Fortnite's big battle Friday will be against...cancer?

There's a slim chance Reese Witherspoon or Ken Jeong could show up too. (Like, the very slimmest chance.)

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman

Fortnite is the most popular game on Twitch this year by minutes watched. 

Epic Games

Amazon's Twitch will live stream a special Fortnite competition on Friday that pits popular streamers Markiplier and Pokimane against each other to raise awareness of Stand Up To Cancer, a charity that is holding its star-packed television broadcast the same night. 

The stream of Fortnite, which is the most popular game on Twitch this year by minutes watched, will also try to wrangle appearances from celebrities attending the main telecast. Those stars include Reese Witherspoon, Ken Jeong, Matthew McConaughey, Keith Urban, Trevor Noah, Jennifer Garner, Tony Hale, Ed HelmsKarla Souza and many others. 

Mixing celebrities with Fortnite streaming has been a winning combo before. In March, a stream of rapper Drake playing the massively popular battle royale game with Ninja, one of the most popular Fortnite streamers on Twitch with 11 million followers. 

That stream broke Twitch's viewer record at the time, with a peak of more than 600,000 people watching at the same time. (Ninja broke Twitch's record again a month later playing Fortnite, hitting 667,000 concurrent viewers.)

The special Twitch stream will air from 4 pm to 6 pm PT on Friday, and will be hosted by Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico. The organizers want to raise awareness for Stand Up to Cancer's main telecast and encourage people to visit the charity's site, StandUpToCancer.org.