$30 million at stake as the Fortnite World Cup kicks off -- but first, tips to winning the popular game

Tyler Blevins, one of the most recognized Fortnite gamers, shared some pointers.

July 26, 2019, 12:32 PM

It's the sold-out championship event that fans and players in the Fortnite universe have been waiting for and talking about: Its World Cup Finals, where a total of $30 million is up for grabs.

The event, which starts Friday and goes till Sunday, includes a competition that pairs celebrities with pro gamers; a Fortnite Fan Festival with a mini theme park, zipline and other activities; and the much-anticipated -- and much-discussed -- duos and solo finals, pitting YouTube favorites with virtual unknowns.

All of it is taking place at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York, where the U.S. Open is held annually.

However, Epic Games -- the creator of Fortnite -- will post the contests online. The top 50 teams for the duo finals and 100 players for the solo finals were decided over weeks of competitions prior to the World Cup.

For gamers, from beginners to the most advanced, set on winning at Fortnite: Battle Royale and even qualifying to enter the next Fortnite World Cup contest, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, the so-called "king" of the free online game, recently offered some key advice to players, starting with: "One hour is not enough."

"So many people underestimate and undervalue time in (the game). If you're playing like an hour a day, you're not gonna ever be at a level that you want to be at," he said.

Blevins, 27, is one of the richest and most-recognized Fortnite players in the world and has a huge social media following.

He has 1 million followers on Twitch, a social-media platform that allows viewers to watch and interact with gamers online. He also has 3.6 million followers on Twitter and 20 million followers on YouTube.

PHOTO: Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is one of the richest and most-recognized Fortnite players in the world and has a huge social-media following.
Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is one of the richest and most-recognized Fortnite players in the world and has a huge social-media following.
ABC News

"My mom always tells me, 'So, you bought this house with slime?' And I'm like, 'Yeah,'" Garcia said with a laugh. "As a kid, I always thought it would be so cool to take care of my parents one day but I didn't think it would happen this fast."

"I love Fortnite. I play it, stream it all the time. I'm constantly posting content all over my Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, streaming on Twitch," said Blevins, who lives just outside of Chicago.

He told ABC News that he played Fortnite, which allows players to compete against each other on various platforms including Playstation, Xbox and even a cellphone, 10 hours to 12 hours a day at minimum.

According to Epic Games, which owns the game, 200 million unique users have played the game since its launch.

Blevins said the game remained popular because it had no limitations and created a fun community for gamers.

"You can invite anyone. (Fortnite is) constantly changing. It's why they're succeeding so much," he said. "It's cool to play video games now."

He said that in order for players to be good at the game, they must play two to five hours a day. He also advised players to "stop trying to win the game" and simply practice.

PHOTO: Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, 27, is the so-called "king" of the hit, free online game Fortnite: Battle Royale.
Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, 27, is the so-called "king" of the hit, free online game Fortnite: Battle Royale.
ABC News

"Everyone wants to win. They want their first 'Victory Royale' in Fortnite and they just started. That's not gonna happen, man," Blevins said. "You're playing against a bunch of people who have been playing this game for a long time. You need to just learn how to play the game."

In Fortnite, nearly 100 players land on an island with nothing. They search for weapons and other items to live and survive and then take each other out -- while also avoiding a killer storm -- until there's just one person standing.

Blevins said he compared the video game to the popular, young-adult book trilogy "The Hunger Games."

"Sometimes alliances are made. Sometimes they're not," he said. "That's what the Fortnite is. You start in with nothing and the last person alive wins."

Blevins said to get better at the game, players should "go for fights, land in populated areas and get yourself situated on the (island's) map."

"Know where the weapons are and then eventually you'll get a win a lot better and a lot quicker. Those are my little tips," he said.

He called recent reports of parents hiring tutors to help their children win at the game "smart."

"There are people who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars at the age of 16, 18 playing that game," he said. "Would you ever insult a parent or question a parent for hiring a coach? Like a specific coach to help them get better at soccer or football? No one's gonna be like, 'Why would you do that?' It's the same with Fornite. There's money in it."

Blevins, who's played video games since the age of 4, said he's made "good money" playing and streaming Fortnite. He runs ads on his livestreams and also makes money from subscriptions and viewers' donations.

"I'm literally less than $70,000 away from $1 million raised this year for charity," he said.

Fortnite makes its money from in-game purchases like player skins, weapons and dances.

"It's a beautiful concept. You don't have to pay. You don't have to spend a dollar. You can play Fortnite for free forever and you don't have to buy any of the skins if you don't want to," Blevins said. "And you're not at a disadvantage because no skins give you an advantage. So you're not missing out. You can play that game for free for the last year and have had free entertainment for a year."

While several hours of game playing would be a dream for any child, experts recommend that parents set and enforce strict rules when it comes to screen time with their children.

ABC News' C R. Mandler and Taryn Hartman contributed to the reporting in this story.