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Epic Games addresses competitive payout issues & unveils future payment improvements

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Epic Games has come under fire several times in recent months for failing to pay competitive players for victories and services. In a new blog post, they’ve put forth a new plan to better deliver payments to players.

Let’s be honest. Competitive Fortnite has been having a rough ride lately due to some serious payment scandals. These include accusations from a variety of competitive players including winners from Winter Royale & Summer Skirmish.

In an attempt to clear things up and admit to their shortcomings, Epic Games has released an extensive new competitive blog post on payments.

Payment Process Improvements

It’s a long road to redemption for Epic Game’s payment team

Due to the scandals of players not receiving payment, Epic wants to reassure current and upcoming competitive players that this will not happen in the future.

The first step in Epic’s plan to rethink the Fortnite prize payment system is a series of improvements to help with information gathering and communication.

“Our primary areas of focus for improvements to the Competitive Payment process include: (i) providing players with status updates, via email, on a regular basis; (ii) creating a more intuitive landing page and payment flow that allows players to more easily track the status of their payments; and (iii) enabling players to more easily make changes to their information. Find more details on the upcoming changes below:”

This three pronged plan is how Epic hopes to ensure that players understand what is expected of them. In return, Epic will provide faster, direct updates on payments to the players at reasonable intervals.

“We will now be sending regular email updates on payment status to players.

  • Please note that all communication and payment information will be processed via the email associated with your winning EpicID.”

While we want to commend Epic’s obvious efforts to improve, we must point out that these procedures should have been in place from the beginning. The post continues with more information about how Epic will achieve a better future for competitive payments.

  • The tax information verification process and “Prize Acceptance and Release Form” segments will now be combined into the same location.
    • For minor players, their parent/guardian will also need to provide their email and phone number to accept the payment on behalf of the minor.  
      • Note: The minor is still considered the prize recipient and will be issued a 1099-Misc or 1042-S, as applicable, by Epic.
    • Tax verification can take up to two weeks.
    • Once the tax information verification process has been completed, players will only need to agree to the consent form for future events.
  • Future improvements will enable players to more easily update their information without the need for assistance from Player Support. This includes updates to a player’s tax ID, tax country, address, and name.
  • On the payment portal, we will also be clearly displaying to players the events they’ve qualified for, the prize (pre-tax) that they’ve won, the amount taxed, the net payout they’ve received, and the status of their tax verification and payment.

The above information does give a sense of Epic’s genuine regret over their past inadequacies. Detailed information about taxes, player support, and payment amounts should be a no-brainer in all esports leagues.

All these improvements are said to be “coming soon” and no specific ETA has been given.

New Payment Flow’ for prize winners

Hopefully these systems are in place for the FWC prize payouts

In addition to these procedural improvements, Epic wants to implement a whole new ‘Payment Flow System’ and interface. The new system will show prize winners a clear visual flow of their current payment status.

The new concept is very reminiscent of how UPS and FedEx display their deliveries for customers. The payment flow system will be made in partnership with HyperWallet.

“Once the Tax Interview and consent form process have been completed and approved, you’ll receive an Account Activation email from HyperWallet. After accepting this email, you’ be prompted to follow the HyperWallet process for providing payment information.

After the payment verification process has been completed and approved, players will be able to track the status of their payment on HyperWallet (Created, Pending Action, Processing, Released). More information on this flow will be provided once it becomes available.”

New Payment Flow System – via Epic Games/HyperWallet

Info for unpaid winners from events before April 2019

Some winners from Winter Royale are still allegedly awaiting payment

Epic Games ended the major blog post with information regarding those players who have not been paid from events before April 2019.

These would include all the players that have complained about being unpaid from Winter Royale, Summer Skirmish, and beyond.

Here’s Epic’s full statement on the matter:

If you won a prize in a tournament prior to April 2019, you will still need to continue using our existing payment flow. Our Player Support agents have begun actively reaching out to any players who have yet to submit payment information to help them through the process.

To track folks down, we’re sending an email to all accounts associated with a winning EpicID who have not submitted the required information or who have yet to be paid. In this email, we’re including specific instructions regarding payment next-steps, along with contact information for a Player Support agent to help guide you through the process.

We’re also sending in-game messages via the Gift Box system to inform players which email address they need to check to continue the payment process.

Players who became eligible for a prize from an event that occurred after April 1, 2019, will be able to use the improved payment process described above once they become available.

This new information does seem very positive for both the future of Fortnite esports and the unpaid players.

In all honesty, many of these players should have been contacted and paid long before this. With that said, it’s good to see that Epic has a solid plan for the future.

The end of the post includes some contact information for players that need additional assistance.

For further assistance regarding the Competitive Payment process, please send an email to [email protected]. A Player Support agent will be assigned to your case once we receive your email, so be sure to keep an eye on your email for a response.

Original post from Epic Games can be viewed in full on Fortnite.com.

While the post doesn’t immediately take care of every payment problem, it makes it clear that Epic is done messing around with payments. They know they’ve messed up in the past and are seeking to deliver a much improved system for the Fortnite World Cup and future events.

Rumors

How to make an underwater map work in Fortnite Season 3

“SpongeBob physics” might be the only way that an underwater map will work in Fortnite Season 3.

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Fortnite Season 3 is just over a week away, and rumors are swirling about what it will bring. It seems to be all but confirmed that a flood will overtake the map, which has fans equally exciting and worried.

An underwater map could be amazing or it could be awful. Swimming in Fortnite is notoriously inconsistent and annoying. All-water zones are the worst, and we can’t imagine a map that’s entirely comprised of the water physics from Seasons 1 and 2.

A Fortnite map that’s entirely underwater and forces players to swim all of the time would likely be a disaster. It would change the game far too much, and most players would probably be turned off after a couple of weeks – not to mention all of the bugs that would likely arise from this mechanic.

That’s why we’re predicting something different. We saw a post on Reddit from u/JjGuyy0 that perfectly illustrates what we think will happen when Season 3 comes out.

Instead of swimming and floating under the water, we’re predicting what JjGuyy0 calls, “SpongeBob physics.” Even if the crossover doesn’t happen, his presence can be felt through the gameplay.

What we mean by this is that players won’t float. Instead, the underwater part of the map will act like the normal map – as is the case in SpongeBob. Players will sink to the bottom and use new water-based vehicles to move around.

Via: u/JjGuyy0

We heard rumors about a shark vehicle, but the specifics from JjGuyy0 are only speculation. The mechanics of the islands make sense, however, and we expect to see something similar to what u/JjGuyy0 has proposed.

In our opinion, “SpongeBob physics” is the only way to make an underwater Fortnite map work. It will change little other than the aesthetics of the map, which will be a perfect breath of fresh air for the community. Let’s hope that we’re right.

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Leak

Fortnite Season 3 leaked teaser finally reveals map flood

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It looks like the leaked Fortnite Season 3 map flood is going to happen.

Epic Games have kept their cards firmly close to their chest during the course of the current season, dropping small hints about a water theme in Season 2 with puddles appearing and the likes, but nothing concrete.

That, and the fact that several swimming animations have been leaked by data miners.

Anyway, those looking for something that explicitly tells us that the map is going to be taken over by water might well have got their wish, as the PlayStation Store appears to have revealed the next game icon.

As seen below, in the top left corner, the bus that usually drops us all off high into the sky is actually right next to the water – suggesting sea levels will soon rise in-game. The teaser can be seen on this page, at the time of writing.

Image: PlayStation Store.

Clearly, that’s going to bring some sweeping map changes as well – you would think.

Some players have even taken a different view on the situation, since the leak surfaced, suggesting that a crossover between the battle royale game and Bikini Bottom – from the Spongebob Squarepants series – might be on the cards.

Whether or not that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but we know one thing for sure. Things are about to be given a serious shakeup, if this leak is anything to go off.

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Leak

Fortnite leaks point to underwater swimming coming in Season 3

Swimming underwater may be a permanent feature coming to Fortnite Season 3.

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Early leaks of underwater swimming in Fortnite came to the game files several patches ago. Naturally, this led to the assumption that we’d be able to dive underwater in future Fortnite seasons.

These hopes were dashed when the Astronomical event happened. We swam underwater during this event, and most fans assumed that this would be the bulk of our undersea travel.

A couple of updates later, in v12.61, we saw the ability to swim underwater updated, yet again. When you combine this with the unconfirmed leaks covering Season 3, all signs are pointing to the ability to swim underwater in the next Fortnite Season.

Several data miners covered the new strings in the game files. After a bit of digging, they came up with the animation, itself.

As you can see from FortTory’s tweet, this animation is different from the normal swimming animation. You can dive, swim, and float in place while underwater.

There are still a ton of questions to be answered on this front. Will we able to swim underwater indefinitely or will we have an oxygen meter? Will this only be allowed on certain areas of the map? Does this mean we’re getting an underwater POI?

Underwater swimming has always been a difficult concept in gaming. Unfortunately, it could lead to a host of bugs and issues if there are some blind spots in development. Let’s hope for the best, though, and trust Epic to get it right.

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