Friday, June 15, 2018

Fortnite and Esports: Thoughts






Breaky and I finished up eating on Tuesday the 12th and made plans to continue our Marvel CU run through with Thor: the Dark World .

Breaky quickly realized that it was actually the night that E3 was hosting the Fortnite Pro Am at E3. The Pro Am at E3 was Fortnite's big debut in to esports for the game, combining pro streamers and players with celebrities who play the game. All proceeds and winnings went to charities of the players' choosing.

Recently, Epic Games announced it would be providing a $100,000,000 prize pool for their first year of esports. The big question remains, though, is how they are going to divide that up and with how many games/tournaments. Epic Games stated it will not be in a league format, like that of Overwatch, and will be open to everyone. They, however, have given little details as to what kind of games/tournaments. Will they continue with this celebrity trend? Groups of two? Teams of 2+? Individual/solo tournaments? Personally, I'd like to see teams of more than two. But I digress.

Tuned into the stream, only to realize that it is unfortunately already a half hour late to start. We both can empathize, we have both been a part of and witnessed how things can go behind the scenes at esports evens. However, being it's first inaugural esports event, it did not bode very well.

I was  most interested in how the spectating was going to happen for this game. If you are not familiar with Fortnite or any kind of battle royale style game, think Hunger Games, but with building supplies, pinatas and emotes. Oh, and weapons.  Which means you have 100 people in different points of the map doing different things, and battles happening everywhere, or nothing happening. Turns out, it took quite a while for us to find out. Pre-game shenanigans occurred, like interviews, crowd shots, information about who's competing.



When the competitors came on stage, no formal introduction was done. Just commentating on specific people if the casters happen to notice. Read: if you were not Ninja, Marshmellow or Joel McHale, you got very little screen time. I think this annoyed Breaky the most, was the very disjointed announcement of competitors on stage.

When the games actually started, I have to say, for the most part I was pretty impressed. The spectating was better than what I had imagined. I think the only complaint that either of us had was the fact that the system did not yet have the capability of alerting when a big fight was underway, similar to the HoN system, which still has one of the best spectating systems in place. Not that we are biased or anything.

Overall, we were entertained. Not surprisingly, Ninja and Marshmellow took home the "gold"




Not going to lie, I did play Fortnite: Battle Royale when it was just a free-to-play add-on to the original game: Fortnite, which was debuted at E3 last year, and both Breaky and I were interested in it. It was a zombie survival game in which you can build structures and traps to destroy the impending zombie waves. It seemed that the Battle Royale option was a tag-on to get people interested and to ride the wave of success PUBG was having. Breaky and I and a few friends played probably for a few weeks, enjoying the game very much. Personally, I wasn't very good at the whole building things, which you have to be now to be any good at it whatsoever. It has definitely changed, and I don't think I would be any good anymore. How hipster is that of me to say? I liked this game before it became popular. Ha.

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