The Australian Open is set to feature a lot more than just tennis. The tournament directors have announced that the event will also feature one of the country’s biggest esports competitions; the Fortnite Summer Smash.
Fortnite is currently one of the most played games in the world, enjoying cult status among adults and playground popularity with kids. The primary format of the game is battle royale, where 100 people fight to be the last one standing. The format makes competitive esports events a logistical challenge, but its popularity has made that hurdle worth overcoming for a partnership between Australia Open organisers, ESL and Epic Games.
Happening at Margaret Court Arena, the event is going to be split into two parts:
The main event, Fortnite Summer Smash Solos, is open to the first 500 people over the age of 16 to apply. The on-site qualifying events will be held on Saturday 26 before the women’s singles tennis final, with the finalists getting to compete on the big stage right before the men’s singles tennis finals on the Sunday 27. Everyone who makes it to the finals will win at least $1000 from the $400,000 prize pool, with the overall winner taking home a whopping $100,000.
After the Solos comes the Duos Celebrity three-match ProAm, where Australian sport, entertainment and internet celebrities will face off to win $50,000 for the charity of their choice. Second and third places will each get $20,000 for charity, with fourth getting $10,000. So far the confirmed celebrities are popular Twitch Streamers and YouTubers, including Loserfruit, Lachlan, Muselk, Lazarbeam and MrFreshAsian. More mainstream celebrities will be announced closer to the time, but it’s safe to assume that some tennis stars will be involved.
Registration for the Solos event starts at 9am on Wednesday January 9. For more information, head to the Australian Open site. Spectator tickets are on sale now from Ticketek, with kids tickets starting at $5 and adults from $49.95.