Travis Mccrackin / May 6
Ok, Fortnite is huge, no doubt about that, but is competitive Fortnite something we should expect to see in an official esports arena anytime soon? I certainly hope so! With Fortnite tournaments being held in abundance, and the huge popular demand behind it, I believe we’ll see competitive Fortnite at the forefront of esports sooner rather than later.
Shortly after Ninja’s record-breaking stream, Fortnite developers, Epic Games, announced plans for a celebrity tournament to take place at this year’s E3. Quite the coincidence, right? Well over 600,000 viewers were in online attendance to see Drake and Ninja play a round of Battle Royale together. While a huge figure this really comes as no surprise when on a typical Monday afternoon Ninja can boast as many as 111,000 viewers.
The 100 player tournament will consist of 50 teams of two, pairing each celebrity with a professional gamer. Epic said they would be putting teams together “soon”. Epic sure knows how to keep a guy waiting. This celebrity pro-am is sure to take the Fortnite craze to new heights. The affectionately titled “Fortnite Party Royale” will take place June 12-14 during E3 in Los Angeles.
Not everyone is so excited or eager to see Fortnite make its way into the esport world. It’s been called “too casual” to enter the esports arena. There is also some concern that too much luck is involved for there to be any clear winning decision made. Isn’t the same true for any sport though? You can’t control every variable.
Chris Hopper, head of Esports at Riot Games, said in an interview with Forbes that games like Fortnite and PUBG have a long way to go before they can be “viable” as esports. Citing problems with accessibility, consistency, and sustainability, Chris states that these games are “…more on my gamer radar than my esport radar.”
It’s worth stating that Riot Games are the ones who developed League of Legends, the current top title for official competitive gaming. I sense another rivalry taking shape. Since both Epic and Riot are owned by the same company, I hope it will be a friendly one.
No matter how you view it, Fortnite’s popularity is rising with no end in sight. I see it doing its own thing if the powers that be don’t give it official recognition. There are already tons of unofficial Fortnite leagues. Teams like SoloMid and FaZe have already begun recruiting. Fortnite as an esport is coming. The only choice left is to get onboard or out of the way. This is Travis here at Launch Pad Gaming. See you on the ground!