The Hope College student athletes have been testing their thumb dexterity and reflexes for weeks as they prepare for the ultimate Battle Royale: the title of “Hope Fortnite Champion”. Students have gathered in dorm basements on Friday and Saturday nights for the dormitory championships, with the winners competing Friday night at 1 a.m. in Cook Hall.
A championship for duos and squads is also scheduled for the next week with the other frontrunners from the dormitory champs. Friendships have been stretched to the line as these athletes fight for the chance to be the solo champ, relentlessly hunting known hiding spots of the friends they had made false alliances with. Some groups of friends have been practicing as duos or squads for months in preparation for the tournament, rumored to hire students to spy on other teams’ game strategies.
One player will be selected from each dorm for the solo championships, with the toughest competition found in Durfee–some men of Durf were found outside the day after the championship bush camping in the Pine Grove, thinking they were still in the game.
Other students have commented on the benefits of the rigorous practice required to become a trained Fortnite athlete. “It improves your thumb mobility, which can be crucial in school when you have to write or in running when you have to give coach a thumbs up even when you’re dead tired,” says Chelsea Miskelly, a Hope sophomore and budding Fortnite player. She was rumored to be seen late at night in the basement of Phelps, teaching some freshmen her newfound gameplay skills.
Students have commented on the feeling of winning a solo game of Fortnite, comparing it to the hard-earned, victorious feeling of getting an A in organic chemistry. Engineers have held discussions on the benefits of the building in the game. “Building separates good players from the best, especially in winning fights at the end of the game,” one student commented. “Back to basics. Wood is weakest but fastest, while metal is strongest.” Art students have been found building elaborate towers to win.
The real test of the champs’ skills will come this weekend. Which players will dare to land at the Tilted Towers, where only the best make it out alive? Who will find the gold scar? Will any dorms shock us with a John Wick? Come to find out!