The Bao Bros Fortnite skin was more than just an outfit. It was a saga spanning much of 2019. Here’s a recap of the Bao Bros legend.

Fortnite skins come to the game in two ways: they are leaked by data miners after a patch or encrypted until their eventual release into the item shop. Those of us who stay up to date with the latest Fortnite leaks see most of the skins coming and are only surprised by a few.

The Bao Bros skin set fell into the ‘leaked’ category. We heard about the skin back in May of 2019 during the v9.10 patch. For reference, the Doggo, the Sandstorm, and the Scimitar skins were all leaked during the same patch – the first update of Season 9.

Epic has canceled some skins in the past. We’ve seen a couple of exclusive skins get reworked or outright axed before ever hitting the locker. This never seemed to be the case with the Bao Bros. Data miners saw the skin set in the game files patch after patch. Still, as more cosmetics came out, the Bao Bros remained unreleased.

Data miner Lucas7Yoshi took it upon himself to be the leading voice in the Bao Bros movement. The skin isn’t even particularly attractive. It was the lore behind the skin that made us want to see it in the Item Shop. The longer it stayed unreleased, though, the more the legend grew.

Fast-forward to early December; right before the Fortnite holiday update. We saw a bunch of leaked items and cosmetics in the game files – including something that hinted at an Annual Pass coming for 2020.

We, along with several other outlets, reported on the topic. About an hour later, we got a DM from Nick Chester of Epic Games PR. He stated that the Annual Pass was a prototype and that Epic shelved the idea.

This was the first time that Epic has ever publicly and directly acknowledged Fortnite leaks. The last line of the statement made reference to one of the longest-running jokes in the community: “While the 2020 Annual Pass was considered, we have no plans to release it…unlike the Bao Bros.”

Epic Games

Almost 20 days later on the evening of December 29, we finally saw the Bao Bros enter the Item Shop with an unceremonious announcement from the Fortnite Twitter account.

Everyone who followed the Bao Bros saga rejoiced, while the rest of the community wondered why everyone was so happy about a strange dumpling-head skin.

As elated as the community was to see Bao Bros come to the shop after eight months of buildup, the release feels a tad bittersweet.

Yes, it’s the best skin to ever grace the Fortnite Item Shop – no one is arguing that – but the inside joke is gone. No more, “Release the Bao Bros!” replies under every Item Shop update. No more, “Bao Bros,” tweets with no context for free likes. We can only hope that Epic holds another Fortnite skin in 2020.

Did you pick up the long-awaited Bao Bros skin? Are you sad to see the saga end? Did you have any idea that this was going on in the first place? Let us know in the comments.

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Jimmy is a passionate gamer and lover/hater of all things Fortnite. Good comms on Twitter @JimmyDangus.