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Fortnite’s new #FreeFortnite Cup tournament includes some anti-Apple rewards

‘All of your friends. Awesome prizes. And one bad apple.’

Fortnite’s Tart Tycoon character, meant to represent Apple Image: Epic Games
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Epic is hosting a new tournament inside of Fortnite and it’s specifically tied to the company’s on-going legal feud with Apple and Google. The new tournament is called the #FreeFortnite Cup and Epic is promoting it as the last tournament to include all of Fortnite’s mobile players, and giving away some anti-Apple rewards to the winners and participants.

The entire tournament appears to be designed as a send off for iOS players, and a careful reminder of why they’ll no longer be able to play Fortnite on their phones. As a brief refresher, Apple removed Fortnite from the iOS App Store after Epic Games added a purchase option to the game that circumvented Apple’s 30% cut of all microtransactions made in iOS apps. Hours after the game was removed from the App Store, Epic responded by suing Apple on antitrust grounds and attempting to have Apple’s cut of App Store transactions reduced from 30%. Epic also put out an in-game parody video called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” which ended with the hashtag that gives this tournament its name: #FreeFortnite.

The #FreeFortnite Cup will function like most of Fortnite’s other in-game tournaments. Players will have four hours to play up to 12 matches, earning points for things like getting eliminations, winning a game, and staying alive.

While the entire idea of a tournament celebrating the last days iOS players will be able to play Fortnite is clearly a dig at Apple removing the game from the App Store, the rewards players can earn in the tournament take it a step further.

Any player in any region that earns 10 points will get the Tart Tycoon Outfit for free. The Tart Tycoon is the evil businessman character that showed up in Fortnite’s parody of Apple’s 1984 commercial — he also just so happens to have an apple for a head. The top 20,000 players will get a real physical “Free Fortnite” hat with a rainbow llama on it. Finally the top 1,200 players will all get some form of gaming hardware. As Epic puts it, “just because you can’t play on iOS doesn’t mean there aren’t other awesome places to play Fortnite.”

The gaming hardware prizes will include:

  • Alienware Gaming Laptop
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 tablet
  • OnePlus 8 smartphone
  • PlayStation 4 Pro
  • Xbox One X
  • Nintendo Switch

As for the actual legal battle between Apple and Epic, little progress has been made. In fact, Apple countered Epic by informing the game developer that it would shut down its App Store accounts, including those related to Epic popular Unreal Engine, if Epic didn’t remove the purchase option from Fortnite by Aug. 28. On social media, Epic called that action “retaliation.”

The #FreeFortnite Cup will begin on Aug. 23, but will have a different start time for every region. Every platform, including those mobile players that still have the game installed on their devices, will be eligible to compete during the four-hour window of the tournament in each region.