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DU QUOIN — Ultimate Gaming Championships and the Du Quoin State Fair are trying to lure Fortnite fans out of their homes to play in a Fortnite tournament, sponsored by Ultimate Gaming Championship.

Play runs from 4 to 11 p.m. on weekends in the Modern Woodmen of America Technology Building (in the Second Heat) on the fairgrounds. Prizes will be given for the high scores each night. Two overall grand prizes will be awarded to the players with the highest scores of all players during the fair.

“Fortnite is the most popular game in the United States right now, with more than 250 million downloads,” Jordan O’Keefe, a junior at Du Quoin High School, said.

Jordan began playing the game in Season 1 in 2017, when he was a freshman. He was asked by Ultimate Gaming Championship to help host the tournament.

“Fortnite is a PVP (player versus player) video game. A hundred people drop out of the sky on a bus and the zone pushes everyone together. You try to outlast everyone else,” Jordan said.

He believes e-sports are the next big thing in sports. Recently, a 16-year-old won a competition and took home $3 million. Jordan pointed out that the kids made more this year than some top athletes.

Jordan said the game promotes friendships, although it may be odd to say that a game most people play in the comfort of their homes connecting with friends online promotes friendships. Jordan has connected to students at his high school through the game who would not have been his friends otherwise.

“Fortnite really brought boys in our school together,” he said. “Fortnite definitely changes a lot of people’s lives.”

Lauren Sheks, Raegan Tilley and another friend played the game Thursday evening at the fair. They cooperated in the game. They said Raegan is really good.

As they played, Jordan explained the game, how to get weapons and building materials. The goal of the game is to be the last player standing.

He also said turnout has been low, but they hope for bigger numbers today and Sunday.

It’s easy to join the tournament. Just go to the technology building and sign up.

The Du Quoin State Fair runs through Labor Day. For daily schedules and highlights go to duquoinstatefair.net.

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