Stock Market Report: Fortnite Champion Series Edition

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Stock Market Report: Fortnite Champion Series Edition

Epic Games has yet again provided another batch of qualifying events leading into a multi-million dollar tournament. Their monetary investment in Fortnite Esports is noteworthy, and the Fortnite Champion Series is evidence of that. The Fortnite developer offered up over $10M USD since the beginning of FNCS Qualifiers. To date, the prize pools offered for competitive Fortnite grants players an opportunity to make this a career. With all that said, let’s take a look at a few movements around the stock market in the fallout of the Fortnite Champion Series.

Stock Up: TSM Zexrow, yung calculator and TSM MackWood1x

There is no doubting the talent possessed by Anthony “TSM Zexrow” Colandro, Joanthan “yung calculator” Weber and Mack “TSM MackWood1x” Aesoph. Zexrow specifically has been on fire the past few months. He and former duo partner, Vinny “TSM Vinny1x” Gilligan, returned to form with a solid showing at the Fortnite World Cup. Let’s not forget that the duo of yung calculator and MackWood1x achieved a Victory Royale at that very event. Their fundamental knowledge as players goes far beyond what most can even comprehend. It only made sense for Zexrow, Calculator and MackWood to join forces for the inaugural Fortnite Champion Series.

The moment never superseded the goal at hand for the NA East Season X Champions. They did not place lower than 10th in any of their 6 matches. This sort of consistency breeds success in competitive Fortnite. Zexrow, Calculator and MackWood’s ability to stay on the same page and communicate effectively took them to the top. MackWood is now an official member of Team SoloMid and this trio plans to stick together going forward. The announcement of squads replacing trios led Zexrow, Calculator and MackWood to add the aforementioned Vinny1x as their fourth. The newest season of the FNCS is setting up nicely for this ultra-talented squad.


Stock Up: E11 Tschinken, E11 Stompy and COOLER aqua

Not many predicted Thomas “E11 Tschinken” Horak, Klaus “E11 Stompy” Konstanzer and David “COOLER aqua” Wang to win the European Season X Championship. Although many talented teams populated the Fortnite Champion Series, only one stood above the rest. Many felt as though Kyle “FaZe Mongraal” Jackson, Benjy “benjyfishy” Fish and Dmitri “mitr0” Van de Vrie would run away with the win for Europe. Despite going overlooked, Tschinken, Stompy and aqua clutched up in the biggest moments. Their Victory Royle in the final match sealed the deal and subsequently showed how ready they were for the spotlight.

The one truly unique aspect of Fortnite is that any player or team can win at any given moment. Even the most talented, like Kyle “FaZe Mongraal” Jackson and Kyle “SEN Bugha” Giersdorf, experience bouts of misfortune. In these scenarios, equally skilled players take full advantage of the opportunity presented to them. This is the exact story of how Tschinken, Stompy and aqua ascended to the top of the leaderboard during the Fortnite Champion Series Finals. This trio is, unfortunately, coming to an abrupt end after Aqua and Stompy made the decision to move on from Tschinken. Their plan is to squad up with Mongraal and Benjy “benjyfishy” Fish for all future events. Despite the trio’s break up, nothing can take away what they accomplished in the closing moments of the FNCS.

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Stock Up: The Entire NRG Roster

It’s not often that you see an entire esports roster qualify for anything, and this especially applies to Fortnite. Many of the top esports organizations in one way or another have a stake in competitive Fortnite. None of those organizations can match the talent possessed by NRG Esports. The likes of Zayt, Symfuhny, benjyfishy, EpikWhale and MrSavage all spent ample amounts of time on stream and saw significant success across their respective regions.

To call this roster stacked is an understatement considering their impressive results as of late. Sustained success is hard to come by and the NRG Esports roster continues to prove how lethal they are in comparison to other professional Fortnite players. Not only did the entire NRG Esports roster qualify for the FNCS Semi-Finals, but all six players also reached the Grand Finals. Recently acquired Benjamin “Edgey” Peterson placed the highest out of all NRG players with 3rd place finish in the NA West region. This organization continues to impress with both its talent evaluation and execution in major tournaments.

Stock Up: Tfue, Liquid Fiber and Khanada

Going into the FNCS, no one really knew what would happen with Turner “Tfue” Tenney. His former teammates Tom “72hrs” Mulligan and Dennise “Cloak” Lepore could not repair the personal damage done part-way through the qualifiers. After splitting from them, Tfue announced a hiatus from streaming but would continue competing in Fortnite tournaments. He proceeded to form a new team with Alessandro “Liquid Fiber” Bonetello and Khanada.

This trio made quick work and successfully qualified in the final week of the FNCS Qualifiers. From there, Tfue, Fiber and Khanada advanced out of Heat 3 to take part in the NA East Grand Finals. The emergence of Khanda and Fiber is worth noting as well as Tfue’s ability to continue his success even under the spotlight of being a popular streamer. At the end of match six, Tfue, Fiber and Khanada accumulated 21 points and ultimately finished in 22nd place. All indications are that this trio is sticking together heading into the next season of the Fortnite Champion Series. The potential for this trio is beyond imagination, and they are seeking an equally skilled fourth to fill out their roster. The outlook is positive for Tfue, Khanada and Fiber moving into the next stage of the FNCS.

Stock Neutral: NRG benjyfishy, FaZe Mongraal and mitr0


Despite falling well short of the FNCS victory, it is difficult to penalize the trio aptly-named MMB for their Season X Finals performance. Regardless of the outcome, Mongraal, mitr0 and benjyfishy accomplished goals most other professional players can only hope to. As at team, they achieved six victories across all Trios Cash Cups and FNCS Qualifiers. It’s hard to devalue the big picture of this trio based solely off of a poor showing in the finals. Their tirade en route to the finals will go down in history as one of the most impressive of its kind. These three embodied exactly what most professional players hope to find in a team of their own.

Mongraal has already announced he and benjyfishy’s departure from mitr0 for the upcoming squads format. On that same note, they added E11 Stompy and COOLER aqua to complete their squad. For now, it is the end of a short-lived era, and one wonders what exactly led to mitr0 being the odd man out. Regardless of where this situation goes, the transition from teams of three to teams of four is already shaking up the competitive Fortnite scene. This new format will produce unthinkable combinations of players and much-needed storylines that the scene occasionally lacks. We will have to wait and see how mitr0 handles his future with money and the potential for revenge on the line.

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Stock Down: Fortnite Streaming Experience

The Season X Finals provided some of the more exciting moments in the short history of competitive Fortnite. The chaos, however, of these high-level matches does not translate well to the Epic Games live streams. It’s not difficult to get past the significant delay from when each match starts to when it actually airs, but the broadcast still has its issues. The quality has not improved much since the Fortnite World Cup back in July. With end games being the most compelling component in Fortnite, it is difficult to stomach such a drop-off in quality.

At its worst, the stream will continue a character’s animation in a robotic manner and not show how the situation actually played out. This leads to a lot of difficulties with trying to keep track of what is happening in the closing moments of each match. It can be frustrating to miss important plays because of the broadcast’s inconsistencies. This issue may likely lay within the ongoing server issues with Fortnite. Many participants in the Season X Finals reported delays and significant lag intermittently. Hopefully, Epic Games can clean up the stream quality for future events so that viewers can catch every moment of the action glitch-free. With trios going away in favor of squads, the stream and in-game issues could get much worse.

Stock Down: Epic Games’ Impact on Competitive Fortnite

The general reaction to Epic Games and their decisions is almost never positive. This is evident after taking one good look around the Fortnite Competitive subreddit. Not many sympathize with the Fortnite developers and the popular Battle Royale title is in a weird state. With the loss of Tfue’s Twitch streams and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins going to Mixer, viewership numbers are lacking on average. According to Twitch Statistics, Fortnite has experienced a significant drop from 119K viewers on average to 89K over the past two months. This is likely due to the loss of its two biggest streamers, but the trend of Fortnite as a whole is dropping at an alarming rate. The recent patches yielded overwhelming criticism and the general opinion is that Epic Games are not doing the title justice.

Professional Fortnite players never shy away from their opinion regarding the game. The majority have no shame in voicing their displeasure on Twitter for thousands of followers to see. Part of the issue is the half-in half-out approach that Epic Games takes with the competitive scene. Millions of dollars in prizes are always a welcome addition to any esports title, but catering to both competitive and casual players devalues the overall effectiveness. Regardless of its flaws, many players of varying skill levels enjoy Fortnite.

However, adding bugged Rift Zones and problematic items takes a toll on competitive players. Fortnite will never exist on a level playing field because of griefers and random loot pools. Fortnite has so much potential to be at the forefront of esports, but it has a long way to go if Epic Games want it to rank amongst the top. It ultimately begins and ends with the decisions that the Fortnite developers make in effect of the game.


Image VIA: Epic Games

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Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.