Lafayette to host ‘Fortnite’ e-sports competition, first of its size

Posted at 9:35 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 22:35:35-04

It’s a game that’s taken the world by storm.

Fortnite has amassed around 3.4 million players, according to Epic Games, the company launched the viral game. Now, the Cajun Dome will be hosting a Fortnite gaming competition this weekend, the first of its size.

The e-sports tournament will be Saturday to Sunday and will also be streamed worldwide on the platform, Twitch.         

But why Lafayette? Simply put, it’s the city’s technology infrastructure.

"The trend for the last 3 years has been venues trying to get into the e-sports business," said Pam DeVille, the assistant director of the Cajun Dome.

The e-sports world has no doubt taken its spot on the competition stage. The stage, this time, is being set at the Cajun Dome.

"One of the things that sets Lafayette apart from other cities is that we have a huge amount of connectivity to bring these types of resources local to the Cajun Dome. We’d be hard-pressed to duplicate this in another venue or municipality," said Ashton Langlinais, the president of WOW technologies, the IT firm assisting with the event.

This will be the largest Fortnite competition yet, attracting locals and others from all over the country.

"Well this is huge. I just got an e-mail a few minutes ago. There’s a young man who’s parents are putting him in a car Thursday and they’re driving from Chicago to come compete in this tournament," said DeVille.

Some of you at home may be wondering what is Fortnite?

KATC’s Dannielle Garcia went to find out from Cody Abshire, a gamer with UL’s Ragin’ Cajun e-sports, who will be at the competition this weekend as well.

"I think what’s the big key that’s made it so popular is that it’s free. It’s available to everyone on Xbox, Playstation, computer, what have you. So everyone can play it and it’s fun, you can play with your friends," said Abshire, who was sitting with a group of friends playing.

The team is also helping coordinate this weekend’s tournament.

"The Cajun Dome is one of its kind in the south. And if we show them that we can pull it off, then anyone else can pull it off. And we want to be the first ones in the south to get on board and show these other bigger states that ‘hey we can pull it off and we want to be the head of it all,’" said Abshire.

"Because of the backbone this city has with fiber, we felt like it was natural and we felt like it was our job and calling to bring this to the forefront," said DeVille.

The competition is open to all ages and the deadline to register is Wednesday at noon. You must physically be at the event to play, it is not an online event although it will be streamed on Twitch on the Cajun Dome page.

$10,000 in cash prizes are up for grabs. The game is pay to play. To register and buy tickets to the event click here.