On Tuesday, Epic Games will host an 50-team, 100-person invitational event during the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles for its popular game Fortnite. Participants will include the likes of NBA players Paul George, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Terrence Ross and Reggie Jackson, UFC fighters Sean O’Malley, Demetrious Johnson and Tyron Woodley, Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen and a slew of other celebrities and professional gamers.
The Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am will be the first Epic Games-sponsored esports event, less than a month after the developer committed $100 million in prize money to events for the game. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT at the Banc of California Stadium, the home of MLS team the LAFC, which opened in April. The event will be streamed across multiple platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Mixer.
Each celebrity will be paired with a professional gamer, streamer or gaming influencer; these participants range from a background of a number of games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and, of course, Fortnite itself. From there, all 100 players will be dropped into the same server, as the teams of two battle to eliminate each other, until the final team is left standing.
Other celebrities competing in the event include rappers Desiigner, Lil Yachty, Vince Staples, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Ty Dolla $ign, WWE wrestler Xavier Woods, EDM artists Marshmello, Dillon Francis and Arty, and actors like Chandler Riggs, Joel McHale and others. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of Fortnite and Twitch’s most popular streamers, will compete, as well as other influencers like Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag and Imane “pokimane” An, among others.
In March, Ninja, rappers Drake and Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster streamed themselves playing Fortnite and broke a Twitch record for concurrent viewers on an individual streamers channel, with over 628,000 people tuning in. Other events, like one hosted by Ninja and Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas in April, OpTic Arena in June and others have attracted a significant amount of players and viewers alike. In May, Fortnite was the highest-viewed game on Twitch, with a total of 127.9 million hours consumed by viewers, according to Statista.
According to Epic, the game had over 45 million players in January. And the game held a 16.3 percent market share among its competitors in the widely-popular battle royale game genre, more than Battlegrounds or H1Z1, according to data aggregated by Newzoo in March. The game is available to play on Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and iOS.