By Will Lofsky
Yes, Ryerson has a Fortnite team. And yes, they’re off to a good start.
While many students don’t know what Esports are, or that Ryerson Esports athletes compete against universities all over North America, Ryerson’s Fortnite team is one of the best in the league right now.
For those of you who don’t know, Fortnite is an online video game in which 100 players fight in player-versus-player combat. The last one standing is declared the winner.
Ryerson has six Fortnite teams in the Collegiate Starleague. All three of the starting squads compete in regular season, tournaments and regional events. The three other squads practice on their own and compete in separate tournaments.
Ryerson Esports players are the only university athletes able to make money in competitions, with a $42,000 total prize pool up for grabs in Fortnite
“I decided to make them tournament teams, so that they would have the opportunity to play, and possibly make the starting team next year,” said Joshua Bateni, Ryerson’s Fortnite manager and a second-year chemistry student.
Only 12 players were picked for the roster out of the 50 who tried out. From there, six teams of two are made based on how well they play with each other. Each team, known as Squads, plays once a week.
Ryerson’s starting teams play in two different divisions in North 4 and North 3. These divisions aren’t based on rank or difficulty. Squad A in North 4 is currently third in North America, Squad B in North 3 is fifth, and Squad C in North 3 is first in the regular season. For the most part, the teams have started out strong—Squad C is 2-0, Squad B is 1-1 and Squad A is 2-0.
There are three ways to make it to the finals. The teams need to either make it to the top four teams in the one-day tournaments, go top four in their regional local area network (LAN) events, or make the top eight teams in the playoffs at the end of the regular, year-long season.
“It’s a really good group of guys. We’re always bantering with each other,” said Daniel Huynh, a Squad A player and third-year occupational health and safety student. “It’s a good atmosphere to play with.”
Ryerson Esports players are the only university athletes able to make money in competitions, with a $42,000 total prize pool up for grabs in Fortnite. One of the all-star players, Armada Kiwiface, won $25,000 this week playing professionally, and just touched down in Los Angeles to compete at TwitchCon’s Fall Skirmish Tournament this weekend.
“He was someone that we really kept an eye on,” said Joseph Raimondo, fourth-year RTA sport media student and President of Ryerson Esports.
The team will play in their third tournament of the season on Nov. 3.