Fortnite World Сup Shows that eSports Future is Here
Remember the times, when playing any computer game was considered a teenage hobby? That felt so lame! Now, the future is here. It’s time for youngsters to set up the entertainment trends relying on their actual hobbies. Companies and brands finally recognized youth as a powerful target audience. Whether it is music, literature, or cybersports – there will be a place for dedicated teenagers who are ready to run the world.
Here comes Fortnite and its phenomenal World Cup. Before this year, Fortnite was already known as an influencer. This summer, they got a new achievement to hit the lines – a player from Pennsylvania to perform a perfect solo worth $3 million. The name of a new legend is Kyle Giersdorf (aka Bugha) and he just turned 16. Kyle took part in a three-day marathon and the total sum of the prize pools provided by Fortnite there was $30 million.
These exorbitant sums serve proof of cybersports getting into a serious competition within the entertainment market. In this fight, Fortnite doesn’t stand alone, however, may be considered one of the powerful competitors.
What do we know about Fortnite?
Fortnite is a battle royale released in 2017 by Epic Games. Its idea is pretty simple: 100 people get to a virtual island and fight till the only one is left. Following the comments of famous streamers who tested Fortnite back in 2017, the rules are not that complicated but mastering the game can take some time.
Another component that made Fortnite popular from the very beginning is that all the players can play for free unlocking special items during the game. To satisfy the wishes of the most dedicated fans, Fortnite designed a Premium Battle Pass, which makes other exclusive features available.
According to the monthly statistics provided by NewZoo, Fortnite doesn’t go below the 5th/6th position. Considering such cybersports giants as League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite’s rate is prestigious enough.
In the research by the Guardian, you may see that most of the Fortnite players are teenagers or even kids. Even though a classic battle royale implies lots of violence, Fortnite prefers to depict these controversial moments in a delicate way. The graphics is very similar to our favorite cartoons: vivid colors and silly characters make the whole process funny and lightsome.
When there is a need, players can chat with the help of a microphone and headphones. However, in which game can they dance together as a team? Well-well, Fortnite gets another point here.
Why Fortnite World Cup is special?
Let’s start from a surprising point. The average age of the participants getting to the finals is 16. There are around 40 million regular Fortnite players and 250 million of those who take part in the local competitions for 10 weeks. Right after, 200 most qualified players are offered to visit New York and perform there in various nominations. This year, Fortnite World Cup hosted 34 countries.
Aydan Conrad from Ohio mentioned another important factor for Fortnite to attract such a wide audience. All the tournaments are transparent, which allows participating in the finals for literally anyone. What is more, there are numerous nominations and no restrictions on choosing one. For example, after failing his solo performance, a famous Twitch streamer Ninja nailed one of the pro-ams.
Fortnite.com wasn’t the only broadcast spot: Mixer, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and even Caffeine did a good job not only streaming the event but providing comments from the experienced cybersports stars. Most of the broadcast platforms offered an opportunity to select among several streams, thus watch the one dedicated to a favorite gamer.
Due to the meticulous approach to logistics, all the Fortnite World Cup events went smoothly. From the side, it looked like a well-rehearsed musical since all the hosts did a perfect job linking the rounds being supported by quality graphics and fantastic sound effects. The director of esports at the entertainment company Endeavor Stewart Saw even compared this tournament to the Super Bowl noticing that it gathered twice as much attention from the online audience.
What’s the contribution of Fortnite to the esports niche?
After sufficient research on the esports market, you can obviously see that most of the successful players are 25 and older. No tournament has ever hosted such a tremendous amount of genuinely talented teenagers, who could easily win $50 thousand relying on their gaming skills.
Many young players note that winning a championship is not only a matter of their professional skills but also time-management and teamwork, which are the nowadays corporative milestones. Sam “Twizz” Pearson from New Zealand said that having a good game is not the only goal since you have to practice your skills and conduct systematic reflection of those. And this the point of entertainment actually turning into a business.
Fortnite started a revolution in a revolutionary niche and watching this dynamic process is more than breathtaking. This is why it’s expected that the fresh market entrances like the one made by Overwatch will signify a bunch of opportunities rising for the younger generation.
How different is cybersports from other types of entertainment and sports in general?
Esports is the fastest-growing entertainment industry in the world. Just 13-15 years ago, South Korea and China gave a significant boost to the players from the other countries showing that cybersports is more than just a hobby. Esports betting, esports majors at the universities, and wide range of tournaments for both amateur and professionals proved old school wrong.
In 2018, the total revenue from cybersports equaled 1 billion. It’s estimated that just by 2022, esports will cost the US more than Hollywood. By the way, 2022 will be the first year when the Olympic Council of Asia will proudly present the first medal in cybersport during the Asian Games. What a brave precedent for the entire Olympic system!
The CEO of ESL, largest video games producer, Ralf Reichart once said that even though esports don’t involve the same physical aspects of traditional sports, they have more in common than you can imagine. “…The physical aspect is less in videos games than it is in football, but everything else: strategy, team play, the will to win, the thrill of winning, the fear of losing…”
So far, there is not that much information about the further milestones in the collaboration process; however, both sides “set a platform for future engagement”. Whereas NFL and the NBA are left behind, Olympic games do have a chance to draw the attention of the new audience by finally passing a decision about cybersports getting on the sports list. Why not?
Today, it’s not only about how traditional this sport is. By accepting esports to the Olympic system, the committee will also encourage a massive flow of investments. Take a look at the long list of the companies that dream about the same success Fortnite achieved. Heads will roll as soon as the news about the Olympic games will be announced!
Hopefully, Fortnite will keep its image of a trendsetter. So far, all the new features they introduce during their tournaments do influence the cybersport market. There are still more improvements that can be made in the industry, like involving players with a diverse background. However, it’s clear that there is no way back to the times of the “lame geek hobbies”. Not today 🙂