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5 Alternatives to Skill-Based Matchmaking in Fortnite

Skill-based matchmaking is a topic of much debate in the Fortnite community. Some players agree with the switch, while others think it will hurt the game in the long-term. Here are five feasible alternatives that may make SBMM in Fortnite unnecessary.

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Skill-based matchmaking is a topic of much debate in the Fortnite community. Some players agree with the switch, while others think it will hurt the game in the long-term. Here are five feasible alternatives that may make SBMM in Fortnite unnecessary.

Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is the latest in a long line of topics that has split the Fortnite community. Players in the lower skill bracket love the idea of avoiding the sweats, streamers, and wannabe-pros, while the latter group doesn’t want to be stuck with one another for the entire future of the game.

Changing the matchmaking system isn’t the only option, however. There are other ways Epic can change Fortnite to make SBMM unnecessary. Here are a few ideas.

Arena Incentives

Credit: EPIC GAMES

One common complaint of the skill-based matchmaking system in Fortnite is that it’s Arena without siphon or material caps. This critique is spot-on as it stands right now. There’s no incentive to play Arena unless you’re trying to compete in tournaments. Some of us are, but most of us aren’t.

A large percentage of the player base likes competitive game modes but isn’t skilled enough to compete in Cash Cups or online qualifiers. It’s sad that Apex Legends has a more fleshed-out competitive system than Fortnite does – and that game has been out for a fraction of the time.

Epic could add exclusive skins, weapon wraps, gliders, or any other cosmetic items to incentivize Arena play. That will draw competitive players out of public matches and into Arena, therefore reducing the need for SBMM.

Better LTMs

Arena incentives will take care of some of the competitive players, and better LTMs will engage the casuals. There is only a handful of LTMs that are worth playing right now. Bounty, the Floor is Lava, and Air Royale are three that stand out. 

Sniper-only game modes, Close Encounters, and similar LTMs can be fun for a game or two, but they lose their luster after a while.

Epic needs to draw more casual players to LTMs so they can enjoy the game without facing hardcore competition all of the time.

Count Assists as Kills

Credit: EPIC GAMES

This suggestion could be huge for the game, and it will likely be controversial. Part of the reason Epic added the BRUTE was to allow unskilled players to get more eliminations. Another way these players could get more eliminations is to count assists as kills.

A lot of other games already do this – Gears of War and Overwatch come to mind. They give you a certain number of points based on the damage you did to the eliminated player and reward you with a kill as long as you tagged them at least once.

A lot of people aren’t going to like this, but it will help solve some of the issues that SBMM is attempting to address. Kill stealing won’t be a thing anymore and everyone will get more kills in team-based modes – so it’s a no-lose proposition.

A ‘New and Returning Player’ Playlist

Credit: EPIC GAMES

Ninja and SypherPK brought up this idea during a recent stream: allowing new and returning players to join an exclusive game mode that will help them get a grip on the current state of Fortnite.

If you get a win or reach a kill threshold, the game disappears and you are back to the normal game modes. Epic can add bots to this mode to help keep it populated – something they’re considering anyway.

This game mode will be the same as the regular Battle Royale game, but you’ll only be playing with bots, returning players, and new players. The rest of the game modes will stay the same as they are now.

Keep SBMM Exclusively in Solos

Credit: EPIC GAMES

It appears as though Epic is dedicated to skill-based matchmaking. The community is split on the topic, but it doesn’t really matter what we think. Papa Epic is going to do what they think is best for us. 

The health of Fortnite is going to suffer if SBMM expands to Duos and eventually Squads. Players will face lengthy queue times, many will face more difficult games, and a wide percentage of the player base is going to start getting frustrated.

If Epic keeps SBMM in Solos only – a mode where you can’t rely on anyone but yourself – things will be manageable. Expanding it could spell a massive hit to the community.

What do you think of skill-based matchmaking? Sound off in the comments.

Editorial

Opinion: Ninja Battles is what we thought professional Fortnite would be

Ninja Battles has shown us that there’s a massive opportunity in invitational Fortnite tournaments.

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When competitive Fortnite was first announced, fans imagined Team Liquid going up against TSM and FaZe. Tfue and Cloakzy were battling Chap and 72hrs for the win. TSM boasted Myth, Daequan, and Hamlinz – three of the best players in the world at the time.

Those were the old days of competitive Fortnite, and they are way behind us. There’s been a massive changing of the guard, partially due to the open qualifiers for major tournaments.

These qualifiers were fantastic for unknown Fortnite players who have since grown their brand. Would people like UnknownxArmy or even Bugha have been invited to the World Cup if it was an invitational? We’re not sure.

IMG: Fortnite Twitter

From a viewership perspective, however, it can be difficult to keep track of the constant turnover in the competitive scene. The leaderboard might be filled with names you’ve never heard of in any given tournament. It’s a double-edged sword that leaves some longtime Fortnite viewers behind.

Now, we have Ninja Battles: an invitation-only tournament that also features some of the biggest names in the competitive scene. Sure, there were a few content creators thrown into the mix, but winning the tournament was no small feat. Many of the household names in competitive Fortnite took part in the event, and the prize pool was a large one for an online tournament.

Ninja Battles Week 1 was an unquestioned success. The best news coming out of the event is that we have five more weeks of competition. After one week, it’s already shown us the version of competitive Fortnite we expected to see, all along.

Of course, there was some controversy during the tournament. ZaxRow has been banned after his cuss-filled post-game interview, and Clix issued an apology after leaving early. On top of that, the lack of Arena Mode caused each game to end in a heal-off.

These pros have seen the error of their ways, however, and Ninja Battles will take place in Arena Mode going forward. Ninja stated that the tournament gave him “old competitive Fornite” vibes, and he was dead-on. This was what many of us wanted competitive Fortnite to be.

The participants, largely, loved their experience as well. Nearly every competitor praised the tournament on Twitter. There were no complaints, no in-game controversies, no accusations of teaming – nothing that’s been plaguing the mainstream competitive scene for over a year.

We have several more weeks of Ninja Battles to look forward to, but hopefully, it doesn’t end there. Ninja Battles has shown us that invitational tournaments might be the best format for Fortnite – at least from a viewership perspective.

The FNCS and all other Fortnite tournaments will have their place, but the true ceiling of competitive success may lie in private, invitational tournaments.

Let’s hope that organizers, teams, and companies take note of this success and support this version of the competitive scene going forward. If we get more of what we had last night, then competitive Fortnite has some massive potential.

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Clix apologizes for leaving Ninja Battles for a Fortnite Cash Cup

Clix apologizes for choosing the Fortnite Cash Cup over the in-progress Ninja Battles tournament.

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Ninja Battles showed us that invitational Fortnite tournaments might be more entertaining to watch than those with open qualifiers. It also proved that they can be just as toxic.

The professional Fortnite community is notoriously young, with the densest number of competitors in their teens. After Ninja Battles Week 1, we saw two high-profile pros issue apologies for their actions during the tournament.

The first to apologize was ZexRow, who has since been banned from future events due to his cuss-filled rant on Ninja’s stream. You can read more about that situation in our full article here.

Clix followed with an apology of his own. Was it for calling Ninja – the tournament organizer who put up his own money to host an event – “literally f**king dogs**t”? Not exactly.

Clix issued an apology for leaving the event early and leaving his teammates, BrookeAB and Furious, high and dry. He stated that he talked to the duo before the tournament and warned them that he’d be leaving. In his apology, Clix admitted that he “could’ve handled things better.”

Clix, whose team finished in 17th place, left before his final match to play the Duo Cash Cup with FaZe Sway. The pro made it seem like a no-brainer as to why he was leaving.

Clix released this apology a few hours after the event concluded, but it remains to be seen if he’ll receive an invite in the future. BrookeAB was the one who was invited from the squad, so Ninja could very well tell her not to invite him again.

There’s a lot of drama in the competitive Fortnite scene, even in a wholesome event like Ninja Battles. One thing’s for sure: this was one of the most entertaining Fortnite tournaments in recent memory.

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Patch Notes

Epic nerf Fortnite aim assist on PC yet again

Epic Games have released another Fortnite aim assist nerf for PC players.

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Here we go again – another reported nerf to controller aim assist on PC in Fortnite. Will this one be enough to satisfy the keyboard and mouse (KBM) community? Will it be the final iteration of aim assist? Probably not, but let’s get into it.

This update flew under the radar for most players, as Epic didn’t officially announce this change to the public. Data miners reported on the change with the updated files, and pros began to test it out.

According to Hypex, the new values are as follows:

  • PullInnerStrengthHip -> from 0.6 to 0.45
  • PullOuterStrengthHip -> from 0.5 to 0.38
  • PullInnerStrengthAds -> from 0.7 to 0.52
  • PullOuterStrengthAds -> from 0.4 to 0.3

This seems to be a relatively substantial nerf, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when controller players get their hands on the updated values. According to early reports, console players should be unaffected.

At some point, it seems like Epic are going to nerf aim assist on PC to the point where it will be more beneficial to use a console. This is a bit hyperbolic but could be a legitimate outcome.

We’ll keep you posted if and when professional controller players speak out on the aim assist topic. For now, not much has happened on that front – suggesting that little has changed.

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