07/07/2021 — A shocking win at the annual Fornite All-Stars Tournament has earned a 15-year-old $75,000 and the attention of Fortnite eSports. Since its debut in 2019, the Fortnite Championship Series has rivaled League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in eSports viewership. Unlike other typical eSports formats, where matches are won in a best-of series, competitors in the FNCS win by having the most points at the end. Final rankings and eliminations determine points in matches. Additionally, tournaments are broken up between solo, duo, and trio arrangements.
Developer Epic pledged $20 million to the FNCS in all regions during Season 5, with North America dispersing a total of $3 million among the multiple tournaments held throughout the season. In addition to one of the highest prize pools in eSports, Fortnite is home to some of the youngest players. Earlier this year, Team 33 signed eight-year-old Joseph Dean, professionally known as 33 Gosu. He is the youngest professional player in Fortnite eSports and the second youngest professional player in history.
15-year-old Canadian Vincent Fortin, professionally known as PaMstou, won the annual Fortnite All-Stars Tournament to the shock of many on June 26. Before this point, Fortin had never won a major tournament. Having accrued 104 points, Fortin beat Faze Dubs, NRG clix and Bugha to claim the $75,000 prize pool. Bugha is known for his $3 million win at 16 years old during the first-ever Fortnite Championship. After his win, Fortin received many offers from teams watching his performance at the tournament but ultimately signed with Team 33. Tyler Gallagher, CEO of Team 33, said this about the recruitment in a press release on PRNewswire:
“We are very honored and blown away at the opportunity to sign Vincent to Team 33. We followed him closely during the Fortnite All-Stars tournament and were very impressed by his performance. We look forward to working closely with Vincent and we are confident that with our current team including Vincent we will be one of the Top 3 Fortnite teams in NA this year.”
Team 33 has now closed the roster for Fortnite to focus on developing and training its team for upcoming tournaments. Fortin will be a part of that team. With its official roster complete, Team 33 aims to become a force to be reckoned with soon. Recruiting young and talented individuals like Dean and potential hidden gems like Fortin, North America may have a new staple team akin to Faze and TSM.
With each passing year, eSports’ continued rise in popularity will only attract more young players like Fortin to become professional athletes. More people than ever before are playing video games, meaning it could be a matter of time before eSports outgrows its prevalent niche and spreads to a broader audience. This shift could happen sooner if young athletes are more drawn to playing Fortnite professionally than traditional sports in the coming years.