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Clix opens up about the stresses of being a popular streamer

Cody ‘Clix’ Conrad discusses the pressure, fear, and regret that come along with being a top streamer at 15.

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Fortnite has opened the door to a new wave of popular streamers and pro players. It amplified everything. Larger streamers like Ninja and Nickmercs grew to astronomical heights. Mid-size streamers like SypherPK and and Tfue blew up, and complete unknowns became household names.

Fortnite is responsible for paving the way for the careers of so many young players. There’s a whole new batch of famous friend groups popping up – all revolving around Fortnite. The game that so many people love – and love to hate – has done indisputable good for so many people.

As any top streamer will tell you, though, fame and success come as a double-edged sword. These young players are surpassing their wildest dreams at only 15, 16, and 17. Unfortunately, they’re also facing problems that grown men and women struggle to deal with.

Cody ‘Clix’ Conrad has been as successful as anyone since Fortnite took off. He went from an unknown gamer to one of the most popular streamers on Twitch. He’s one of the only players to qualify for all of the major competitive events, and regularly pulls tens of thousands of viewers on his streams. Right now, streaming his DreamHack heats, Clix has only 10k fewer viewers than Shroud. He’s 20k ahead of Sodapoppin and 30k ahead of Summit – all at 15 years old.

During a stream on August 19, Clix opened up to his viewers about the pressures that come with being a top streamer at such a young age. He discussed the pressure, being swatted, being blackmailed for thousands of dollars, the difficulty of discerning someone’s intentions, and generally wanting to be a normal teenager.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love where I am – the community I have,” Clix told his chat, “but I want to go back to high school. I want to live my normal years.” He went on to clarify that he’s incredibly grateful for where he is, but that he can’t even go back to his normal high school. “They think I’m gonna be a distraction to the students.”

Clix went on to talk about one of the most common pitfalls of fame: wondering whether people are there for you or for your money and fame. He’s 15 years old, and he already has to think about this stuff. “Money’s not happiness … I’m a normal kid just like you guys, bro, and you guys are probably less stressed than I am. I always gotta worry about s**t.”

One word seemed to come up again and again while Clix was talking: scary. He was thrust into the limelight out of nowhere – just a kid playing video games in his room. Being rich and famous sounds great, but for Clix and other young Fortnite players, it came at the cost of living their normal life.

“This is the one thing that pisses me off,” he explained, “if I’m sad, they’re like, ‘how the f**k are you sad? You’re 15, you’re a millionaire, and you’re famous?’ Like, shut the f**k up, dude. It’s not about the money, it’s not about the fame, it’s not about any of that s**t, dude.”

All of this is something that almost no one reading this article can relate to. Clix’s fans are, largely, around his age or younger. They look up to him, but as he freely admits, he’s normal kid just like they are. He has an immense amount of pressure on his shoulders – none of which he asked for. He just wanted to go pro at Fortnite. You could say “this is what he signed up for,” but we’re willing to bet that he had no idea what the cost would be.

As a 15-year-old streamer who averages tens of thousands of viewers, Clix is likely set for life. He has a profitable career and a dedicated fanbase that will almost certainly follow him to the next game when Fortnite’s lifecycle ends. It’s important to understand that this came at a massive cost for him, though. Cody Conrad sacrificed his teenage experience for online success. He might not be willing to trade it all for a normal life, but we can’t blame him if he would.

We’re not talking about a 28-year-old streamer who blew up from Fortnite and can now live the dream while the rest of his peers are sitting in a cubicle. Clix is a teenager. He’d be in school, goofing around with friends. He’d be experiencing the time that most adults reminisce about – making mistakes that didn’t get analyzed by thousands of voyeurs.

We think that this is an important perspective for people to see: a young streamer dealing with the pitfalls of having money and fame at such a young age. Think about this stuff before you tweet about these kids. Would you have done better with tens of thousands of viewers at 14 or 15? Probably not.

Events

How to complete Fortnite Birthday Bash challenges & rewards

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Fortnite Birthday Bash logo

To celebrate three years since Fortnite Battle Royale was released, back on September 26 2017, Epic Games have started the Birthday Bash event, with new challenges to complete.

In addition to the challenges, there are rewards, some festive changes to the map, the battle bus, and birthday presents dotted around the map.

Epic’s announcement says: “During the celebration, you’ll notice some festive changes around the Island. The Battle Bus is sporting a fresh new paint job to mark the occasion, and after dropping in, find yourself a Birthday Present and see what’s inside.”

Birthday Bash Challenges

These challenges will be available from September 26 to October 1, but thankfully most are straightforward.

You can see them all below (via FortniteFevers).

The one challenge that might cause you some trouble though, is dancing in front of different birthday cakes.

To help, here is a map of locations for the birthday cakes on the Fortnite island, via FortniteInsider.

Fortnite Birthday Cake locations

Here’s a look at the rewards available.

For creative players, there’s also some new content there, with the Princess Castle prefab now available.

You can submit a creation using the Princess Castle by October 6 for a chance to be featured in the first official Box Fight tournament as part of an upcoming Wild Wednesday tournament.

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Editorial

Slasher claims Fortnite esports’ real problem isn’t the prize pool

Esports reporter, Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, claims that Fortnite’s main problem as an esport isn’t the dwindling prize pool.

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With the recent announcement of the Fortnite Season 4 FNCS tournament, high-level competitive players have been calling out Epic Games for the lowering of their esports prize pool after their massive $100 million splash during the 2018-2019 season.

Top competitors like BenjyFishy, Zayt, and others have taken to social media to call out Epic for the seemingly drastic lowering of the prize pool over the course of the last year.

Players who place in the top three of the most popular regions in the game are seeing about half of what they won a year ago. The winner of the European region in the FNCS will earn almost $370,000 less in Chapter 2 Season 4 than they did during the same tournament in 2019.

To be fair to Epic Games, there are a few reasons for this. Most obviously, Epic are now providing daily and weekly Cash Cups to their player base. These events might not garner as much attention as the seasonal FNCS and DreamHack tournaments, but they do count towards the total prize money that Epic give away for Fortnite esports.

This might sound like Champaign problems to a lot of people reading this. Yes, we’re largely talking about young video game players who are competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the comfort of their own homes.

To the top players in the game, however, this isn’t all about the money. To them, it’s another sign that Epic don’t care about the competitive side of Fortnite. In their defense, they have years of evidence to back this up.

Esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau weighed in on this topic on Twitter, stating that the real problem with Fortnite esports has nothing to do with the prize money. “Fortnite esports doesn’t need $100 Million in prize money for (it) to be successful,” he wrote. “Fortnite needs Epic Games to truly care about its competitive player community with a long term plan for the pros instead of treating esports as a nonsense marketing exercise to promote the game.”

In a follow-up tweet, Slasher evoked the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple and how many of the pros in the community remain indifferent on the objectively positive stand that Epic are taking. This writer has heard one popular pro claim that he wanted Apple to “clean out” Epic while raging about the Fortnite server performance in the Season 3 FNCS Grand Finals.

As unfortunate as it may be, Slasher is right. Epic are using Fortnite esports as a “marketing exercise to promote the game.” They always have. When did Kevin the Cube come to Fortnite? In the middle of a tournament. When did the Infinity Blade come to Fortnite? The night before a tournament.

Chapter 1 Season 7 began four days before a $1 million Winter Royale tournament. That means that all of the qualifiers took place on a different Fortnite season than the finals. In fact, the EU finals and the NA finals for the same tournament happened on two entirely different seasons.

Fortnite competitive series chapter 2

In his final tweet in the thread, Slasher acknowledged that “Fortnite esports is still in an okay spot, but given the size and impact of the game to the gaming community at large or even mainstream culture.” Fortnite might be the biggest game of all time when it’s all said and done, but the esports side of things, “could be so much more,” as Slasher states.

Over the past year, in an interesting twist of fate, competitive Fortnite has become the number-one way to watch Fortnite on Twitch. Popular streamers like CouageJD, Ninja, DrLupo, and NickMercs have all left the game. Browsing the Fortnite category will primarily bring you streams of players like Clix, BenjyFishy, and Bugha broadcasting pro scrimmages.

At the same time, however, these pros are largely negative about the game that they all play. We all rage from time to time, but many of the Fortnite pros go out of their way to trash the game on other platforms – not just on-stream. It’s a problem for a game when its most popular players are constantly talking about how bad it is.

The worst part of this scenario might be that the game isn’t bad. It’s actually quite good. Casual players who don’t understand why these pros are complaining start to drift away from watching them. This was the primary cause of the philosophical divide that we’re now seeing between the casual and competitive Fortnite player bases.

Sentinel head dirty docks

There’s a way out of this for Epic Games, but we’re not too confident that they’re going to take it. Like Slasher said, Fortnite esports is in a good spot; despite all of the issues that it has. On a casual level, Fortnite has almost as many players as ever. Season 4 seems like a return to form for the core game.

As someone who was overwhelmingly excited for the future of Fortnite esports during the first Friday Fortnite tournament, though, I can’t help but feel disappointed. There was a ton of potential and it seems like we might already be past the peak. It could have been a lot more, but that’s not the route Epic are taking.

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Esports

Fortnite Season 4 FNCS: dates, scoring, Twitch Drops & more

The Fortnite Season 4 FNCS is coming soon! Here’s everything you need to know.

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The Fortnite Season 4 FNCS is right around the corner, which means players and fans are gearing up to see how the latest season of competitive Fortnite will shake out. Will the mythic items play as much of a role as they have in past seasons? Only time will tell.

We’re content to sit back and watch the action unfold in front of us. Ahead, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to enjoy the event along with us, including the scoring format, how to watch, how to earn Twitch Drops, and more.

Format & Scoring

The Format for the Season 4 FNCS will be Trios, which is the favorite mode of many of the top competitors. Some teams have already developed while others will undoubtedly make some last-minute adjustments.

The point system has already been praised by a lot of the top pros in the Fortnite scene. All teams who place within the top half in each game will receive at least one point. They will gain another point for every placement position after that until they reach the top three, where the points go up a bit. Eliminations are also worth one point each and don’t have a cap.

Placement

  • Victory Royale: 25 Points
  • 2nd: 20 Points
  • 3rd: 16 Points
  • 4th: 14 Points
  • 5th: 13 Points
  • 6th: 12 Points
  • 7th: 11 Points
  • 8th: 10 Points
  • 9th: 9 Points
  • 10th: 8 Points
  • 11th: 7 Points
  • 12th: 6 Points
  • 13th: 5 Points
  • 14th 4 Points
  • 15th: 3 Points
  • 16th: 2 Points
  • 17th: 1 Point

Each Elimination: 1 Point

Programming Schedule

The official Fortnite FNCS broadcasts will return for Fortnite Season 4, featuring some of our favorite personalities and broadcasters bringing us several days worth of content.

The FNCS begins on October 9 with the Open Qualification stages of the tournament, but the broadcasts will cover the second stages of qualifications on Saturday and Sunday.

This season, for the first time, Epic are breaking up the tournament into two days. This gives players a lot more rest in between their sessions. Here’s a list of the broadcast schedule for every Saturday and Sunday (all times are in EST):

  • 1:00pm – Broadcast begins
  • 1:15pm – Live EU coverage
  • 5:15pm – Live NAE coverage
  • 8:30pm – Approximate end

The finals will take place through October 29 – November 1. You can watch all of the action on the Fortnite YouTube or Twitch channels or on watch.fortnite.com.

Twitch Drops

Twitch drops are returning for this season, as well, which means the most rewarding way to watch the FNCS will be on Twitch. The drops will feature the same cosmetics as the ones from Season 3 – only this time in fuchsia rather than cyan. With the new customizable skins and back bling, these cosmetics are more valuable than ever.

If you want to earn Twitch drops, the method is the same as it’s always been: you need to link your Epic and Twitch accounts to one another. It’s also important to note that you have to have linked your accounts within the last six months to receive Twitch Drops. If you linked your accounts over a year ago, you’ll have to do it again.

While watching one of the verified FNCS streams, you’ll see a prompt at the bottom of the video, telling you to link your account for Twitch Drops. All you need to do is click this link, sign in to your Epic account, and keep watching. Eventually, after watching for a bit, you’ll earn the in-game Fortnite cosmetics.

That should be everything that you need to know to enjoy the Fortnite Season 4 FNCS. Of course, we’ll update this post with any additional information or changes that come to light before the event starts on October 9.

We’ll be covering all of the qualifications, the finals, and everything in between here and on Twitter, @FortniteINTEL, so make sure to follow us there to stay up to date with everything. Enjoy!

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