Fortnite Battle Royale
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the biggest craze in gaming: Fortnite Battle Royale. The game is simple. 100 players are put on a shrinking map, and the winner is simply the last player alive at the end. In addition to each other, players also have to contend with a growing storm that inflicts damage if the player is caught in it.
While the game’s popularity is growing seemingly by the day, we may still have to wait a while until it’s a bona fide eSport that offers wagering like CS:GO. There are a few factors standing in the way.
One huge problem is how would you broadcast a game that can feature as many as 100 different points of view? Solo matches have as many as 100 players going against each other. Broadcasters will want to capture as much live action as they can, but knowing where to put the camera at which time would be a massive challenge.
While there are other formats (duos and squads), the same problem remains. The “battle royale” format is not something conducive to broadcasting because it isn’t the standard head-to-head format we see with most popular eSports.
The element of randomness to the game may also be a sticking point. Most established esports put players on a level playing field and go from there. In Fortnite, the aforementioned storm forms randomly on the map from game-to-game. Some players may drop right into the middle of the eye, while others may have to traverse open spaces in order to get to safety.
That kind of unpredictability is something that the majority of esports would prefer to avoid. Keeping the playing field level is important. Players also start the game with nothing but a pickaxe, but they can find guns and other weapons at various locations around the map. Which weapons are found where also changes on a game-to-game basis. If you happen to get stuck with nothing but a pistol while someone else finds the minigun, you’re probably toast.
Esports consultant Rod Beslau believes in the potential of Fortnite, but he, too, thinks there are some hurdles to be cleared if it is to make its way into the world of competitive gaming. Beslau said, “Fortnite has a long way to go. Epic Games has done a great job of getting the game out there, but there is a ton more work to do to make this a tier two esport.”
“PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds) is way further along competitively and Epic will face the same type of roadblocks and issues that Bluehole (PUBG’s developer) is overcoming.”
While Fortnite continues to grow, its status as a future esports mainstay is very much in question.