Raleigh lands Fortnite and Apex Legends esports tournaments
In the past few weeks, Raleigh has landed not one but two global esports tournaments, from industry juggernauts Epic Games and Electronic Arts.
Why it matters: It's a major coup for a city trying to put itself on the map as a video game destination.
- In 2018, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau elevated esports as a major priority of its recruitment strategy, said Loren Gold, executive vice president of the visitors bureau.
- The tournaments can bring thousands of visitors and the industry is growing rapidly. Newzoo, a research firm, expects the global esports audience to reach 532 million by the end of 2022, Venture Beat reported.
What's happening: Last month, Cary-based Epic Games picked Raleigh to host its 2022 Fortnite Champion Series Invitationals.
- Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world, and the competition — set for Nov. 12-13 at the Raleigh Convention Center — will have a $1 million prize pool.
- On Tuesday, Apex Legends, a battle royale game published by EA, picked PNC Arena to host its Apex Legends Global Series Year 2 Championship on July 7-10.
Gold said that he expects the two events to each attract thousands of spectators and fill hotel rooms across the city.
- A Halo tournament in Raleigh last year brought nearly 8,000 attendees and $1.3 million in direct spending.
- More important, in Gold's opinion, was advertising Raleigh’s name to the 10.5 million viewers on Twitch and YouTube.
Driving the news: The tournaments might not have come to Raleigh, if not for a $5 million esports incentive passed by the N.C. General Assembly last year.
- "The grant helped push us over the finish line," Gold said. "And it shows that North Carolina and Raleigh are taking the industry seriously."
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