FNCS Invitational demonstrates what the pandemic took from live esports

FNCS Invitational demonstrates what the pandemic took from live esports

The FNCS Invitational was the first big in-person Fortnite event since the World Cup in 2019, and on the morning of November 12th, fans lined up outside the convention center in Raleigh, North Carolina, to have a chance to get into the stadium.

While competition in esports was the main event, the weekend also included various exhibits and chances to meet the people behind the content.

Fans were given inflatable thunder sticks as soon as they entered the facility and led to a dimly illuminated convention floor filled with food vendors, merch booths, and a signing area.



Behind the stands, the setup was nothing fancy, but the varied crowd’s excitement was obvious as they waited in lines that stretched for hundreds of people only to meet pros like SypherPK, FaZe Replays, Sommerset, and SquattingDog.

Sommerset told Dot Esports, “It’s incredibly thrilling and somewhat weird simply to see everything put together and to be able to meet those folks you’ve known for years now.”

The army of developers put in long hours on both days of the event, before the start of games, just talking to fans. The excitement of the audience was palpable before the games began, and it only increased once they began.

Although the tens of thousands of Twitch viewers could hear the crowd via the live, the cameras and microphones only captured a small portion of the spectating activity.

A diverse group of people made up the population. Miniminer, an analyst at FNCS, speculated that some of the parents were really out with their friends and their children. “There were gatherings of adults. Guests hailed from a wide variety of nations. Really, it was the biggest shock to me. Members of our group hailed from Brazil. Some guests came all the way from Asia. I was surprised at the variety of our areas. From what I had heard, most of the attendees would be Americans living within a two-hour drive.

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Miniminer was keen to note out that it wasn’t only the kids who were applauding, despite the fact that the full stadium gave the impression of being a family event since so many parents brought their children. Parents from all across the stadium were curious in the MrBeast x Fortnite burger monument, the game, and the players.

When asked who was watching, he answered, “It wasn’t only the kids watching, and the parents on the phone.” They made an investment. They seemed like they were having a good time.

Talent doing play-by-play during online esports tournaments in an empty studio may make for stilted casting, but with thousands of fans cheering their every move, this event’s casting felt genuine in a way that it never had before. Because of this, Miniminer was able to provide analyses right at his desk.


Having an audience to draw energy from improves the broadcast’s overall quality and makes it simpler to cater to the viewers’ interests.

It’s good for “breaking things down,” Miniminer explained. Knowing what people care about is useful…. That’s the main benefit of having a large audience; it adds a whole other layer.

It’s not only Fortnite that’s making a comeback to play in front of live audiences this year. The crowds have returned to most other high-profile games, and gatherings like TwitchCon have helped reunite gamers.

While the epidemic did increase the number of people watching esports events through streaming sites like Twitch, nothing beats the excitement of having a few thousand supporters there in person.