The planet’s absolute best players will go head-to-head for money, pride, and fan appreciation at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center soon…but they won’t use rackets and balls.

The first-ever Fortnite World Cup Finals will unfold IRL at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park from Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28.

After a 40-million-gamer, multi-month qualifying challenge, the top 100 solo Fortnite players and the top 50 duo teams are ready to compete for a $30 million prize pool. Each contestant gets at least $50,000, and the solo champion walks away with $3 million.

Organized by Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, with logistics and operations by the entertainment company Endeavor, the main tennis court and its surrounding grounds will be transformed into an environment similar to what viewers experience when playing the popular online game. In essence, it will be a mini-theme park with activities and Fortnite characters in costume. Attendees will have access to in-game locations such as Blackheart’s pirate ship and a mini-golf course. They’ll be able to dine at Durrr Burger, get a cone at Sofdeez Ice Cream Shop, and hang out with Tomatohead and Brite Bomber.  Coordinated lighting and a sound design will enhance the stage show.

Tickets start at $50 for a three-day pass. (Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)

Here’s the schedule:

July 26, Creative Finals and Celebrity Pro-Am
9:30 a.m., Fan Festival opens;
11:30 a.m., stadium doors open; and
1 p.m., show starts.
July 27, Duos Finals
9:30 a.m., Fan Festival opens;
11:30 a.m., stadium doors open; and
1 p.m., show starts.
July 28, Solos Finals
9:30 a.m.. Fan Festival opens;
11:30 a.m., stadium doors open; and
1 p.m., show starts.

The Fortnite World Cup will also be broadcast live on Youtube, Facebook and other social media channels.

Released in 2017, Fortnite is currently the undisputed leader in the “esports” industry. It features three distinct modes: Save the World, a shooter-survival game; Battle Royale, a free-for-all where as many as 100 people fight each other until only one is still standing; and Creative, where players make their own worlds and battle arenas. The Battle Royale mode has more than 250 million registered players, including professional gamers such as the ones who will compete at this event.

Arthur Ashe Stadium is the world’s largest tennis arena with seating for almost 24,000 spectators. The facility is at the end of a five-year $650 million renovation.

Images: Epic Games


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