Fortnite Viewer Guide

A Fortnite Viewer Guide

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite can be a little difficult to follow, especially for those who are new to the game as a whole. The main tournaments aren’t really in abundance, and the minor tournaments aren’t publicised very heavily, but everyone can attest to the popularity of the Fortnite World Cup. Some of us are new to Fortnite and with its rising popularity, of course we want to jump aboard the hype train and cheer on our favorite players, as well as watch them succeed, or succeed ourselves. Whether you’re here to learn more about what to look for when you’re watching your favorite tournaments, or to learn how exactly to watch the games unfold in the first place, you’ve come to the right place.

Battle Royale games like Fortnite are often played in the Third Person point of view, and the goal is the same as the Japanese film Battle Royale or the popular series The Hunger Games, 100 people enter and 1 leaves. A lot of the appeal of Fortnite is the livestreamers and content creators. The rising popularity of Fortnite is almost accented by the rising popularity of Content Creators, which are streamers and YouTube personalities. The niche of entertainment and professional Esports meets here and when there aren’t tournaments going on, there are always livestreams and montages available.

What are Streamers?

When we already know how to play, and just want to be entertained or study how to play the game, then we go to our favorite streaming platform and watch our favorite streamers. Some of us use this time to learn more than we already know about the game and some of us just enjoy the personality of the streamer we are watching. For better these communities help us to grow as players and find a place where we aren’t ostracized in todays society for playing video games.

As a rule of thumb there is only so far every player can go regarding skill without watching the content creators, learning all of the little tricks you can do and looking for more effective hotkeys and macros. When we want to soak up as much information as we can, we look to people like Ninja and Tfue or CourageJD to show us some of the special tactics.

The thing that makes content creators such a huge part of Esports, and particularly Fortnite, is the level of entertainment they bring. Some people like watching movies, some people like watching their favorite content creator smurf on kids.

On the side of newcomers to the game, there isn’t much of a reason to watch content creators other than to get a foot in the door to being involved in the community. It will help a little bit with learning the ropes of some of the more generic things to look for when watching the bigger tournaments, more like getting used to it before the important stuff comes around.

A lot of what gets covered in this guide will assist with watching various content creators, but that shouldn’t be the main takeaway. Treat them as more of an expansion to this guide, better visual aides and live commentary to what gets covered here.

The most popular places to find content creators are YouTube and Twitch, but with the poster child of Fortnite, Ninja, signing an exclusivity contract with Mixer, that is the only place to find the most popular streamer of the current age. Of course there are other platforms but these are the most popular. YouTube is the best place to look for things such as VODs and montages of some of the best plays. While Twitch is the strongest place to find live streamers on a daily basis and schedule.

How do Fortnite Tournaments work?

You can find the tournaments on any major streaming service and should be easy to find as Fortnite has been one of the most watched games across all platforms. The Fortnite World Cup was the most watched Esports tournament to date. They set the bar pretty high for production level and transition content, but that’s to be expected with the amount of money they put into it.

When you’re watching tournaments the screen is often showing a few visual aides but mostly it is just stuff that is already on the Fortnite players’ screens which makes it a pretty easy translation.

Top right shows which round or match it is depending on the tournament, this is just to let you know how many more games there are to play for everyone in attendance.

  • The top left hosts the remaining player count out of the original 100 or 99 players.
  • The bottom left will show you the camera of the current player being spectated, which will 
  • change quite frequently to keep things exciting. It also shows their name and how many kills they have currently.
  • The bottom right has the minimap available which isn’t really the best indicator of anything other than where on the map the players are, and where they are relative to the circle. It also shows which circle they are on which is 1-9, and how much time until the next circle
  • The circle is the safe area where the damage dealing storm is not, it is where all players want to be in order to not take storm damage.
  • The bottom center of the screen is where you can find the current spectated players loadout and health bar. These can be the most important non gameplay things on the screen. Their amount of materials and how many builds they have available along with their weapons and equipment are all a part of the loadout.
  • This may not translate to every production but it seems to be the current most effective layout. Luckily the more important things are almost always the gameplay. The main problem for newcomers is that the POV can change rather quickly and there can be a split screen between a few players and the massive grouping of players that can occur.

At times like that when there seems to be too much on the screen, it can be smarter to just pick one place to watch as there is plenty to watch in any of the screens. This is especially true if someone you really wanted to watch is on the screen. There can be a lot going on in the overhead view, especially toward the end of a match when there are some of the best of the best players all battling it out, that can mean 40 people are all fighting in the 7th circle, making it really chaotic.

There is a world where we can figure out everything going on in the overhead POV, but don’t fret if you can’t right away. There is a lot of information and a lot of builds on the screen that almost mask what used to be there. When trying to figure it out what’s going on, watch the movement of the circle and the direction players are moving, it isn’t the easiest thing to follow but depending on who has the height advantage may show us early who is going to be the next POV we watch.

There tend to be a few intermissions between matches where the casters and analysts talk about the events of the previous match. There are a lot of visual aides and breakdowns of information. It isn’t necessarily detrimental to understanding what's happening, but it can offer a lot of clarity on some things and gives a larger look at some of the specifics.

What do some of the words they say that I don’t understand?

Fortnite is a crazy game where we watch and play in third person. A lot can happen during a match and there are so many imaginative items and some made up concepts that even the game devs never expected to happen that we can get lost when listening to the cast of a match if we already have a hard enough time following along with the gameplay. So let's break down some of those phrases to make it a little easier.

It's a good thing to remember that some of the phrases reference an item or weapon rarity, these phrases should be easier to remember when they’re heard and a part of the game in general. It would make it easier to recognize those after playing a few games or watching a few matches.

  • The most common ones though are Shockwave and Shadow which refer to two of the grenades that players use to get a better position on their opponents.
  • Elim or elims is short form of elimination, which contrary to what this guide may infer, is the correct way to say “kills” in Fortnite.
  • In every BR game there exists the term “Loot” which is everything players can find around the map and used to fight, heal, or build with.
  • Mats or Materials refers to the Wood, Brick, and Steel that players carry, while builds refer to the walls, pyramids, and general building that players can do with those Mats.
  • Boxes are a type of Build that players use to either heal up or claim their territory in the end game.
  • Real estate is a phrase less commonly used that refers to open space in the next circle that players may want to get to and build on before the other players.
  • Box fighting is what players do when they are fighting inside a 1x1 build or two connecting 1x1 boxes. The goal here is close quarters combat and trying to get some extra breathing room for themselves.
  • Edit refers to when a player is able to change the build that they put up by opening a section of it up or changing the direction of a ramp.
  • While it may be obvious to those of us who play the game, Llamas are essentially a pinata that players can find out on the map that contain, usually, good loot as well as Mats.
  • Tunneling is when players quick build and edit boxes in a line to move, the name comes from how the act visually looks like.

Where do I go from here?

The one thing that helps make Fortnite quick to understand is that it is a shooter game. The general idea behind it is be the last alive and you win. Because of this there are a lot of things that carry over from other shooter games such as Halo, CS:GO, and Call of Duty. The main difference is realistically how it is played and what it is played with. Of course, the best way to learn about a game is to play it, and with Fortnite being one of the most popular games in history, a lot of people think you should try it out. If you want your own slice of tournament action, or just want to get better at the game in general, we have guides for that.

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Cameron Carr

12 November 2019

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