The first thing I noticed when I walked into Arthur Ashe's stadium was the sound. The roar of thousands of fans did not go down in one place or in the cacophony of dozens of people who worked hard behind the scenes to make sure everything went smoothly. Instead, I was greeted with the iconic music Fortnite . This was brilliant at first glance by any speaker at the famous tennis court, which is best known for hosting the US Open for more than two decades. Under the watchful eye of Andre Agassi's high poster, I was thinking of finding a few games of battle in my phone.
Last weekend, developer Epic Games released the biggest show Fortnite At the world's largest tennis stadium in New York, the company held the first World Cup final Fortnite . As the name implies, the chance to watch the best players in the world compete against each other for a share of the huge $ 30 million prize pool. Those who did it went through a grueling 1
It was an exciting race that spread in four different tournaments with huge names like Tyner "Ninja" Blevins and Turner "Tufu" Tennes. But the World Championship was also home to a miniaturized amusement park Marshmelo's concert, a mockery of the upcoming 10th season of the game, as well as numerous moments that blurred the boundary between the game and the real world. It was a chance for Epic to show how big it is Fortnite is really.
Outside the stadium of Arthur Ashe there were many attractions drawn directly from the game, creating the best-described miniature theme park. You can ride a zipline or roll in a giant ball, and there was a Lazy Links mini golf course and a giant pirate ship. DJ Yonder (robotic lama) stood behind the gramophones, the kids walking around, carrying plastic glasses full of branded Slurp Juice, and fans flying around in supply bags. The crowd was quite varied, especially in terms of age. There were many families with younger children, adding to the mood of the theme park, along with gaggles of teenagers and older fans, decorated in electronic jerseys, representing Faze Clan, TSM and even Overwatch New York Excelsior and Los Angeles Gladiators. Fans were given tagged with earplugs and watercases along with their tickets to stay comfortable throughout the hot weekend.
Then there were mascots. Fortnite is known for the ever-growing number of heroes sold in the game as digital skins. There were many of them who walked – or rather danced – on the World Cup. Fans were able to shoot everyone with banana from Paley to the troubled fish, as well as fast food talismans by Dur Burger and Pizza Pitt. They seemed to be constantly moving. Do you know how in Disney World members of the cast can not take off the heads of their suits? The Fortnite World Championship felt so, except that the Talisman was not allowed to stop with a thread. This, in turn, made everyone around them start moving, leading to improvised dances. I've never seen so many people shaving in my life.
There were several places where the fantasy Fortnite was dropped. On Friday I walked past several of the smaller courts and saw people still practicing tennis amid all the chaos. And if someone wants to buy a Durr Burger onesie or a neon yellow hat on the World Cup, they had to do it in a shop with the inscription "US Open Collection". But for the most part space was an impressive evolution from the past Fortnite Events and seemed constantly crowded. Signs outside attractions often signaled a 90-minute wait time, and people obediently stood in line despite harsh conditions. The line was particularly enormous on the third day, thanks to the promise of cardboard Marshmello helmets and free V-Bucks for a limited number of participants.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the World Cup was how it blurred the line between the real world and the digital universe Epic created. The places and characters of the game not only made their way to IRL, but also the Battle Pass. Just like in the game, fans were encouraged to perform multiple tasks each day (in this case, it was a visit to attractions) to win prizes, including a V-Bucks physical coin. And while you can buy all kinds of merchandise at the World Cup at the event, it was also available in the game; two limited editions of the World Cup were sold only during the weekend, along with other free prizes like wallpaper.
A lot is done about how Fortnite is more a place than a game, a new type of immersive social networking. The World Cup has shown that this can also be transferred to the real world. Such is the fuzzy difference between the two that when Marshmell announced he would perform a concert on Sunday afternoon, it was unclear whether he meant the World Cup or the game. (To make things even worse, Marshmell played the frames from his concert during his set at Arthur Ash stadium.)
Of course, the main attraction was competition. Epic went on a significant expense to turn Fortnite into a viable competitive game. Last year the company pledged $ 100 million to build electronic sports with the final goal being a massive championship at the end. This time was not particularly smooth. Early tournaments were affected by technical problems, lack of quality of production and visibility problems. In fact, the first event of Summer Skirmish was canceled in the middle due to a delay. Things are getting better, but problems occur regularly.
Even World Cup qualifiers this year had problems, especially with cheating: Damion "Xxif" The hook was stopped for fraud during the qualification just to be restored with enough time to do it anyway. (One of the strongest congratulations during the World Cup was when Xxif was pulled out of the duo tournament.) Also, Epic's rapid pace of development meant that new features like the all-powerful Infinity Blade were often introduced into the game just before the big tournaments
All these problems seemed to have been largely eliminated for the World Cup. The event looked amazing, with a two-story octagonal stage in the center of the stadium, covered with more than 100 displays showing the action. He also looked great on streams, and fans could even watch the World Cup in the game. Regarding these updates, Epic had World Cup enthusiasts playing on an older patch, so new products like the recently introduced "Sniper Rifle" were not part of the tournament. "[Epic] did not have the best story," said 15-year-old pro Benfishi Rich during a press conference before the event, before adding that "they seem to be improving."
all of this baggage, the racing element was the highlight of the World Cup. The tournament was divided into a series of races: on Friday there was a Pro-Am showcase and a celebrity Pro-Am, and a duo championship was held on Saturday, followed by the main event, with the 100 best soloists standing on Sunday.
The Creative World Cup – which had its own prize pool of $ 3 million – was surprisingly intense and a good demonstration of what's possible with the Fortnite on Minecraft . Teams had to play through three different game modes only to play through again, with the rules changed shortly thereafter. The most stressful mode was when players had to try to collect 30 coins in one of the scandalous "death tracks", which are seemingly impossible stages of platforming designed to be as challenging as possible. During the first game, players can come back and try crafty jumps several times. But for the second time everyone was given only one life. At one point, the player used a cry to show how disturbed he was by jumping through a series of lethal spiked traps.
Everything came down to a moment that hit the heart: with a tied game, Zand was the last remaining player, and he was in the sight of two different coins, both of which could push his team forward. He took off his shoes to relax, listened to some tips from his teammates and eventually made a jump to win the game – winning his team a $ 1 million big prize in the process.
Likewise, the third celebrity Pro-Am was a chance for some of the biggest names in Fortnite to come out on stage. Despite their popularity, Twitch stars such as Ninja, Jack "CouRage" Dunlop, Nick "Nickmercs" Kolcheff, Benjamin "DrLupo" Lupo and Soleil "Ewok" Wheeler did not qualify for the main World Cup so Pro-Am was a chance for them to shine during the event. (Indeed, although they did not participate in the main World Cup competitions, the ninja looked everywhere: the team captain during the World Cup of Creativity, teamed up with Marshmello for Pro-Am and served as a color commentator during the duo championship.)
As in the last two editions of the competition, Pro-Am has teamed up with famous Twitch streamers and YouTubers with traditional celebrities such as Xavier Woods fighter and former NY Sync Joey Fatone, but it was clear that real big names come from the gaming world. Whenever some famous players such as Tfue or Ninja appeared on the screen, the crowd was kindled. Eventually, producer RL Grime and former League of Legends pro Karim "Airwaks" Bengalhaia are repeated as champions.
At the core of the race were duo and solo championships. Everyone followed the same formula: the players competed in six games of battle for the 100 players, and they received points based on placement and murders. One of the most interesting things about the contest was how open it was. Epic allowed everyone to compete for a place in the World Cup, and the developer said that more than 40 million people played in the 10 weeks of qualifying.
The last players were made up of 30 countries and twisted very young; The average age was 16 years old, with young people aged 13 years old. The oldest player was only 24 years old. (Each qualified player was a man.) The result of this open nature was a composition of largely unknown players. The duo's competition, in particular, was lacking in star power, but it did not make it less interesting. It felt like a wide open field of play. Six different teams won five games. After all, European duo of Emil "Nyhrox" Bergquist Pedersen and David "aqua" Wang won the big prize of $ 3 million.
Despite the new competition like Apex Legends and the continuing success of PUBG Fortnite remains the biggest game in its class, to keep it that way. The World Cup was a massive spectacle designed to show the place of Fortnite . Remarkably, it happened in the middle of a very busy time for the game; The game recently had its most ambitious in-game event when kaiju faced a giant pink robot and next week it would start Fortnite season 10. It looks like Fortnite never really stops even for a $ 30 million tournament.
But the real question is what follows. Epic Sneaky Fortnite Championship Series for Season 10, which implies a more organized and structured system for professional players. (This may be the work of the former Overwatch League Commissar Nate Nanzer, who recently joined Epic.) A strong sports scene can be one of the keys to the game that has a lasting success. This is certainly the case with Legends of Legends Overwatch and Counter-Strike where the competitive scene is a vital component of their long life. (19459003) Creator of PUBGBrendan Green also believes that the future of the game is in electronic sports.)
Fortnite is a lot of things: gaming, social networking, sport, evolutionary fiction. Until now, all these aspects of Fornite have remained largely separate. The World Cup has shown what could happen if you collected all these elements and that was unbelievable.