The battle royale genre is taking over the world, and Fortnite is a huge reason behind its momentum.
This fast-paced third-person shooter was released on a multitude of platforms on September 26, 2017, but it’s already made a splash in the esports scene. In fact, its success was so overwhelming that the publisher – Epic Games – announced reaching 3.4 million concurrent Fortnite players at the beginning of 2018. And as time goes on, the game only keeps getting bigger.
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How Fortnite is played
Every Fortnite game has a simple premise: a 100 players land on a small island and proceed to gather weapons and resources before partaking in an all-out brawl. When the dust settles, only one player (or one team) will be left standing, and he will be proclaimed the winner. Sounds easy, right? But there’s a lot of depth to it.
For starters, each match begins on a flying bus (don’t ask), and you have complete control over when and where you want to parachute out of it. Once you reach the island, it’s time to hunt for resources. Don’t lower your guard, though. The Fortnite map is fairly compact, so a simple act of picking up items can turn into a fight to the death if another player shows up.
Granted, this concept isn’t exactly revolutionary among battle royale shooters, but Fortnite takes things up a notch by letting players create custom structures. With that, lashes between high-level pros turn into action-packed skirmishes where each party is erecting its own stronghold to defend from enemy attacks and get better shooting angles. And while sharp aim and quick reaction time can get you far, being smart about the way you alter terrain is just as important.
As the match progresses, players will keep finding loot. All Fortnite items are divided by rarity, which ranges from common (white) to legendary (orange). The rarer the item, the more power it provides. Players will also pick up different types of weapons, so someone that started the game with a pickaxe and a pistol can end it with a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher.
But as tempting as it is to avoid fights and look for the best loot possible, Fortnite doesn’t give you this luxury. Once a few minutes pass, an effect under the name Storm Eye kicks in. It continually decreases the playable area to keep the action flowing, and so, even the most reserved players will have to jump into the fray.
Fortnite Tournaments & Prize Pools
Fortnite Battle Royale is a young title, so its esports scene is still uncharted territory. However, Epic Games already have big plans. In May 2018, the company announced a massive $100 million prize pool for the Fortnite’s first competitive season, which already puts it miles ahead of most other esports titles. And considering the season will only last until 2019, we expect the payouts to get even larger in the nearest future.
At the moment, it’s hard to tell how official Fortnite tournaments are going to look. The current 100-player format provides exciting gameplay, but it might be challenging to turn it into a compelling viewing experience. Still, people have certainly tried.
The most successful attempt was the Esports Arena tournament that revolved around a major Fortnite stream Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. The camera followed Ninja, as he attempted to win 10 games against 99 other players present at the venue. He only managed to win one. But considering that everyone who killed Ninja was promised a $2,500 reward, it’s practically a miracle that the streamer got so far. Regardless, the event received a ton of traction, which should give a glimpse into how big Fortnite esports can be.
Granted, it was more like a series of well-produced showmatches instead of an actual tournament. And it seems unlikely for Epic Games to go in the same direction. But with established organizations like FaZe and Team SoloMid taking an interest in the title, it’s clear as day that Fortnite esports is in for a bright future. We’ll continue to update this page with any news on the topic.
Betting on Fortnite
Fortnite is an esports newcomer, so for now, its esports scene is limited to occasional showmatches and local LAN tournaments. That said, the demand is there, and multiple esports betting platforms are looking to jump on the battle royale train. Bookmakers like Bet365, Betway eSports, and Pinnacle eSports are likely to provide ample opportunities to bet on Fortnite games as soon as the official tournament scene takes off.
Even now, the title is looking to challenge esports juggernauts like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and League of Legends. However, the lack of clarity regarding the tournament format makes it difficult to predict possible Fortnite betting markets.
It’s also fair to assume that Fortnite will be picked up by esports fantasy sites. Considering its immense popularity, platforms like Vulcun and Alpha Draft will be eager to offer fantasy Fortnite, which would be a welcome development for anyone living in the USA. This is especially important because fantasy esports sites tend to offer detailed statistics that could come in handy for Fortnite betting.
At the moment, Fortnite is consistently one of the most watched games on Twitch. Its official Twitter account has a massive following of 3.96 million users, and according to most estimates, the game’s player base exceeds the 45-million mark. A single glance at these numbers would let you know that Fortnite is set to have a thriving esports betting scene.
Getting an Edge at Fortnite Betting
Everyone can get a feel for Fortnite Battle Royale by downloading it from the official website. However, if you want to know what it’s like to play the game on the highest level, the best place to start is on Fortnite Twitch streams. Streamers like Ninja, TSM Myth, and DrLupo will give you a good idea of what a top-tier pro looks like, which will be very useful when betting on Fortnite matches.
You can also use the Fortnite Tracker for leaderboards and detailed statistics. Granted, the matchmaking tends to mix veterans with newcomers, but you can still see the best stand out from the rest. For example, Ninja has a whopping 14.01 KDA as well as a 47% win rate. And when the field is as large as 100 players, winning one in two games is very, very impressive.
At the moment, Fortnite betting is just a promising prospect. But considering the wild success of similar battle royale titles like PUBG, it’s more than fair to expect the game to be a smash hit.
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