DrLupo on EPIC’s all-in Fortnite esports play: 'It's a hundred freaking million dollars. That's insanity'

by Colin McNeil, Colten Gowan, Keith Capstick May 29

2:00 - Tell us about your Find your Grind and 'All the Work' charity initiatives
12:00 - How do you feel about Epic Games' $100 M commitment to esports?
15:00 - What needs to change about Fortnite to make it an esport?
33:00 - On Fortnite as a cultural phenomenon
41:00 - When did you first meet Ninja and what were your first impressions?
54:00 - The Avengers of Fortnite: Ninja, Lupo and Tim?

Ben "DrLupo" Lupo is one of the most popular streamers in the world. He's become a staple in the quickly-growing Fortnite scene along with squads partners Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Timothy "TimTheTatman" John Betar . So far in April, he's averaging over 17,000 viewers at a time, according to Twitch analytics site SullyGnome.

DrLupo spoke to theScore esports Podcast about what's led to Fortnite's rise to the top of Twitch and of pop culture, how he met Ninja and a few of the charitable endeavors he's become known for.

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DrLupo recently participated in a number of charity initiatives. He and Ninja raised more that $300,000 for the St.Jude's Research Hospital selling t-shirts and he also participated in the Find your Grind initiative to help handout scholarships to young gamers.

"In total I think that day we gave away $45,000 in scholarships, but $5,000 of that specifically was their first live streamer scholarship ever and I was given the ability to present it," said DrLupo.

Philanthropic work like this has been a staple of DrLupo's stream since his origins streaming Destiny 2.

"Education, it's always been a big part of my life, and to help other people pursue theirs because of this really crazy ride of platform growth that I've been on. I feel honored that they chose me to do this," said DrLupo.

Hours before DrLupo jumped on the podcast, Epic Games announced a $100,000,000 commitment to competitive Fortnite events during the 2018-2019 season. This jaw-dropping number came as a shock to many — especially since the game that doesn't have anything close to a fleshed out esports scene yet — including DrLupo.

"It's kind of mind-blowing. A hundred million dollars is, that's insane. I'm curious where all of it is going to go," he said.

"There's a lot of questions, a ton of questions around how things are going to be kind of diced up. But even above all that, it's a hundred freaking million dollars. That's insanity."

DrLupo said that he's optimistic about Fortnite's chances to make it as an esport due to the game's ability to defeat the "randomness" issues other Battle Royales suffer from. For him, the location of chests and the skill required to be able to build effectively, help combat some of these traditional issues.

When it comes to the hierarchy of Fortnite skills, DrLupo doesn't mince words. "With Fortnite, if you can't build, you're pretty much trash."

DrLupo's rise in popularity has of course coincided with Ninja's unprecedented penetration into the world of popular culture. Ninja and DrLupo often duo together on stream and send support for one another back and forth. DrLupo spoke about how he met Ninja in-game playing PUBG and expressed just how perfect a match he thinks Ninja and Fortnite are.

"It's been interesting to see the way that he's grown, and Fortnite has been very successful for him. People enjoy watching him because he is terrifyingly good, don't tell him, I'm a little jealous," said DrLupo.

"There's a lot of people that are really good, but I don't see very many if any other players routinely doing the insane shit that he pulls off."

To him, it almost feels like the game was made for Ninja.

"His personality on-stream and the way that the game is played at a higher entertainment style, those two things, they go hand-in-hand. It is difficult for me to imagine many other broadcasters playing that game at the level that he does with the shenanigans, the jokes, and all the crazy stuff that he does. It's difficult for me to imagine anybody else kind of filling those shoes," he said.

"Sometimes I look at it and I think, man, did Epic just make this game specifically for him?"

Keith Capstick is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.