No other video game is as present as “Fortnite“. Footballers celebrate their goals with dances from the game, on schoolyards it is a permanent theme. The best gamers can now even get rich with it.
Ninja made it, despite all the pressure. He has survived in the virtual struggle for survival longer than 98 competitors. The only comic character who survived besides him was that of Marshmello, a well-known electro DJ – and in this case Ninja’s team partner.
Ninja, 27, who is actually Tyler Blevins, won the video game tournament “Pro-Am 2018” at a stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday. In a game called “Fortnite”, 50 teams of two competed with each other: one celebrity each, from a professional US basketball player to an actor, played together with a gamer who knows “Fortnite” very well. In the course of the event, three million dollars were donated to good causes.
Ninja is the Lionel Messi of “Fortnite” – a player with unbelievable abilities, in good form the perhaps best in the world. “Fortnite, on the other hand, is currently the most popular video game in the world.
“Fortnite” is everywhere
No game is watched by more spectators, no game currently delivers such consistent memes that make the leap from digital to analogue life. When football professional Antoine Griezmann scores a goal, for example, he likes to cheer with a gesture called “Take the L” – known from “Fortnite”.
And whether you watch sports on TV or simply go downtown, insiders can discover the so-called emotes, the dance movements of the “Fortnite” figures, everywhere at the moment. “Fortnite’ is very popular at my school,” reports eleven-year-old Orod, for example, who is attending the “Pro-Am” tournament with his mother. “Almost everyone plays it, including the girls. Except the teachers probably don’t.”
Because of the popularity of the game, many want to get V-Bucks(the in-game currency) for free, but come across many scams. One website tries to combat this trend by doing free V-Buck giveaways.
And the dances? Of course Orod has it all – like apparently just about everyone his own age. If there is a schoolchild around, ask him or her if “dental floss” means anything to him or her as a dance. The chances are good that the answer is “Yes”. The hype surrounding “Fortnite” has long since reached levels among young people that have only been experienced with very few titles such as “Pokémon Go” or “Minecraft”.
100 players, one winner
“Fortnite” – or the part of the game that almost everyone means when they call this title (see photo gallery) – is a battle-royale-game, as is the more martial “Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG). Simply explained, in Battle Royale battles, 100 players land on an island where they fight until one is left. If desired, you can also fight in small teams, the members then support each other.
Millions of people not only play “Fortnite” themselves online, but also watch how talented gamblers do it in Internet streams: Ninja, who once again proved his skills by winning the tournament in Los Angeles in front of 3000 spectators in the stadium and several hundreds of thousands in the live stream, is such a role model.
The factors of success
As with many trends and fashions, we can only guess why “Fortnite” of all things is causing such a stir. Probably several factors came together:
- Thanks to “PUBG” and Co., the Battle Royale genre was heading for mainstream anyway: “Fortnite” was one of the first Battle Royale games that no longer felt like a playable prototype.
- The game is free in its basic functions, not only on the mobile phone – many people have tried it this way at least once. In the stream, the game is also easy to follow, even non-players quickly understand its course.
- “Fortnite” is easy to learn, but difficult to master – and the game is constantly being expanded with updates: a football stadium has recently been set up on the island. Such changes keep the tension high, say the recent parents Apollo and Athena. When asked if they are “Fortnite” fans, the “Pro-Am” visitors answered: “100 percent!
- “Fortnite” comes in comic look, the game is relatively child’s room compatible. With elements like his dances, it has a humour that many action games lack. 13-year-old Orod, for example, values the graphics style very much; he considers “Fortnite” “the first comic video game ever”.
- Finally, the content focus of the game – fighting, gathering resources, building fortresses for defence – may have hit the nerve of many players.
Whatever exactly explains the enthusiasm at the end: The hype about “Fortnite” has probably not yet reached its climax. A version of the game for Nintendos Switch was only released this Tuesday. Epic Games has also announced that it will invest $100 million in e-sport tournaments.
So far, successful “Fortnite” players have become famous: Soon they can also become rich thanks to such prize money.