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175,000 Viewers Watch Ninja In Winter Royale Qualification
175,000 Viewers Watch Ninja in Winter Royale Qualification

While there was no official stream for the Winter Royale qualification games that didn’t stop viewers tuning in any way they could – with many watching from the game from Tyler “Ninja” Blevins stream which peaked at over 1750,000 viewers on Sunday.

The format for qualifying meant the lobbies got significantly harder as you gained more points, a far cry from the free-for-all of regular Fortnite with one of Ninja’s last games featuring Liquid Chap, Reverse2k, Funkbomb and ItsDiggyTV.

One player that was in that lobby was Jsaturno and he may have cause for worry this morning. He found himself accused of stream sniping after firing at Ninja while exclaiming, “It’s Ninja, it’s Ninja!” It’s not entirely clear he was streaming sniping but his chat does seem to be feeding him information even when most streamers are on a 2+ minute delay. This capped a couple of weeks where Ninja has been accused of being too quick to call players out for bending the rules, which showed in the diplomatic language he used when watching the replay back. There is no word from Epic on what will be done yet but this does have similarities to the Funkbomb situation we seen in Fall Skirmish Week 1, in that situation they decided to give Funkbomb a temporary ban.

Ninja can be happy with his weekends work though, he qualified with 29 points from the Saturday games and shut many of his critics up by qualifying for the finals.

Winter Royale Qualification – Who else made the cut?

With this being the first proper open qualifiers there was always going to be new names breaking out. A name that will be worth looking out for is ZexRow, who made a name for himself by qualifying in 4th place for NA AND  placing in the EU lobbies). A feat that the more well-known Atlantis Mitr0(8th in EU) repeated. The Top 10 from both regions are largely unknown and it will be interesting to see how they perform with the pressure is on.

Ghost Gaming continued their fine form with 9 of their players including Bizzle who qualified in 6th and their console player and fan favourite Aydan also securing qualification placing 149th. All four Liquid players made the cut with Chap finishing an org best in 11th. It was also a good day for TSM with Kaysid and Myth. It was a personal triumph for Myth as he hadn’t been without his detractors (me included) and it will be good to see him perform with some confidence come the finals.

There are more shocks for those that didn’t make it than those that did. There will be no FaZe players in the Winter Royale. Cloakzy didn’t participate and Tfue didn’t place, crazy to think when it was just a month ago these two were No.1. Nate Hill, also of FaZe, failed to qualify – taking to Twitter to air his grievances about the meta.

It was a bittersweet moment for some of the games younger players. Rules stipulate you must be 16 to participate but that didn’t stop many from giving it a go anyway. Hot tipped UK player Mongraal qualified in 82nd place, but more impressively 15-year-old MrSavageM finished 2nd. Both players will be replaced for the Finals.

The full 200 players from each region can be found here.


So what did you make of the Winter Royale Qualification? Did you compete yourself? Is this finally Fortnite esports? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.