Fortnite's jamming with the NBA

To coincide with the 2021 playoffs, Fortnite has announced a collaboration with the National Basketball Association. Boasting the rather straightforward title of Fortnite x NBA: The Crossover, it brings 31 basketball uniforms to the item shop on May 21 (8 pm ET), which includes all 30 NBA teams, as well as an NBA-themed team battle mode that has already begun.

The Fortnite X NBA team battles mode runs from now until May 23 and has a dedicated site where players can sign up to represent their favourite NBA team. For some reason each team is limited to 15,000 'member' sign-ups, so if you're interested pop over there quick. These 'members' get the lion's share of rewards although each team can also have 550,000 'fans' that also receive some in-game items.

The full rules are here but essentially Fortnite will be running challenges linked to these NBA teams for in-game rewards until May 22, at which point the leaderboards are turned on and the teams begin 'competing' against each other to complete challenges for various rewards and, ultimately, the 'NBA Championship Trophy' back bling.

Perhaps the most appropriately themed element of this crossover is the dribbling / hookshot emote and what it calls here a 'Mini Hoop' back bling: the latter, when other players have it equipped, allows you to "call your shot", apparently.

Following the NBA tournament, Fortnite will begin introducing elements of the NBA into the game's creative mode: come May 25 there will be a new "NBA Welcome Hub."

Fortnite remains, well, a phenomenon, and no small part of that is down to Epic's relentless pace of crossovers and updates across entertainment, music, other games, and now sports (the NBA collab follows hot-on-the-heels of the latest footballer to be added, Neymar Jr). If you want some idea of the scale of its success, recent court documents revealed the game made a staggering $9.1 billion across 2018 and 2019. Whatever way you cut it, that's a lot of V-bucks.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."