Fortnite Comes to ESL Katowice with a $600,000 Prize Pool

Intel Extreme Masters have just hosted the opening stage of their flagship Polish Esports event. Fortnite made its first appearance at the event, with two tournaments taking place over the course of two weekends. The initial round of the tournament was conducted over the 23rd and 24th of February featuring the biggest Polish players competing in Duos and Solo rounds. This will be followed by a wider event open to international players due to take place on the 1-3rd of March.

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© Epic Games

The first round featured Polish competitive players, streamers, and influencers, competing to take home a title and a share of the $100,000 prize pool. Jarkos took home first place in singles, followed by Shikuni, and Qin. These names were notably missing from the Fortnite Secret Skirmish roster. Hopefully, the win at this event should show Epic Games that their abilities are well on-par with attendees at their other invitationals. These players will get the chance to prove that at the next round. Jarkos is only 16 years old and is currently playing for Check-Point Team. The talent on display was particularly impressive for such a young player.

Richart and Mocarazz took home first place in Duos, followed by Wilqoo and Monki, then dzejbol and J4chu in third. The winners of these events have a spot guaranteed at the invitational taking place over the next weekend.

While there was some great talent on display over the course of the first event, the main thing that made the news wasn’t any player or game but a fan’s strange interview. A presenter of coverage of the event interviewed some fans dressed up as popular Fortnite skins and decided to ask them if they actually played the game. The interviewee revealed they only play PUBG. The host looked a little lost for words and could only manage to reply with “Okay…Okay. Yeah, well, Fortnite”.

International Invitational

The concluding two days of the tournament will hopefully draw some actual Fortnite fans in. This event will be an invitational following the standard model of a Duos round and a Solo round. It will feature international players, with a roster that includes Bizzle who recently won the Solo round of the Secret Skirmish. You can watch this tournament live from 12.20 each day over the 1-3rd of March.

The Invitational does have some notable absences. Such as tfue and Cloak from the FaZe clan. They are planning on missing the event, this is disappointing given their usual performance. However, coming only a short time after the last major tournament it is understandable.  Tfue has recently left his overall Fortnite Competitive status in a strange state.

He recently said he might not make it to the Fortnite World Cup as well as missing this invitational. This won’t be for lack of trying but he thinks his life as a full-time streamer makes it impossible for him to compete. For one thing, he doesn’t have the same amount of time in the game to practice without an audience or performing. However, another more important issue he raises is that other players can be very well-versed in how he plays and his strategies ahead of major events. The example he gave was that every other player knows where he lands every time from watching his stream. Fortnite is a game with a competitive scene that has a strong focus on streamers and influencers, it’ll be interesting to see how it develops as players have to start choosing between competitive or streaming.

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