While people might scoff at the idea of video games being an actual sport, the people involved in the industry certainly aren’t laughing. They take the graft very seriously because the prize money is often pretty bloody incredible.
Two New Zealand blokes are about to head over to New York City to try their hand at the first every Fortnite World Cup.
Chris Hunt, gamer name CoverH and Sam Pearson, known online as AKA Twizz, are hoping they have what it takes to win the grand prize. There is $42 million (US$30 million) up for grabs over the course of the weekend.
There are 50 groups and individuals who are flocking to the US this weekend to see if they have the best skills.
At 18 and 23 years old respectively, they’re some of the older competitors, with the average age being 16 according to the New Zealand Herald.
Even if they don’t place well, each team can expect to walk away with $50,000 – yeah, that’s how much money these gamers could make if they take out the top spot.
They both have a pretty hectic schedule when it comes to training for this sort of thing. Individually they were pulling in long hours in front of their computers, but when they were announced as the duo representing New Zealand, they linked up and started playing for about six hours a day.
“It’s important to build that synergy between each other,” Pearson told the NZ Herald.
“There’s a big difference between playing with each other online where you can’t really see what the other person is doing.
“But when you’re in the same room and you’re playing next to each other and someone gets an elimination and you take down a team and he gets excited, you both get excited, you feed off each other’s energy.”
This playing together has allowed the two players to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they’re using that knowledge to hopefully form an unbeatable team.
Incredibly, the World Cup final will be played at a tennis court arena that can seat more than 20,000 people.
That’s a hell of a lot more pressure than just playing in your bedroom or lounge room.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to represent the people who have supported me and my Fortnite journey, our country, the Warriors and experiencing one of the biggest eSports events in history and feeling the energy of the crowd and the stage and the game. I’m just really looking forward to it,” Pearson said.
It all kicks off this weekend and hopefully the boys can show the rest of the world they mean business.