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Fortnite is the next big game headed to high school Esports

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Fortnite really needs no introduction.

Even if you haven’t played it, or don’t know someone who plays it, you’ve still probably seen one of the game’s many emotes somewhere.

If not, enjoy this video of a boxer celebrating his knockout with the ‘take the L’ dance:



The massively popular battle royale game is coming to the High School Esports League’s Summer Open, and the prize is certain to excite.

The format of a 1v1 tournament, combined with the HSEL summer free agency system, ensures that any high schooler with the desire will be able to compete in one of the hottest games on the planet this summer. The reach of the game is bolstered by the game’s availability on almost every format (keep an eye on E3 next week to see if Epic Games adds any more platforms for Fortnite). HSEL’s tournament is open to high school players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and those bold enough are even invited to try mobile.

“Once we decide to add a game, we do some market research to see what the rules are and what other leagues are doing,” said Aaron Hawkey, co-founder and COO of HSEL. “We try to follow a similar mold, but we always emphasize making it accessible to students.”

For Fortnite, some decisions came down to the wire. The esports scene for the game is in its infancy, and there is debate among competitors and fans regarding the perfect format for competitive play.

“We looked a lot at what GameBattles was doing, and MLG and a couple of the other tournament organizers, and a lot of the smaller ones that were on different tournament platforms. We had a really hard time deciding whether it should be based on last man standing or kills, or a combination of both.”

Because the demand from the community was a driving factor in adding the game, HSEL trusted its community with the decision.

“We polled our community, and we got a good response,” Hawkey said. “It was close, but what we found was that our community liked having the last person standing. So, that is how we came to our decision.”

The cutoff date to sign up is June 11. The regular season begins on June 18, and the playoffs will commence on August 14.


New partnerships

While all the details of the prize are still being ironed out, a new partnership will provide quite the incentive to win.

HSEL has partnered with NRG Esports — the pro team with ties to the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, as well as Shaquille O’Neal and Alex Rodriguez — to help present Fortnite this summer.

As a result of the partnership, NRG Twitch streamer Svennoss, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the United States for both kill/death ratio and wins in Fortnite, will play for two hours with the winner of the tournament.

NRG Twitch streamer Svennoss


“That is a very appealing opportunity for the kids in the tournament,” Mason Mullenioux, HSEL CEO, said.

The new partnership presents a lot of opportunity for HSEL.

“(NRG) has been a huge help,” Mullenioux said. “I think that, not just NRG, but a lot of the pro teams, are really looking to get into the education space for esports. We are looking at other partnerships as well. I think it was kind of a natural fit.

“Hopefully, we can expect a lot more to come from HSEL and NRG in the future.”

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