I played the video game Fortnite twice at a friend’s place a week ago and didn’t even care enough to download the free game when I got home. But I stayed up half the night — along with 600,000 other people — to watch a man with blue hair who calls himself Ninja play it on a streaming service called Twitch with Drake, Travis Scott, and JuJu-Smith Schuster on Wednesday and I loved every minute of it.
If you’re reading this, you missed a hell of a night.
For those who don’t know, Fortnite is a shooting game for Windows computers, Xbox, and PlayStation. You play against random people from around the world, dropping out of a helicopter onto an island for war. You build giant steps and walls to protect yourself from incoming fire, you heal your teammates, and pick up new weapons along the way.
It’s even weirder when you’re watching a gamer dude named Ninja talk strategy with Drake and Travis Scott, and weirder-er when you listen to Ninja read off Twitter beef Logic is starting with Drake to Drake.
This night made video game history, and by the end of it, the four leading trending topics on Twitter all had to do with one thing: Fortnite.
Saving this for when people tell me gaming will never be main stream pic.twitter.com/hxyHBU30YE— Justin Taylor (@TheSmarmyBum) March 15, 2018
To give you an idea of how big this was, here’s some context from our friends at Polygon:
As of 1 a.m. ET, Ninja’s stream with rapper Drake has nearly 600,000 concurrent viewers, surpassing Dr. DisRespect’s previous non-tournament record of 388,000. The all-time Twitch record is held by Eleague Major: Boston 2018 with over 1.1 million concurrent viewers.
I’ll try and recap this as best I can.
Drake seems fine at Fortnite
The rapper is pretty mellow throughout the duration of the night, mostly following Ninja, who is an absolute genius at this game. Ninja hardly ever loses. Seriously, you can ask Karl-Anthony Towns:
Ninja has to keep dropping extra ammo and potions for Drake to heal himself, but he seems competent enough to hold up his end. I can definitely relate to Video Game Drake — just exist while someone else does the hard work.
Ninja invites a few of his gamer friends, who the people in the comments seem to know, but I’m clueless. I’m just enjoying the thrill of watching Drake be a normal human online while hundreds of thousands of people comment “God’s Plan,” a reference to Drake’s recent single and the memes it’s spawned.
This was only beginning.
Drake wants to know if his friends can play
Ninja is clueless at first, but when Drake says his friend Travis wants to play, he means Travis Scott, another super-famous rapper. He also says Lil Yachty wants to join.
Just. A. Normal. Wednesday. Night.
Ninja obviously agrees — this dude is about to join the wildest online party ever — and the two talk a bit about Drake’s new music video. The rapper obliges, but really he just wants to talk about how he just ate a late-night pizza, and, of course, ride the coattails of the blue-haired Fortnite overlord.
Travis Scott joins
Scott is definitely better than Drake, and proves it in the first game by getting the final kill and making his character throw money in the air.
This is frickin perfect.
i cannot fucking handle travis scott just throwing cash in fortnite after a kill and going "cash" pic.twitter.com/7S6kfcuMZ7— Danika Harrod (@danikaharrod) March 15, 2018
Then Travis’ player goes down and needs to be revived in the next game. (I gasp, because I’m really into this by now and my heroes can’t die. NOT LIKE THIS.)
Drake revives him — because of course — and Scott counts down 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... and says “God’s Plan” as his character steps back up.
*Drake revives Travis*— (浪人 (@LordBalvin) March 15, 2018
"Bless me with the hands. 3. 2. 1. God's Plan. Let's get it." - Travis
This is the most amazing shit ever pic.twitter.com/P2xx8GIaqT
You couldn’t script this any better.
I am enthralled at this point (somewhere after 2 a.m. ET), and I want to give Fortnite every dollar in my pocket. I just want this night to get even wilder.
Ninja tells Drake that Logic tweeted at him
Here’s the tweet:
Tell the boy drizzy he don’t want it with Bobby!— Bobby Tarantino (@Logic301) March 15, 2018
Drake laughs it off and suggest he get a squad together.
LMAO DRAKE JUST SAID "TELL LOGIC TO PULL UP WITH A SQUAD HE CAN GET SMACKED UP TOO" WTF IS LIFE— OCD For Life (@MooshAndTwist) March 15, 2018
That never happens, but another player joins.
Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is online now — LMFAO
We’ve ascended through the gates of heaven to an unchartered territory Drake will release a single about by the end of the week. “FortGod”, or something that nature.
Anyway, the now 400,000-person audience witnesses first-hand the ultimate struggle of being really famous. Smith-Schuster, just like Scott earlier, can’t join the game because he’s getting too many friend requests from the half million people watching. Being popular is tough.
It takes 20 minutes or longer to get him hooked up, but the dream team is now assembled: Drake, Scott, Smith-Schuster, and a kid with blue hair named Ninja, who rose from eSports Famous to Everyone On Twitter Knows Him Famous.
Things are getting ridiculous.
Words like “Drake be careful, a storm is coming,” are normal as the clock passes 3 a.m. March 15 has no idea what in the hell changed on March 16.
Every time Drake gets a kill, the comments section blows up with “God’s Plan.”
Drake’s character hides in a plant, and the comments section blows up with “God’s Plant.”
This is a Wednesday night.
Chrissy Teigen is tweeting about livestreaming now, and honestly it’s the 30th biggest thing to happen since midnight.
Would anyone like to watch me shake trees on animal crossing— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 15, 2018
It’s nearly 5 a.m. ET, and the stream finally concludes, which is a relief to my bloodshot eyes that burn on every wink.
Fortnite rules. Video games rule. Twitch rules. Ninja is supposedly a millionaire. What a night.
Esports are no longer the future. They are the now.