E-Sports Rapid Rise to Stardom

For anyone who commonly refers to themselves as a gamer, the recent rise in video game fandom should come as no surprise. The power backing by platforms like Facebook, Youtube and most importantly Twitch have thruster individual streamers to stardom and fame, the exact place we used to tell our parents we could reach if we could just play “One More Level”. Even if you did see it coming, E-Sports has taken the hearts and minds of all who game in a way that has even surprised the streamers themselves.

Although every video game can be streamed, we can all agree the recent rise has come perfectly aligned with the success of Fortnite. If you literally live under a rock, Fortnite is arguably the most popular video game of all time. It’s most surprising attribute? It’s free. The game itself was originally made to have a storyline based around a weird zombie apocalypse set in the future, but it’s the BETA Battle Royale spin off that’s garnished the true popularity.

The game is simple in theory – You and 99 random gamers, now across all platforms (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Computer, Mobile, Ipad, Kindle), jump from a bus and parachute down to a map with towns, cities, lakes and other various locations. No one has any statistical advantages keeping the negative “Pay-to-Play” mentality away from the popular game. On it’s surface, the game is free, a mind blowing concept for the gaming community.

So where does Fortnite make its money? In game purchases. Fortnite has already earned over $1 Billion from in game purchases alone, a staggering revelation to the gaming industry. The largest boost in Fortnite however comes from a combination of amazing personalities and addictive concepts.

Let’s start with the addiction. What makes everyone from a six year old to a fifty year old throw all responsibilities (and outdoor playtime) to the wind and risk even their relationships on a Vicy Royale? Personally I believe it’s a combination of a number of things. First, anyone can win. Literally anyone has the potential to win the game. It’s getting tougher and tougher for first time players to win due to the complex building mechanics by the games best stars, but in theory it’s very similar to the lottery. Another massive contribution to the games success is its comical stylings. Llamas, dance moves and colorful combinations make the game bright and loud, two of the same attributes Candy Crush had during its rise to fame.

What makes the game the most popular video game of all time though is the simple fact that gaming is back. For a long time, gamers were split between consoles and games. C.O.D., Battlefield, Fifa, Madden, Red Dead, ETC. Playstation, Xbox, PC, Switch, ETC. The combinations of games to consoles are endless, and for a long time the sentence “You getting on later?” Had a different ring to it. Fortnite has almost single handedly brought back the LAN party concept. LAN parties are when everyone would get together at one house and play xbox live together. Many people align these nostalgic emotions with either Halo or Gears or War, but LAN parties are back now almost more than ever.

Fortnite has brought back the concept of gaming with your friends. Everyone, and I mean everyone, plays Fortnite. It’s truly the largest cultural phenomenon of all time and in a world run by Meme’s and Gif’s it’s easier than ever for something to go viral….But harder than ever for that viral thing to stick around. Remember “Salt Bae”? That was 2018. Feels like it came out in 2016, right? Right.

The other major reason that Fortnite has become the most popular game of all time can be directly attributed to the streamers who flocked to the battle Royale game and have continued to stream the game, most importantly Ninja. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the worlds most popular athlete, and yes gamers are athletes. Ninja, as he is passionately known as to his adoring fans, is the driving force behind a combination of factors that keep the Fortnite game afloat. Could Fortnite live without Ninja? Yes, of course. Could Ninja be Ninja without Fortnite? Yes, but in a much smaller niche group.

Blevins is known in the gaming community for his early days as a Halo sniper who was as cocky as they come. If you know anything about his streams now, the cocky attitude has turned from a brash kid expecting to win to a seasoned assassin who actually breaks down why he dies rather than a screaming and swearing rant we are all used to.

Look, whether you love or hate video games I think it’s going to be an absolute fact that Ninja will have statues of him sooner rather than later. I know that I used to think Sega was an amazing console, so the thought of telling my grandkids I used to watch Ninja play will have the same impact as telling my grandchildren I watched Lebron play.

With an E-Lympics (trademark pending) pretty much unavoidable at this point, the gaming community grows stronger with potential pro players each and every day. Just like every other sport on the planet, the level it takes to be a pro increases with each and every new player.

Another large difference between the types of gamers is something I wanted to bring up. There is a MAJOR difference between a streamer and a pro e-gamer. Yes, streamers can play in tournaments and pro’s can stream, but there is a large difference in agenda versus Ninja and Liquid Poach….Between TimtheTatMan and – Nate Hill. I could go on, and on but I think you get the idea. The easiest way to describe the relationship is Ninja, TimtheTatMan, Dr. Lupo, Courage and many other streamers make their money by being personalities on their various platforms. Many other players rely on the professional tournaments to keep the lights on. The Pro’s work on rotations, patterns, probability and staying alive while the streamers tend to do more showboating and entertaining content. Both are respectable and both can provide an insane amount of money.

No, let me watch the Fall Skirmish. Let’s go Lupo.

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