Fortnite mixes with the Australian Open in a hybrid gaming-sporting contest.
Fortnite mixes with the Australian Open in a hybrid gaming-sporting contest.

Fortnite comes to Australian Open

Usually it's tennis greats like Djokovic or Kyrgios who bring the crowds to the Australian Open.

But this year, gamers from across the world will travel to the annual tennis tournament as their gaming heroes take to the court in a Fortnite battle royale.

The wildly popular video game is merging with the Australian Open, presenting the first ever Fortnite Summer Smash tournament.

And it's set to be the biggest competitive gaming event in Australian history.

Amid the tennis match-ups, video game fans will watch their favourite professional gamers vie for the title of Australia's best Fortnite player.

More than 100 personalities from sport, entertainment and gaming industries will also take part in a ProAm tournament.

 

Fortnite has joined forces with the Australian Open for a mammoth gaming showdown.
Fortnite has joined forces with the Australian Open for a mammoth gaming showdown.

 

Across the Australia Day weekend, a record $500,000 in prize money and charitable donations will be awarded to the winners of the event.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the Summer Smash will be "world-class" and the partnership with Fortnite, while unorthodox, will attempt to draw in larger crowds and reach more people.

"Fortnite is a global phenomenon, and we're excited to host the grand slam of competitive gaming events at the Australian Open," Mr Tiley said.

"The Fortnite Summer Smash at the Australian Open will see some of the best gamers from around the country do battle just hours before the world's best male tennis players compete for the AO title."

 

 

 

Co-founder of Epic Games Mark Rein said the event will be an exciting opportunity for participants and spectators.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the fun of a competitive Fortnite event to fans and players in Australia," Mr Rein said.

Joining the Australian Open athletes like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, will be competitive gaming content creator Kathleen Belsten, also known as "Loserfruit".

Ms Belsten has amassed more than 785,500 followers, posting regular videos of her Fortnite gaming.

"I played heaps of tennis growing up and the fact we get to play my favourite game now, Fortnite, at the home of my childhood favourite game is ridiculous but I'm going with it," Ms Belsten said.

 

Fortnite AO competitor Kathleen Belsten, aka ‘Loserfruit’, is hoping to prove she can be the Aussie champion.
Fortnite AO competitor Kathleen Belsten, aka ‘Loserfruit’, is hoping to prove she can be the Aussie champion.

 

Ms Belsten will compete alongside other well-known gamers, including MrFreshAsian, Muselk and Lazarbeam.

Event organiser Mark Reidy said featuring well-known players is a great addition to the ProAm roster.

"We're really excited to host an event of this size at the Australian Open," Mr Reidy said.

"The Fortnite Summer Smash is open to gamers across Australia to take part in and everyone is encouraged to sign up online for the chance to be one of 500 lucky players competing."

 

Fortnite players are preparing to battle it out on court at the Australian Open this year.
Fortnite players are preparing to battle it out on court at the Australian Open this year.

 

Although the Fortnite-Australian Open mash-up will feature esteemed gaming professionals, Ms Belsten encouraged people of all skill levels to join in.

"Anyone who thinks they have a chance should enter," she said

"I know a lot of OC (Oceania) players who think they are the best and this is the time for them to prove that they are the best and they can make it."

Fortnite fans are able to compete in qualifying events on Saturday, January 26, in an Australia Day showdown.

Winners will progress to the finals on Sunday, January 27, vying for a chance to claim the grand prize.

Information on how to qualify and event details can be found at ausopen.com. Tickets for the Sunday finals are on sale now at Ticketek.

 

Continue the conversation @mikejxmes | mike.cook@news.com.au


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