Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) is back for Chapter 2: Season 4 as Trios competition takes center stage and a few new changes are introduced to address certain issues.
The FNCS competition has always been one of the most prestigious tournaments in the Fortnite scene. Players have been treated to a number of iterations of the popular competition and now, it’s set to return once again for Season 4.
Marvel heroes and villains have taken over the battle royale map, and it’s up to Trios to prove who can best wield their powers. While previous seasons have highlighted solo, duo, and quads competition, Season 4 is all about Trios. The latest edition of the Champion Series is exclusively for three-player groups.
From the new format changes to when it all kicks off, we’ve got you covered with a complete rundown.
FNCS Season 4 dates
Throughout the Season 4 competition, there are four key periods to keep in mind. While the first week kicks off on October 9, there’s plenty to keep in mind throughout the weeks that follow. These are the dates for FNCS Season 4:
- FNCS Week 1: October 9 – October 11
- FNCS Week 2: October 16 – October 18
- FNCS Week 3: October 23 – October 25
- FNCS Finals: October 29 – November 1
Each week of the competition will follow a similar format to what players have grown accustomed to. Teams will first compete in open qualifiers. Only the top 33 Trios will then advance to the next two days of that particular week.
The most successful teams will then earn a spot in the Finals. There’s also a new ‘Wildcard match’ that provides one last chance at making the final round.
FNCS Season 4 format
With Trios in the spotlight this season, you’ll need to form the most powerful three-person team possible. Each week, your team can drop into open qualifiers and battle against others for points. If you earn enough points, you’ll advance through to the finals of that particular week before joining the top 33 to fight for instant qualification.
The very best lineups will all make it through to the Grand Final showdown starting October 29. As usual, FNCS will be taking place in all of the familiar regions from previous seasons. That includes NA-West, NA-East, South America, EU, Middle East, Asia, and OCE.
Additionally, Epic Games also laid out a list of new rules and clarifications for the upcoming season. Here’s how FNCS will define ‘Collusion’ and ‘Smurfing’ for the next period of competiton:
WHAT IS COLLUSION (NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST):
- Consistently working together with the same opponent. This includes fighting together or working together against a 3rd player or 3rd team who encroaches on a shared location or shared drop spot.
- With this clarification now in place, we’re now taking a greater stand to action if conclusive evidence is found linking opponents to common goals together.
- Staged engagements among colluding teams to deceive event admins. As an example: Manipulating storm surge factors intentionally by trading damage with no intent of elimination.
- Pickaxe swinging (or other actions) used as a form of signaling to opponents.
- Sharing loot or leaving items with or for opponents for their gain.
- Intentionally feeding eliminations to another team.
WHAT ISN’T COLLUSION (NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST):
- Consistently dropping in the same location each match.
- Announcing a drop spot on social media.
- If you believe you’re good enough to stake your claim publicly on a spot, be prepared to defend it. Players contesting your claim is part of the game, and should be encouraged.
- Choosing to not engage in combat at certain times.
- Coaching using the in-game replay tools.
SMURFING OR ILLEGAL RESTARTS
Like last season, smurfing is still disallowed in most prized competitions. We’re splitting the current definition of smurfing into two parts:
- Traditional Smurfing: Playing on an alternate account that has a lower Arena Rank than your main account in order to illegally participate in tournaments or events that are only eligible for lower Arena Ranks. This type of smurfing will not be allowed in any official tournaments that are only open to those in lower Arena ranks.
- Illegal Restarts: Playing on an alternate account AND a main account in the same tournament window. This type of smurfing will not be allowed in any official tournaments, unless otherwise indicated.
Fortnite’s Esports revenue explains why there hasn’t been another World Cup
Epic Games overestimated how much money Fortnite Esports would make which could explain why there hasn’t been a second World Cup.
Epic Games overestimated how much revenue Fortnite would make from Esports in 2019 by $154 million. This miscalculation could explain why there has only been one Fortnite World Cup.
In 2019, Epic Games dove headfirst into Fortnite’s competitive Esports scene. Following a $100 million prize pool for the year 2018, Epic put up another $100 million in 2019. This insane amount of prize money dwarfed other competitive games in comparison.
2019 was also the year of Fortnite’s first-ever World Cup. The Fortnite World Cup took place from July 26 – 28 in New York City and boasted $30 million in total prizes. One hundred of the best solo players from around the world, and 50 duo teams, competed for a massive amount of money.
Epic Games falls short of revenue goals
While the amount of money up for grabs seems quite impressive, it didn’t net Epic Games with the desired results. During the trial of Epic Games vs Apple, documents were shared that outlined the revenues that Fortnite generated from 2018 to 2019. Epic Games planned to make $4.59 billion during the 2018-2019 fiscal year but actually earned $4.2 billion instead.
The documents stated that Epic Games had anticipated making $154 million more from Fortnite’s Esports scene than it was actually able to generate. While Epic Games is raking in billions of dollars a year, it’s unlikely that it will pour money into something that isn’t as profitable.
This major discrepancy in earnings could explain why there hasn’t been another Fortnite World Cup. After $100 million was awarded in 2019, 2020 saw a massive dip in prize money. The pool for the entire year was only $17 million.
Epic Games stated at the beginning of this year that it would be pledging $20 million in prize money for Fortnite’s 2021 competitive scene. This is $10 million less than the total prize pool for the Fortnite World Cup. Epic also stated that it had no plans for an in-person World Cup event this year.
The lack of prize money has been apparent over the past year as competitive Fortnite players have taken to social media to express their concerns. In 2019, the FNCS qualifier prize pool was $1 million a week for three months. Now, players are competing for a $3 million prize pool over the course of an entire season of FNCS.
The Fortnite World Cup may return in some capacity, but players shouldn’t expect a massive $30 million prize pool. The worldwide pandemic could be to blame for the lack of in-person tournaments, but that doesn’t mean it’s the sole reason there haven’t been any. Epic Games might be focusing on the more profitable aspects of Fortnite to endure the game’s longevity.
Top 20 Highest Earning Fortnite Players – Updated April 26, 2021
Fortnite’s top 20 highest earning players haven’t changed much since the 2019 World Cup, but a few players have climbed up the ranks.
The highest-earning Fortnite players are the same as they were in 2019.
After a rather uneventful year for Fortnite’s competitive scene in 2020, it’s no surprise that the top 20 highest-earning players look very similar to those of 2019. With no 2020 World Cup or millions of dollars worth of prize money up for grabs, there wasn’t a lot that could have affected the current standings.
2020 did see a lot of former Fortnite enthusiasts seemingly leave Fortnite for the foreseeable future. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was at one time the most popular Fortnite streamer but has since left the game for other competitive shooters.
Instead, the same top-ranking competitive players such as Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf and Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson have maintained their places on the 20 top highest-earning Fortnite players.
When looking at a player’s earnings this list will only gauge players on how much they have earned by playing Fortnite. While Bugha and other players have earned money through brand deals, merch sales, and partnerships, earnings are defined as what a player has won strictly by playing competitive Fortnite.
It’s also important to note that, while over half of the top 20 have earned over $1 million, none of the players have earned more than $300,000 since September 23, 2019. Others have earned as little as $20,000 over the past year and a half.
This chart was last updated on April 26, 2021.
When comparing the list above to the highest-earning Fortnite players in 2019, the same 20 players are still on the list. Some players have moved up the ranks while others have maintained their position on the list. The biggest reason there haven’t been any new names added to the list is because of the lack of high-paying competitive events.
A large number of competitive Fortnite events were held in 2018 and 2019 including the Fall Skirmish Series, World Cup Finals, and Winter Royale. These events had multi-million dollar prize pools that rewarded first, second, and third-place winners with large cash prizes.
However, due to COVID-19’s impact on the world in 2020, Epic Games was unable to hold similar events. Competitive Fortnite took a back seat during the pandemic while crossover events and story-driven seasons kept players entertained.
With the pandemic still ensuing, Epic Games has stated it has no plans to conduct in-person tournaments throughout the course of 2021. FNCS tournaments are still taking place, but players won’t see the return of massive prize pools anytime soon.
Epic to host official Fortnite scrims for EU players
After Epic banned traditional pro scrims in Fortnite, they announced the release of their own official Fortnite scrims for EU.
Epic Games are set to roll-out official scrims for competitive players, starting with the EU region.
The competitive Fortnite community has taken a few blows to their favorite game modes in the recent past. Epic banned pay-to-play scrimmages and wagers, even contacting Clix directly and threatening a ban for hosting the latter.
While a lot of players participated in wagers, even more were sad to see pro scrimmages get the axe. Most Fortnite streamers at the pro level would routinely broadcast their games; practicing and creating content at the same time.
For a few weeks, the professional Fortnite community seemed lost, with little way to officially practice for upcoming events.
On April 22, Epic released a blog post, announcing that they would be hosting the first-ever official Fortnite scrims for EU players. These would be divided into two groups: Open and Aura.
Aura would be the traditional “pro scrims” that would require an initiation. Only the top 500 teams would be eligible to compete.
The Open scrims, as the name suggests, would be open to anyone in Arena Division 3 or higher. The top performers in Open Scrims will be invited to Aura at the end of each week, and poor performers or inactive teams from Aura will be relegated to Open League.
This all seems like an interesting system and one that Epic sorely needs. In fact, one could argue that this system is better than the base Arena system that is considered to be “competitive” Fortnite.
These scrims are only open to EU players at first, but we assume that Epic will bring NA scrims to the game next. Until then, we’ll have to see how the EU pros like these new official Fortnite scrims.
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