Two-time Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim was added to Fortnite as the newest addition of purchasable skins. This was the fourth time an Olympic athlete had been added to Fortnite with the first three being soccer player Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, tennis player Naomi Osaka and basketball player LeBron James.
Born in Long Beach, Ca., Kim began snowboarding at the age of four. Her most notable accomplishments were her back-to-back gold medals in the snowboard halfpipe in the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics. She was also the first woman to land back-to-back 1080 spins in a competition. Kim said she’s “tried to play Fortnite for a few years now,” in an interview with Hypebae.
Fortnite, a game developed by Epic Games in 2017, adopted a battlegrounds mode early on and became a hit. To this day, the game still has a strong player base with Fortnite reporting over 350 million registered players. Fortnite began collaborating with content creators and celebrities through Icon Series Skins. The first to receive one was Tyler “Ninja” Blevins in January 2020. Fortnite always had a preference for content creators, music artists and fictional superheroes for their collaborations but began adding athletes in early 2021.
The release of the skin also came at a special time. Epic Games announced they were donating all Fortnite proceeds to Ukrainian humanitarian aid from March 20 to April 3. They revealed on Twitter that they have already raised over $100 million for relief efforts for those affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. Fortnite also released a tournament named the Chloe Kim Cup for players to win the skin and other rewards prior to its release.
Moreover, Fortnite is currently in a unique state due to the release of the Zero Build gamemode. With this new change, a core mechanic which made Fortnite unique from other battle royale games would be inaccessible to players. Instead, players would receive an extra shield pool which automatically refills, sprinting and ledge climbing. The adjustment to gameplay was implemented for Season 3, part 2 and some believe it will be a permanent mode that players will be able to access in the future.
With new celebrities and icons added to the game every few updates, Epic Games always attempts to keep content fresh. There is also a few days left in their Ukraine donation campaign, so we’ll soon be able to see how much more money the game will be able to raise for humanitarian aid.