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OPLIN 4Cast #591: Esports roundup, in which my son discovers Fortnite

Posted in 4cast, and esports

Several nights ago, my 13-year-old son was invited over to a neighbor’s house to play video games. When he got home, he was bubbling over with excitement.

“Mom, I got to play a game called ‘Fortnite,’ and I’m really good at it!” he exclaimed.

I already knew about the popularity of Fortnite, and had been futilely hoping he would never discover it. On the other hand, my mind immediately went to a recent news story, in which Ashland University had announced the first esports scholarship for Fortnite players. Maybe this wasn’t a bad thing? My mom instincts were at war with the possibility of paid college tuition.

My husband immediately started to mention that lots of Fortnite is streamed on Twitch. My son has yet to hear of Twitch. I furiously began making “stop” motions and shushing him.  “No Twitch, NO Twitch!” I was muttering under my breath.

It’s just a matter of time before my son catches on, because a lot is happening in esports news right now. Here’s a quick roundup, but don’t let him see it.

  • Twitch’s creators and developers gain a new revenue stream with launch of Bits in Extensions [TechCrunch] “Twitch’s  Bits, a virtual good that allows fans to cheer on their favorite streamers, have been one of the ways Twitch creators could make money from their channels while also recognizing and rewarding their top fans. Today, the game streaming site is expanding the power of those Bits by allowing them to now be used with Twitch’s Extensions.”
  • Fortnite confirmed for China, with $15m esports investment [PC Gamer] “Following some fairly blatant hints last week, it’s now confirmed that Fortnite will launch in China soon – though how soon is still anyone’s guess. The publisher is Tencent, of course, and alongside bringing the game to Chinese audiences, the company will also pour a $15 million investment into esports both in China and internationally.”
  • Unstoppable exploit in Nintendo Switch opens door to homebrew and piracy  [TechCrunch] “The Nintendo  Switch may soon be a haven for hackers, but not the kind that want your data — the kind that want to run SNES emulators and Linux on their handheld gaming consoles. A flaw in an Nvidia chip used by the Switch, detailed today, lets power users inject code into the system and modify it however they choose.”
  • NBA 2K League Partners With Twitch For Live Streaming [Sport Techie] “The streaming deal will include up to 199 regular season games played on NBA 2K as well as three in-season tournaments and the entire finals, with analysts providing commentary on the action. “

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