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Last weekend’s Fortnite World Cup was one of the largest esports competitions to date, awarding $30M USD between its Solo and Duos tournaments, along with about $3M further apiece for its Creative mode and Pro-Am tournaments. The New York City finals netted the game 14M hours watched via Twitch, with the official feed topping more than 500K concurrent viewers during the Solo finals on Sunday.
It was 2019’s most notable esports event yet (although Dota 2’s The International is right around the corner), and several organizations’ players scored massive prize winnings along the way. In fact, eight teams earned more than $1M each via the Solo and Duos competitions, collectively earning a large slice of the weekend’s pie. Here’s a look at those seven-figure earners, along with a glance at how the overall team year-to-date earnings have shifted as a result.
Lazarus Esports: $3.45M
Lazarus Esports, formerly known as SetToDestroyX, made a big Fortnite push and reaped the rewards this past weekend. While the organization’s players didn’t win either tournament, Lazarus was the only team with two separate seven-figure prizes: $2.25M for finishing second in the Duos competition, and $1.05M for finishing fourth in Solos. Add in all other earnings for the weekend, and the Canadian organization (owned by Tiidal Gaming) claimed more than 10% of the total Solo/Duos prize pool—and made nearly 10x as much as it had previously in 2019.
Cooler Esport: $3.15M
European organization Cooler Esport—founded last year by professional poker player Rui Cao—struck it big by winning $3M for the Duos competition with Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen and David “aqua” Wang. All told, the team’s players hauled in $3.15M, which represents the entirety of the team’s winnings so far this year, according to Esports Earnings. In 2018, the team had just $10K in prize winnings.
Sixteen-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf was the largest single winner of the weekend, taking the $3M prize for dominating the Solo competition. The Sentinels brand hasn’t made much noise since switching from Phoenix1 last year, and had been primarily known for being the team behind the Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Gladiators. With a $3.05M total haul this weekend and also players in Apex Legends and Hearthstone, however, maybe we’ll be seeing more of Sentinels before long.
100 Thieves: $2.4M
100 Thieves won big in the Duos competition this weekend, earning $1.8M from a third-place finish and also taking half of the $900K prize for a fifth-place result, as only one member was signed to the organization. Along with a trio of $50K Solo tournament prizes, the team’s $2.4M total this past weekend significantly boosted the rising organization’s total 2019 earnings to date.
NRG Esports: $2.25M
NRG is another established organization that pieced together a significant haul this past weekend, as all four of its Fortnite players at the World Cup were qualified for both tournaments. Shane “EpikWhale” Cotton took $1.2M himself for a third-place Solos finish, while William “Zayt” Aubin earned half of the $1.5M fourth-place Duos prize (his partner plays for Ghost Gaming). The $2.25M weekend total pushed NRG into the top three for total prize winnings so far this year, as seen in the chart at the bottom of the page.
Counter Logic Gaming: $1.8M
Counter Logic Gaming’s $1.8M haul this weekend comes from a single standout performance: the runner-up Solo finish of Harrison “Psalm” Chang, a former Heroes of the Storm pro player who has now earned significantly more prize money from his latest game of choice.
LeStream Esport: $1.18M
French organization LeStream Esport had a huge weekend, with solo players finishing at seventh and eighth place in the Solo tournament, and the pair placing 10th together in the Duos tournament. Along with another Solo player’s back-of-the-pack finish, the team pulled together $1.18M, raising its 2019 prize earnings total to $1.3M to date.
FaZe Clan: $1.16M
Shooter-centric organization FaZe Clan rounds out the list of $1M+ earners, and it did so by sheer force thanks to having seven different players in action between the Solo and Duos competitions. Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson earned the most on FaZe, pulling in $150K from the Solo tournament and $225K for his share of a sixth-place Duos finish. This total also includes the $50K earned by Turner “Tfue” Tenney in the Solo tournament, although his future with the team remains uncertain given their current legal battle.
Total Team Earnings in 2019
Expectedly, the Fortnite World Cup results have had a significant impact on the year-to-date winnings of the top esports organizations. We detailed the Top 10 earlier this month (via data from Esports Earnings), and while Team Liquid remains on top despite comparatively modest earnings from the World Cup, many of the slots directly beneath are now occupied by the teams listed above. Ghost Gaming nearly made the above list at $950K total, but still managed to break into the Top 10 year-to-date with that large tally.
This list will see a significant shake-up in a few short weeks with The International 2019, which has a prize pool that currently sits at $31.1M and growing.
Note: Esports Earnings hasn’t yet attributed all of the World Cup winning players’ earnings to their respective organizations, so we have cross-referenced their data with the results collated by Liquipedia to assemble the totals and ranking above. Also, NRG’s total includes the San Francisco Shock’s winnings from the Overwatch League this season, while Sentinels’ total includes winnings from the Los Angeles Gladiators.
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