3 of the Winter Royale. Everyone knows that this duo is capable of racking up eliminations and they did just that on Sunday. With 106 eliminations over 14 games, they outslayed their competition by a wide margin.
Other notable duos that placed in the top 50 on day 3 include Tfue and Scoped, FaZe Mongraal and NRG benjyfishy and Ninja and Reverse2k.
The duo of KNG Maken1x and Frapai II claimed victory on day 3 of the NAW tournament. Their impressive win over other more hyped duos earned them $3K USD each. The top 10 was filled with familiar faces, including, rеhx and NRG EpikWhale along with the FNCS Season Finals winner UnknownxArmy1x and his new teammate.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire tournament, Thomuss and wavyjacob placed third on day 3. Their absolute domination of the NAW region is unheard of. They consistently placed above everyone else through three widely different scoring formats. With two first places and a third, Thomuss and wavyjacob’s consistency in the Winter Royale will be the talk of the Fortnite community.
Some of the lesser-known duos made a name for themselves on day 3 of the Europe tournament. Xypher Primzhy and Xypher Virsuh took first in the highly competitive region. Mitr0 and Crr continued their excellent Winter Royale by placing fourth on the final day. FaZe Mongraal and NRG benjyfishy also made an appearance in 12th place.
Below are a few highlights from the weekend. Clips include an impressive 1v2 clutch by Nosh to secure his duos place in the money and 72hrs surviving in the storm for a minute and a half by eating 18 fish.
Winter Royale 2019 was a major success. The biggest pull of the tournament was that it was all-inclusive. PC, console, and mobile players from every region all had a chance to compete separately and win money. The top prizes for each region may appear low in Fortnite standards but that is because so many places were paid out. Epic Games paid out thousands of duos from every region and platform each day. Never in the history of esports has a game created such a welcoming approach to winning money. Players didn’t have to be the absolute best or the most “known” to participate and win. Everyone had the same opportunity.
The community loved it. With places as low as 2,500th receiving prize money, everyone got to feel like a “pro”. Just visit the competitive subreddit and you will see screenshots from players you have never heard of winning money. The event was a massive success in building up Fortnite esports and getting players from all platforms and regions involved. When players feel like they have an actual chance of winning, even if the payouts aren’t in the tens of thousands, they are much more likely to stay involved in Fortnite. Winter Royale achieved exactly what it was created for; to build hype and get everyone involved in competitive Fortnite.
Images via Epic Games & ForniteTracker