1) Fortnite esports is definitely ‘a thing’ and will command a massive audience.
Fortnite streaming is typically based on epic content. (See what I did there).
Sceptics of Fortnite esports have often described the downtime between fights as dead air or empty content that weakens the viewing experience. The #RiseTillDawn event showed that it’s the exact opposite. Epic build fights have become the hallmark of competitive Fortnite, much like how a goal-line scramble or an alley-oop are the highlight of football and basketball respectively. However, often it is the lulls in gameplay or the mid-match interviews that help to build the narrative of the competition.
As such, we think Fortnite esports isn’t just ‘a thing’ but these moments that allow for audience/gamer interaction are the gold dust from which the blanket of Fortnite esports shall be forged.
The appetite was obviously there from a player perspective, as thousands of people registered and subsequently competed. However, esports needs spectators. Spectators they had. Hundreds flew from around the US and abroad to attend the live event. Hundreds of thousands watched online.
2) Fortnite esports is unique as an engagement proposition
Viewership of the stream hovered around the 120 – 150k concurrent mark even at 04:00 a.m. US time. People were tuned in and glued to the content.
Even when Ninja and Lupo were eliminated the figures remained high because the audience had the capacity to engage with the talent in a whole new fashion. They asked Ninja questions about his personal life, how he felt that fans were willing to make the trip to Chicago to meet him in person. The streamers were effervescent and charming throughout.
Fortnite esports presents a unique opportunity for pro gamers to also be present and to ‘carry’ their audience with them, even when they are eliminated, to see how far the person that eliminated their favourite gamer can go in the round of Royale.
In short, the viewing experience right now only allows for viewers to follow the king (whoever kills the person they are following), but tons of people are tuning in because of the unique capacity to speak with someone who has been eliminated from the round for the rest of the game
There are also multilingual opportunities for streamers from different regions to commentate in their native tongue on future events.
3) Ninja and Dr. Lupo are actually pretty sick at Fortnite esports
Back to back victories after 5th, 4th, and 3rd place finishes for the two Twitch streamers who have become friends whilst enjoying their streaming successes and their rise to the top of Twitch’s Fortnite channels.
Numerous times during the stream Ninja made remarks that he wanted the points for group A to be tallied to indicate that he and his streaming partner had won the Red Bull event. Indeed, it seems that his partner and he did indeed collect more cumulative group points.
After his gaming performance at the Luxor esports arena in Vegas, which was less than he would have hoped for, it was important for Ninja and his compadre to show that they are really still some of the best Fortnite players in the world. They did that, whilst maintaining their positivity and charm.
Given that it was an ‘all-night’ stream, this was all the more exemplary.
4) Does Fortnite esports need a rejig for how play is rewarded?
Anecdotally, sometimes the most skilled players in Fortnite aren’t the ones that win. That is to say, often players/duos/squads with 1, 2 or 3 kills out of a possible 90+ are rewarded not for their headshots, wicked aim and epic building skills. Rather, they are esports superstars because of their patience.
Players are not incentivised to play aggressively and search out opponents to engage in a build fight. Chasing someone opens you up to shots from other angles. Engaging in a build fight wastes valuable resources that can be spent later in the game.
As such, Edge Esports wonders if in the future players might be incentivised to try and sneak extra snipes or lob some random grenades at team fights to attempt to squeeze out a couple more kills since these will count towards point scoring in the long term.
The answer remains to be seen.
5) The SMG is too strong.
It’s a building killer that has better aim than the SCAR. Expect a nerf coming in the next month or so. Getting rid of the double pump was a great idea. However, having a building shredder that can do residual damage if you hold the trigger on a person standing behind a wall when they can’t build fast enough to protect themselves is OPAF.
6) Building is beast. Conservation is key.
Not so much has shifted in the Fortnite meta that building now takes second fiddle to aim when engaging in epic team fights. That said, one thing became apparent during the #RedBullRiseTillDawn event. If you blow all your ‘mats’ on one team fight, a better equipped, more healthy squad/duo is going to be breathing down your neck in no time ready to finish you off.
As such, aspiring Fortnite pros should remember. Conservation is key.
7) HyperX are backing Fortnite esports. So are we!
The product that HyperX had on display was gorgeous. Their apparent desire to move more from a hardcore gamers’ brand to a lifestyle and streetwear product line ebbs and flows wonderfully with what Fortnite esports can offer from its cross-pollinated audiences.
Looking forward to the future, guys!
8) Nobody goes to Tilted Towers in competitive
Just read the title. Now, we’re off to Tilted Towers to #pwn some #n00bs.