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Australian Open Marks Grand Slam First With Incorporated Fortnite Champions Series Oceania

T
he 2021 Australian Open achieved a tennis Grand Slam first this year by incorporating esports with the Fortnite Champions Series Oceania (FNCS) being shown on the tournament’s Twitch and YouTube channels.

The regional esports competition for Oceania is scheduled to run over five weekends from February 14 to March 14 and is an extension of a partnership between Epic Games (creators of Fortnite) and the Australian Open signed in 2019.

Tennis Australia senior gaming producer, Mark Riedy, said the online tournament helps expand tennis’ global reach with one of the world’s most popular video games, which has more than 350 million accounts.

“We’re excited to continue to expand our competitive gaming offerings with the broadcast of the Fortnite Champion Series Oceania region, starting this weekend,” Riedy said.

“Each year we look for ways to make the Australian Open bigger with new opportunities to reach new audiences with our event broadcasts, and it’s a perfect opportunity to connect with new fans and expand our global reach through one of the fastest growing games in the world,” he said.

Epic Games head of global partnerships, Nate Nanzer, said the ongoing partnership with the Australian Open highlights the relationship between gaming and sport.

“Fortnite continues to evolve as a platform that intersects gaming, sport and entertainment,” Nanzer said.

“We have built a strong relationship with the Australian Open through our previous Fortnite Summer Smash events and will be running the Fortnite Champion Series in Australia alongside six other regions around the world,” he said.

The 2020 Australian Open edition of the Fortnite Summer Smash event was Fortnite’s most watched event ever in the APAC region, hosting competitors from over 11 countries in the largest competitive gaming event seen in Australia.