Fortnite: Battle Royale developers Epic Games have limited the allowed prize pools of third-party tournaments to a $10,000 and $20,000 cap. According to a Youtuber Daniel "KEEMSTAR" Keem and Kotaku, Epic Games "flexed their muscles" to shut down any attempts of other TOs to compete with their official multi-million Summer Skirmish events.
#FridayFortnite is canceled for tomorrow.@EpicGames is running their own event & told everyone last min. Yesterday they invited 5 of my players so I was still doing FF now they invited all. They capped FF at $20k & are doing events for $500k. I’m not holding the players back.— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) July 20, 2018
The weekly Friday Fortnite tournament organized by Keemstar happened to overlap with a newly-announced Summer Skirmish event series, organized by Epic Games themselves.
With a modest but respectable $20,000 prize pool (which was also capped by Epic Games, according to Keemstar), this small tournament series featured some big names like Ninja and Nadeshot. The attention brought to this small, community-organized event made it quite popular outside of the big leagues. Epic Games and their upcoming $8 million Summer Skirmish shouldn’t even notice such a small competitor, yet their following actions seemed to intentionally target any third-party competition.
Friday Fornite’s last event was effectively raided by Epic Games with the sudden announcement of a $500,000 Solo Tournament to be held on the same day, inviting all of the Keemstar’s players. The community took such a move for the obvious: a successful attempt to shut down any third-party tournaments of their title, however small.
This kind of policy is hardly new in the esports world, with Riot’s League of Legends and Blizzard’s Overwatch effectively monopolizing their games' scenes. Despite somewhat damaging their own reputation, Epic Games is clearly taking cues from their most successful competitors moving forward.