Yesterday, the E3 expo closed with the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am 2018 competition. The event paired 50 "pro" Fortnite players, streamers or entertainers into duos with 50 "amateurs", mainly American celebrities. Epic Games chose the pro's on the basis of their visibility on social media platforms around the world and added amateur celebrities who had shown an interest in Fortnite at some point. The expectations for this event were high, in terms of entertainment value and visibility. Three games after organizers gave $3 million in prize money to be split to the charity of the winners' choices.
The game/winning duo ended up being Ninja, currently Twitch's biggest streamer, and Marshmello a DJ and producer.
Because we like finding insights hidden in social data around esports, gaming and Fortnite, we decided to look beyond the esports performance of this Pro-Am competition. We analyzed more than 800K Twitter data generated by the event to see who were the players that most benefited from this competition and if interesting player/celebrity dynamics stood out. We measured the number of tweets for each player on the day of the competition and measured their evolution over the previous week. Here are some insights.
Success for European streamers
While the event took place in LA and most invited players were American, 5 Europeans pros (Gotaga, Elrubius, Kinstaar, Willyrex, Lolitofdez) managed to be in the Top 10 of most mentioned duos. Interestingly they were clearly the "famous" ones at the event and carried most of the conversations on their duos by representing between 80% and 95% of Twitter mentions. The table bellow compared the share of voice of the mentions and reveals how the European pros actually brought visibility to their partners rather than the other way around. Naturally the duo Ninja/Marshmello got the most mentions thanks to their victory and Ninja's incredible popularity on social media.
The event benefited European streamers the most
Aside from the winning American duo (Ninja/Marshmello), the French (Skyyart, Gotaga, Kinstaar) and Spanish (Elrubius, Willyrex) pros benefited the most from this competition in terms of increased visibility. Twitter reacted to great plays by some of these players and were delighted to see the face-off between some famous American streamers with their local heroes.
Some impressive increases can be explained due to the lack of activity of some pro's building their communities on Twitch rather than Twitter. Skyyart for instance, is less active on the micro-blogging platform and consequently saw a surge in mentions once the international audiences took notice of his plays.
American celebrities get a visibility boost during slow media cycles
Let's call it the "Dancing with the Stars effect". Celebrities that were not in promotional tours/periods benefited from this competition and were able to attract some spotlight on social media. For instance, Chandler Riggs saw a 8 529% increase thanks to his 3rd place with KittyPlays and thanks to the fact that he isn't promoting a TV show currently.
The Japanese fashion blogger Tenchim got a 30 350% boost mostly thanks to the very low volumes of tweets about her the week before.
Some amateurs did carry their duo...
Some pros didn't manage to attract enthusiasm from their communities (maybe asleep due to timezone differences) and "carried" their celebrity partners. For example, Loserfruit's Australian community was waking up when she ended up in the Top 10 with the famous "The Backpack Kid".
5 duos were well balanced
Looking at the data we saw duo's that were a great match in terms of contribution to their mutual visibility. For example, Dillon Francis (DJ) and Jericho created entertaining content together and brought both their communities to follow their performance in the competition.
In the end, taking a rapid look at how online communities reacted to the event revealed some unexpected insights on how Epic Games is capitalizing on the great consumer enthusiasm for the game and its ecosystem of streamers and celebrities. If you want to know more about how social media intelligence can drive your understanding of your esport communities and ecosystem, don't hesitate to contact us.