The Biggest LAN Tournaments In Fortnite History
Fortnite: Battle Royale has one of the richest histories in competitive esports, with over $102,443,599 awarded to players. This puts Fortnite only behind Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in terms of prize money awarded.
Fortnite’s plethora of online events is to be admired, and a big reason Fortnite has been able to award so much prize money. However, it’s local area network (LAN) events that truly represent the best spectacle esports has to offer. Competitors all get together live in person and compete in front of large crowds while the pressure is on. For that reason, LAN events usually have more substantial prize pools.
This all begs the question, what are the biggest LAN tournaments in Fortnite history? To answer that inquiry, let’s rank Fortnite’s most iconic events by prize pool. Along the way, we’ll highlight the key storylines from the events and which competitors were able to claim a piece of the incredible prize money up for grabs.
10. Australian Open 2020 ($267,760)
The Australian Open 2020 broke a nearly six-month streak of zero Fortnite LANs. As one would expect, players were eager to return to live-action. Titled the Summer Smash, the Australian Open is Australia's largest competitive gaming event.
The Australian Open 2020 was an invite-only tournament, and the competition was fierce. Going into the tournament's final match, multiple competitors were neck and neck in contention for first-place.
In the end, it was Queensland native, Leevi "Breso" Breslin, who came out on top. Breso clutched up in the final match and rocketed up the leaderboards. It was a Cinderella story with Breso beating out much more seasoned veterans. Breso was awarded $100K for his efforts.
To this day, Breso is the only controller player to ever win a Fortnite LAN event.
9. Australian Open 2019 ($285,706.80)
The Australian Open 2019 was not as welcoming and diverse as the 2020 event. The 2020 event featured pros from all around the world, including Benjy David "benjyfishy" Fish from the United Kingdom, Shane "EpikWhale" Cotton representing the United States, and Emil "Nyhrox" Bergquist Pedersen from Norway. The Australian Open 2019 included players exclusively from Australia.
It was popular streamer Jesse "x2Twins Jesse" Eckley that dominated the event. At the time, x2Twins Jesse was regarded as one of the better players in all of Fortnite, so he took down the Australia-only competition with ease. x2Twins Jesse claimed three Victory Royales and one second-place through the event.
x2Twins Jesse received $100K as his prize, the same amount awarded to the 2020 event’s winner. However, the overall prize pool of the 2019 event was slightly larger.
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8. Secret Skirmish 2019 Solo ($400,000)
Secret Skirmish 2019 was an invite-only Solos tournament held in California, USA. Epic Games invited some of the biggest names in the scene to participate in this exciting event.
Despite the plethora of celebrities at Secret Skirmish 2019, Timothy "Bizzle" Miller was the star of the event. Bizzle claimed back-to-back Victory Royales in the final two matches of the event to win first-place. Bizzle beat out Fortnite legends such as Turner "Tfue" Tenney on his way to victory.
Bizzle’s impressive finish earned him $60,000 out of the $400,000 total prize pool.
7. ESL Katowice Royale 2019 Duos ($400,000)
Held in Katowice, Poland, ESL Katowice Royale was an invite-only LAN tournament organized by the Electronic Sports League (ESL). The ESL handpicked top duos from North America, Europe, Asia, Brazil, and Australia to compete in the event.
ESL Katowice Royale 2019 Duos consisted of 14 matches over a two day period. When the two days were up, it was Rocco "Saf" Morales and Williams "Zayt" Aubin on top. The two claimed a combined $80,000 for their performance.
ESL Katowice Royale 2019 Duos was held during a prime period in Fortnite’s lifespan. Season 8 had just launched and the game was thriving. Pros and content creators were earning unheard amounts of money. So much so, that Tfue and his partner Dennis "Cloakzy" Lepore skipped the event due to the lost earnings potential from simply streaming.
The duo declined their invitation to ESL Katowice Royale 2019 Duos, citing that they would make more money from streaming. Attending the event would cost the two four whole days of streaming, something they did not want to give up. The fact these two Fortnite stars would miss out on hundreds of thousands in prize money just to stream on Twitch shows how massive a game Fortnite really is.
6. Solo Stream-vitational At TwitchCon ($730,000)
The Solo Stream-vitational was held at the end of the Fall Skirmish Series. The Fall Skirmish Series was a six-week online event series hosted by Epic Games. In total, over $10 million was awarded to participants. This all accumulated in the Solo Stream-vitational tournament at TwitchCon in San José, USA. The event consisted of 50 popular content creators and 50 randomly selected TwitchCon attendees.
The Stream-vitational was a unique format featuring two Solo matches and one Duo match. The tournament had no special scoring format. Players were ranked simply by how they placed in each match.
The Stream-vitational featured iconic names such as Jack "CouRage" Dunlop, Benjamin "DrLupo" Lupo, and Imane "Pokimane" Anys, but in the end, it was Andre "Typical Gamer" Rebelo that walked away with first-place. The Canadian streamer received $57,250 for his efforts.
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5. TwitchCon 2019 Finals ($1,002,000)
The TwitchCon 2019 Finals are where the prize pools start to really blow up. Players in this event competed for a piece of a seven-digit bag.
TwitchCon 2019 teams were split into a mixture of professional Fortnite players and Twitch personalities. For the most part, each team included two Fortnite pros and one content creator.
Despite its casual nature, the tournament was anything but. Each match was extremely competitive and the standings were tight. But when it was all said and done, it was Tina "TINARAES" Perez, Julio Cesar "Pika" Nevarez, and Keenan "Rhux" Santos who claimed victory.
Pika and Rhux are experienced pros out of North America West, so their showing was to be expected. However, TINARAES leans more toward the content creator/streamer side. You wouldn’t have known this by her performance, though. TIINARAES racked up tons of eliminations and earned the most valuable player award at the conclusion of the event.
4. Solo Pax West ($1,501,250)
Similar to the Solo Stream-vitational, Solo Pax West was a massive tournament held in Seattle, USA at the conclusion of the Summer Skirmish Series.
Solo Pax West was a three-day event with three rounds of qualifiers. The top 33 of each qualifier round moved on to the Pax West Final.
The final standings saw Austin "Morgausse" Etue at the top. In second, was Bizzle, a name readers may recognise as the champion of Secret Skirmish 2019 Solo. Bizzle is widely recognised as the greatest Fortnite LAN player of all time. Bizzle consistently performs on LAN and almost always finishes near the top of the standings. Few other Fortnite pros have such steady results.
3. Fall Skirmish Grand Finals At TwitchCon ($1,942,500)
The Fall Skirmish Grand Finals occurred over the same weekend as the Solo Stream-vitational At TwitchCon. While the Stream-vitational was a more casual event, the Fall Skirmish Grand Finals participants consisted of only the best of the best.
The Duos tournament was comprised of fan-favourite combos such as Anthony "ZexRow" Colandro and Vinny "Vinny" Gilgan, Nate Hill and Trevor "FunkBomb" Siegler, and Aydan "Aydan" Conrad and Nick "NICKMERCS" Kolcheff. But when it was all said and done, the iconic duo of Tfue and Cloakzy walked away with a stunning $510,000 and first-place.
2. World Cup Finals 2019 - Duos ($15,100,000)
You thought the prize pools were large before? None of them compares to the Fortnite World Cup Finals. The Fortnite World Cup was one of the biggest events in esports history, with an insane prize pool totalling $30 million between all of the tournaments.
Unlike the other tournaments on this list, the Fortnite World Cup was an open competition. Anyone in the world could qualify if they had the skills—no waiting for an invite from Epic Games. A completely unknown player could qualify from their couch if they had what it took.
After ten weeks of online qualifier events, the competition was narrowed down into the best 50 Duos and 100 Solos. On July 27 of 2019, the best Fortnite players across the world, along with 19,000 fans, filled the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, USA.
Heading into tournament day, famed duos such as benjyfishy and Martin “MrSavage” Foss Anderson and Kyle “Mongraal'' Jackson and Dmitri “mitr0” Van de Vrie were labelled as heavy favourites. However, it was the underdogs David "Aqua" Wang and Nyhrox that cemented themselves in Fortnite history. The pair secured a split of the three million dollar first-place prize for their victory.
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1. World Cup Finals 2019 - Solo ($15,287,500)
By now, most gamers probably know how the Solo portion of the World Cup Finals went. The sixteen-year-old Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf absolutely crushed the competition on his way to claiming esports fame. Bugha was unmatched, scoring almost double the number of points of second-place. To this day, Bugha is one of the most recognisable names in all of esports solely due to his performance in the Fortnite World Cup.
Bugha left the event with a life-changing three million dollar purse, cementing himself as one of the highest-earning esports players in the world after only one event. The ludicrous amount of money awarded throughout the Fortnite World Cup makes it the biggest tournament in Fortnite history by far.
Images via Epic Games