Jake Paul doesn’t so much like games as much as profits off whatever people want to watch.
That’s why he manufactures drama with other YouTubers, offers to fight them in a stadium with a capacity of 20,000 seats and uses clickbait titles for his videos. It’s no surprise that Paul, one of the most influential YouTubers on the platform right now, wants to dig his heels — or thumbs — into the hottest video game of the moment, Fortnite Battle Royale. Paul announced in his newest vlog that he and his vlogging incubation team, referred to as Team 10, were officially diving into gaming with the launch of “Team 10 Gaming.”
This wasn’t an overnight decision. Paul and his incubation tenants dedicated a room for two of his friends, Chance Sutton and Anthony Trujillo, to stream Fortnite games. Paul also tested the waters by uploading a few personal vlogs with Fornite matches in them, putting the focus of the video (including tags, title and thumbnail photo) on him playing the game. Paul tags each videos with specific keywords that will help push his content to the top of the search pile; paired with his status on the platform, think of it like searching for something on Twitter and being served with responses from verified accounts.
In the latest video, for example, Paul tags “Fortnite,” “livestreaming,” “Twitch” and “Ninja,” even though he doesn’t mention Ninja once. Ninja, who has quickly become the most popular Fortnite streamer and recently made headlines by partnering with Drake for a late night stream, even appears in Paul’s thumbnail despite never actually being mentioned.
Fortnite is unquestionably the hottest and most talked-about video game at the moment, and Ninja is undeniably the most recognizable player. Ninja, whose real name is Tyler Blevins, has been amassing a bigger following steadily for the past couple of weeks, but it wasn’t until he streamed with Drake and Travi$ Scott that people outside of the gaming sphere really started tuning in. The chart below demonstrates peoples interest in Blevins’ streams, with peak interest happening just a day after he streamed with Drake.
With mega-celebrities like Drake and Travi$ Scott are playing Fortnite on Twitch, the whole world is paying attention to the game. Some Twitch lifers refer to this as the “normie invasion,” calling out casual fans and bandwagon celebrities who want to watch and stream Fortnite because it’s something everyone’s talking about. On YouTube, however, people aren’t using the word normies to describe their sudden interest in creating Fornite content. It’s more of an opportunity.
“You have these two things and, it combined, turns into the biggest stream of all time,” PewDiePie says in one of his latest videos, after offering his opinion on Fortnite and Twitch’s stunning growth. “And here I am being salty about it, but at least trying to benefit a little bit from the breadcrumbs that are left in a clickbait title by bringing up this topic without really giving any personal input or providing any type of value to the conversation.”
Fortnite is one of those rare games, like Minecraft, that attracts all types of players and creatives. Paul and his Team 10 crew may seem like the most recent normies to get into Fortnite, but it’s also just about the least surprising development. Considering how many views some of Fortnite’s biggest streamers and YouTubers, like Blevins and Ali-A, are pulling in, it will be even less surprising if other vlogging or non-gaming channels start to incorporate Fortnite into their daily or weekly production cycles.
Like Clint Stevens, a Twitch streamer with more than 200,000 followers, said on his stream the other day, “normies are the thing you want the most on Twitch.”
“They’re the people that you turn into your dedicated people that watch,” he said. “You need to get those normies, because eventually the dedicated people are going to get jobs, they’re going to get families, they’re going to get people who love them, and then they’re not going to watch you anymore. Everyone goes around from game-to-game, striking the ground, trying to find the vein; the oil vein of the normies ... and the eventually a game like Fortnite comes around and they just burst out of the ground [sic].”
“We struck the normies, dude.”
That means viewers and streamers who want to buy into the Fortnite hype will continue to emerge for the next little bit — until Fortnite fatigue kicks in and people move on to another game. Until then, watch as more lifestyle and general vloggers like Paul and his friends, start plugging into Fortnite far more often.