All the questions about ‘Fortnite’ you were too embarrassed to ask

Atlanta (CNN Business)”Fortnite” is big business and an unlikely cultural phenomenon that is sweeping the globe.

The multiplayer video game, about an impending ecological crisis threatening the survival of humanity, is about to have its Super Bowl.

The Fortnite World Cup finals will take place at Arthur Ashe tennis stadium in Queens, New York this weekend. Players from all over the world have flown to the Big Apple and will compete over a $30 million prize pool.

If you’re not among the millions of people playing “Fortnite” and are feeling left behind, we break down everything you need to know.

Let’s start with the basics. What the heck is this game?

“Fortnite” is essentially a crossover between “The Hunger Games” (a post-apocalypse battle) and “Minecraft” (a creative sandbox where players can build anything they like). You can play it on Xbox, PlayStation, Windows and Mac platforms

There are two versions: “Fortnite: Save the World,” which has players banding together to fight off zombie-like monsters who drop from storm clouds, and its free (and more popular) spinoff, “Fortnite Battle Royale,” which pits up to 100 players against each other in a frenzied fight for survival. Last one standing wins.

‘Hunger Games?’ Monsters?? This game sounds violent

“Fortnite” is rated T for Teen, which means suitable for ages 13 and up. It certainly contains violence, but its animation is cartoon-like and there’s no blood or gore.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board explains its parental guidance this way: “This is an action game in which players build forts, gather resources, craft weapons and battle hordes of monsters in frenetic combat … players use guns, swords, and grenades … (and) can also defeat enemies by using various traps (e.g., electric, spikes, poisonous gas). Battles are highlighted by frequent gunfire, explosions, and cries of pain.”

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Some parents have complained about the game. But while the objective is to kill all of your opponents, “Fortnite” is nowhere near as violent as games like “Call of Duty” or “Grand Theft Auto.”

What makes it so popular?

One driving factor behind “Fortnite’s” popularity is its cost, or lack thereof. Because the “Battle Royale” version is entirely free and accessible on a number of platforms, it has a low barrier to entry — allowing new players to quickly acclimate and feel accomplished.

The developers of the game are attuned to its popularity and release updates weekly with new items and actions.

Players also compete on Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming site for gamers, and now on the Nintendo Switch (although they’re still working out the bugs on this platform).

The game’s spontaneity and cartoonish glee make it highly accessible. But “Fortnite” also has a high-skill ceiling, keeping players hooked and eager to improve.

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How is this game making any money if it’s free?

The original version of “Fortnite” costs $40, and a deluxe version is $60. But it mostly turns a profit from its in-game currency, V-bucks.

“Fortnite” generates most of its money from in-game purchases.

Players spend real money to acquire V-bucks, which can be used to buy customizable aspects of the game such as tools, weapons, outfits and even emotes.

Slow down — what’s an emote?

Emotes are dances or gestures that characters can do in the game. They are one of the most popular aspects of “Fortnite” and have generated hundreds of memes.

Popular emotes include the Floss dance, Carlton’s “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” dance and the Take the L dance, in which a player makes an L on their forehead while kicking, donkey-like, from side to side.

Is it a passing fad, or is ‘Fortnite’ here to stay?

“Fortnite” remains the biggest video game in esports, although it is starting to lose momentum. That’s why, in a bid to remain popular, Epic Games is throwing its giant Fortnite sporting event this weekend. Fans of the game range from 13-year-old boys to 30-something gamers.

The game is also popular with celebrities. Rappers Drake and Travis Scott, NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster and popular Twitch gamer Ninja all competed on a Twitch livestream of the game and broke the site’s record for concurrent viewers.

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Other famous fans of the game include Joe Jonas, Chance the Rapper and Norm MacDonald.

By Josh Axelrod and Saeed Ahmed, CNN Business
PUBLISHED JULY 26, 2019

— Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was published June 17, 2018.
CNN’s Brandon Griggs contributed to this story.

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Five reasons why Mercedes-Benz is involved with eSports

Mercedes-Benz and eSports — isn’t that a contradiction? On the one side there’s a brand that even today is often regarded as conservative, has a tradition going back 130 years, and is associated with motorsports. On the other side is a sport whose players and fans used to be mocked as “nerds” and nowadays get excited about fantasy role-playing and “cosplay” (costume play, a performance art whose participants wear costumes representing their favorite fantasy characters — see below).

Outsiders would probably not even mention Mercedes-Benz and eSports in the same breath. Nonetheless, we have been one of the pioneers sponsoring eSports since 2017. At first glance, our partnership seems to be a mismatch — but in fact we fit together very well! In this blog post I’d like to take you with me into the world of virtual sports.

ESL One was held in Birmingham in early June. And Mercedes-Benz was in the midst of it! A big Mercedes EQC star shined brightly above the stage. The audience joined the jury in the vote for the “Mercedes-Benz MVP” — the Most Valuable Player in the tournament. People could play games inside a “Mercedes-Benz In-Car-Gaming CLA,” and there are many similar highlights.

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We want to communicate authentically in the world of eSports, and that’s why we’ve expanded our activities as a partner of ESL. In addition to its already existing premium partnership with ESL, Mercedes-Benz is now also the event’s exclusive and global mobility partner.

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That’s kind of cool — but you might still be wondering WHY Mercedes-Benz is involved in eSports. Here are five reasons why:

1. Because eSports are definitely sports

We’ve already explained the Top 3 misunderstandings about eSports. In our opinion, the argument that eSports participants are not real athletes is not justified. The cognitive demands and strains of eSports have been sufficiently documented, and the players’ physical fitness is becoming increasingly important.

Independently of the sports-science perspective, eSports are also sports that should be taken seriously from a marketing standpoint. “Event eSports” such as ESL One function exactly like “traditional” sports! Thomas Müller from the Bayern Munich soccer team is known as a star with rough edges — and in exactly the same way, there are also well-known faces in the eSports scene. The Birmingham Arena, which will be filled with 15,800 spectators in T-shirts representing their favorite teams, is completely sold out. Millions of spectators will also be streaming the matches, complete with live commentary, on their mobile terminals. The arenas, the stars, the fans, the playing field — from a marketing standpoint, there are clear parallels between “traditional” sports and eSports.

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2. Because eSports are a growing market

The eSports market is growing by leaps and bounds. The financial forecasts for the years ahead are tripping over themselves with superlatives, no matter what specialist report you’re reading. A current article in the sport business magazine SPONSORs predicts that in 2019 the revenues from global eSports will pass the US$1 billion threshold for the first time — and this figure is due to increase.

So it’s fantastic that in this market Mercedes-Benz is perceived as one of the pioneers of “non-endemic” eSports sponsorship. “Non-endemic” refers to companies and their products that are not directly part of the eSports scene — by contrast, endemic sponsors would include video game or electronic hardware producers. By comparison with its direct automotive competitors, Mercedes-Benz is clearly in the lead when it comes to eSports sponsorship. From a global perspective, many major corporate groups such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are investing in eSports. Why are they doing that?

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3. Because eSports reach a future-oriented, attractive target group

Through eSports it’s possible to reach a special young target group that does not exist in “traditional” sport sponsorships in this configuration and in these dimensions. Let’s take a closer look at this target group. The core of this community consists of highly educated millennials.

85% of the core target group is between the ages of 18 and 34. An above-average proportion of the core target group is firmly established in a career and has a high level of purchasing power. In addition, the target group is strikingly tech-savvy. That’s why this community is especially interesting for us as an automaker.

Establishing contact with the members of this target group as early as possible and providing them with a positive experience of the Mercedes-Benz brand can tip the scales later on, when an individual is deciding whether to buy a car from Mercedes-Benz or a competing brand. In other words, the goal of our sponsorship has been designed with the long term in mind. In particular, the future-oriented themes of mobility that are relevant for us, such as carsharing and autonomous driving, are central topics to which the community is more receptive than the average consumer.

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4. Because eSports have impressive reach figures

From a global perspective, eSports have long been more than just a youth-related phenomenon. In 2017, 81 million people all over the world were playing that year’s most popular game, the League of Legends (LoL) — that’s a far greater number than the population of France (67 million). In 2018, 17.7 million spectators watched the NBA basketball finals. The peak number of online spectators of the LoL championships in 2018 was 205 million fans! And if we compare the Facebook followers of VfB Stuttgart (547,000) with those of the eSports team “Fnatic” (2.5 million), here too the numbers speak for themselves. eSports have a much higher profile in North America and Asia than they do in Europe. At the end of last year, China built a whole “eSports City” from scratch in Hangzhou. It cost €254 million and covers an area the size of 68 soccer fields. China plans to invest an additional €2 billion in this facility between now and 2022. And there are further impressive figures concerning eSports, thanks to their diversity.

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5. Because eSports have a positive effect on the image of Mercedes-Benz

From a global perspective, Mercedes-Benz benefits from its involvement in an attractive and unique environment. The brand’s image looks fresher and more modern thanks to its close links with the eSports community. The fans, stars, and organizers of this global scene are younger and more closely connected with one another than those of any other sport.

The key to this closeness is the fast communication that the Internet makes possible. Because of the high degree of interaction within the community, sponsors are noticed quickly. They receive direct feedback on platforms such as Twitch and Reddit — platforms that are difficult to penetrate otherwise. Most importantly, the Mercedes-Benz brand strictly distances itself from ego-shooter games and other games that propagate or glorify violence!

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What are the next steps?

In the Mercedes-Benz sport sponsorship portfolio, eSports are a logical complement to sports such as golf and Formula 1 auto racing. Sponsors are tapping into a young, attractive, and tech-savvy target group that other sports cannot offer — and that’s why companies are investing in this sport. At Mercedes-Benz, our involvement with this up-and-coming sport is by no means over. We have expanded our cooperation with ESL. This year we’ve already been in Katowice, Poland and Mumbai, and now we’re in Birmingham. In October we’ve got a “home game” at ESL One in Hamburg. And our agenda for next year will once again include four major events and dozens of tournaments in the Mercedes-Benz markets. So stay online!

Contender eSports 405 N Jefferson Ave Springfield, MO 65806

by Manuel Müller
PUBLISHED May 31, 2019

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What Side of History Will You Choose?

What Side of History Will You Choose

Is this a good time to enter the eSports industry? That question is either yes or no. History will prove that the decisions people make today are decisions on which side of this line in history they want to be on.

I get asked this questions maybe two or three times a week, “Do you have any concerns about entering into the eSports industry”? And the answer is, No. As a matter of fact, it’s “No . . .” Check out this video to find out why.

What Side of History Will You Choose?

(Transcript) I get asked this questions maybe two or three times a week, “Do you have any concerns about entering into the eSports industry?” And the answer is, No. As a matter of fact, it’s “No . . . “ And the reasons why is just because it’s a one word answer. It’s a binary question and the answer it either Yes or No. And the answer is no because really, the decision I had to make was, “What side of history do I want to be on?” That was it. So I know that this is a defining moment . I know a lot of people don’t understand it. You know what? 1988 and 1989 and 1990, people didn’t understand the internet and now it completely controls everything in your life. It was a binary decision back then too.

Are you going to go all in or are you not going to believe it at all and believe it’s a fad? It’s “What side of history do you want to be on?” So I just want to encourage you if you’re trying to get the answer to that question. Sometimes people talk to me and they want me to convince them of what they should decide. I’m not going to try to convince you. As a matter of fact, I told my colleagues this week, “I don’t want you to spend one minute trying to convince anyone of this. Not one minute.”

People have to decide for theirselves what side of history they want to be on. And I want to encourage you to make that decision too.

If you’re interested in learning more about opening a Contender eSports franchise, Contact Us at any time.

The Big Three Questions of Opening an eSports Gaming Center

The Big Three Questions of Opening an eSports Gaming Center

When considering opening a gaming center, people often visit several locations as they research the pros and cons of an independent location vs a franchise. It is not uncommon to notice at many independent locations that there are a bunch of computers sitting around with wires all over the place, that the place is almost always empty and that the owners look downtrodden.

In the video below, I compare an independent hamburger restaurant (Taylor’s Hamburgers) to the McDonald’s franchise.

The Three Big Questions

At Taylor’s Hamburgers I noticed that it’s small, there’s no branding anywhere, there’s no training anywhere. . . good hamburgers, good people, but that’s about it. However, there are many McDonald’s locations surrounding Taylor’s. What McDonald’s did was they looked at an opportunity where individuals were passionate about a certain thing, in this case, hamburgers and they took their passion and turned it into a business and they were happy with that. There was nothing more to it. Ray Kroc and not necessarily the McDonald brothers, but particularly Ray Kroc looked at that opportunity and said, “Look. . . If we take this thing that people do love (the do love it), there’s a huge audience for this, there’s a huge consumer base for it and we apply standards, branding, structures and training . . .”

Have you ever seen the movie “The Founder”? You should watch it, because you’ll see the process that someone goes through to take something that is loved by people and to standardize it in order to expand and grow it throughout an industry or throughout a country.

Visiting one or two single hamburger restaurants is not a proof of concept. If you want to be part of a franchise, you can’t use independent locations as a proof of concept. You have to look at the industry, see what’s happening and see if you can capture it. You have to ask yourself:

  1. Can I get a better location?
  2. Will I provide a better service or product?” It doesn’t matter what franchise it is, these rules apply to everything.
  3. Can I be a better operator? i.e Can I execute better on marketing, on customer service, on managing building the brand, on PR?

It doesn’t matter what franchise it is, these rules apply to every industry.

We hope this is helpful to you. Honestly, it always comes down to the same three things; questions only you can answer. We hope that you’re able to do that.

If you’re interested in learning more about opening a Contender eSports franchise, Contact Us at any time.

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