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Fortnite pros upset with new tournament format

Fortnite pros are unhappy with the new scoring system of the Fortnite Champion Series.

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With the announcement of the Fortnite Champion Series invitational, Epic tweaked the point system in competitive formats. Now, kills are worth 4 points apiece and the placement thresholds have been tuned-down.

This shift is a transparent way to incentivize engagements in competitive Fortnite. Waiting to hit that top-ten point threshold isn’t as rewarding as it was in other tournaments. Now, it’s more worth your time to W-key your opponents for kills rather than playing the slow game.

Most Fortnite pros are used to this slow-paced gameplay, especially in open formats. The new system has received a lot of backlash from the competitive community.

Controller players are usually the most aggressive group in Fortnite, which means that this input is seeing more success in the open qualifiers. An unknown controller player even dropped a 30-bomb in the open qualifiers, leaving the casters speechless.

A lot of pro players who grind scrimmages aren’t used to the aggression that we’re seeing in the new format. Four points is a huge reward for one kill, and 30 kills netted this player 120 elimination points before you even consider the placements he received.

As we said, this new format is intentional. Epic are trying to get players to engage with one another more frequently than they have in the past.

This new mentality is probably triggered by server performance. Anyone who watched the FNCS duo competition knows how laggy the servers can be when there are 40 people alive in a small circle.

This has been a longstanding problem in competitive Fortnite. Epic are, undoubtedly, working their best to fix the issue, but fewer players alive will certainly help. Incentivising kills is one of the ways to naturally thin-out a lobby.

This is a clear experiment on the part of Epic Games. We’ve only seen open qualifiers, so far, which means there’s a lot of Fortnite yet to be played.

It will be interesting to see how all of the top players handle the new format when they’re in a lobby with one another. Open qualifiers are a different animal than the Grand Finals.

We’ll be sticking with the new format for the rest of the FNCS season, at least. Epic will likely reevaluate after that. Until then, it seems like aggressive players have a massive advantage over those who are playing to win the game.

Esports

New esports org Gamma Gaming makes splash with Fortnite roster

A new organization, Gamma Gaming, has entered the professional Fortnite arena with some huge signings.

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Fortnite is, again, the driving force behind the creation of an esports organization – this time, in the European market. Gamma Gaming – established by Arsenal FC player, Sead Kolašinac – made a splash on the EU Fortnite scene by announcing the acquisition of six Fortnite players on September 27.

The announcement included some of the hottest professional free agents in the region: Th0masHD, Kami, Tschinken, and Merijn along with content creators Obitoo and Mambo.

The most noteworthy of these acquisitions is, likely, Th0masHD who qualified for the Fortnite World Cup, placed 4th in the recent Solo FNCS, won the BenjyFishy Cup, and, most recently, placed first and second in two of the FNCS Warmup competitions.

Going into the Season 4 Trios FNCS, he and his team are one of the top picks to win it all.

Gamma Gaming’s model follows that of another new organization, One Percent, which has built its foundation on the back of their professional Fortnite lineup. The young org will, undoubtedly, branch out from here, but they’re starting with solid EU Fortnite talent.

With some strong European players on their team, it will be interesting to see where these new Gamma Gaming recruits land when the FNCS competition comes around. We have a new organization to keep our eyes on.

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Ghost Gaming signs NA-East Fortnite pro Nanolite

Ghost Gaming adds Nanolite to their growing Fortnite roster.

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Earlier in the year, it seemed like Ghost Gaming was one of the organizations divesting from professional Fortnite. Several organizations let the contracts of their Fortnite pros expire, while others were waiting in the wings to scoop them up.

Now, several months later, it seems like Ghost was only preparing to reload on their Fortnite talent. Most recently, they signed NA-East pro Nanolite. Ghost Gaming’s newest recruit has been rising the ranks, over the past year, putting together a third-place performance in the DreamHack Anaheim 2020 tournament.

Nanolite has, reportedly, earned over $38,000 from 62 events over the course of his Fortnite career. He also sits, squarely, at number 50 on the FortniteTracker NA-East Power Rankings list.

With the signing, Ghost’s Fortnite roster is surprisingly deep. They now boast Kamo, Sean, Trapped, Zarby, Nittle, Clarity, and Nanolite. We’ll have to wait and see if they’ll stay steady here or continue to add to their growing roster of Fortnite talent.

Organizations have been signing Fortnite free agents left and right. It’s clear that Fortnite isn’t going anywhere as an esport, despite the lowering of the prize pool compared to 2019. Who will be the next free agent to fall? Only time will tell.

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Ninja calls for a dedicated Fortnite pro league: could it happen?

Ninja suggests an official Fortnite league as a solution to some of the biggest problems in the game. Is such a thing realistic?

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Competitive Fortnite is always a topic that we discuss, here, but it’s been in the crosshairs of the wider gaming and esports landscape of late. Pro Fortnite players voiced their disappointment in the Season 4 PC FNCS prize pool, comparing it to similar competitions from a year ago.

The Season 4 prize pool is significantly lower, but Epic are allocating their funds differently, now. They spread their prize pool across several regions and platforms, which lowers the amount that they can give to the most popular platform: PC. They’re also hosting daily and weekly Cash Cups, which comes out of their prize pool budget as well.

You can say what you want about Epic’s distribution of their prize pool; that’s not the topic, here. The real problem – as esports reporter, Slasher, detailed in a tweet thread – is the lack of support that these tier-one Fortnite pros feel that they receive from Epic Games.

This feeling of now being listened to fuels some of the outrage that’s common within the Fortnite community. What’s more is that these high-profile pro players need to continue to prove themselves time and time again just to qualify for paid events – something that isn’t the case in any other top esport.

People like Clix, Zayt, BenjyFishy, Mongraal, Bugha, and all of the other household names in Fortnite have to continue to qualify for official Fortnite tournaments. Theoretically, they have the same chance of qualifying as your cousin who has been grinding Cash Cups for the past few months.

This element is part of the allure of competitive Fortnite – that anyone could be a pro player. Several pros have come out of nowhere to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. Morgausse was a prime example of this during the Summer Skirmish. An unknown pro at the time, Morgausse left the event $225,000 richer and as the hottest free agent in Fortnite.

We’ve come a long way since then, however. All of the events are held online, which means everyone who has Fortnite and an internet connection can affect these games. Even players who know they can’t win an event can “grief” a high-profile streamer – landing on them and ruining the streamer’s chances of qualifying.

It feels like, after 2+ years of competitive play, Fortnite finally has an established esports scene. Is it time that Epic Games began working with organizations and developing a league, similar to what other esports titles have done?

During the FNCS Warmup tournament, Ninja took to Twitter to propose just that: an official Fortnite league. In his opinion, a league sanctioned by Epic Games is the only way to avoid some of the common problems we see in nearly every Fortnite tournament.

It seems like nearly every Fortnite pro and passionate viewer would be interested in seeing something like this, but would Epic Games ever back such a tournament? In our opinion, the answer is an unfortunate, no.

A large part of Epic’s marketing strategy with competitive Fortnite seems to be that anyone could be a pro player. They’ve explicitly said this, at times, and used it as a justification as to why they don’t split the competitive and casual loot pools.

After seasons of requests from pro players involving the Fortnite loot pool, Epic have finally begun to make half measures in this regard. Still, there always seem to be a few items that are fine in core modes but completely broken in competitive. If Epic won’t even take the time to completely split the loot pool, would they really back a walled-off competitive Fortnite league?

Sadly, our outlook on this situation is a pessimistic one. A Fortnite league is possible, but we don’t think that it’s how Epic wants to handle the professional side of Fortnite. All of the evidence points to Epic wanting to keep Fortnite esports as an open platform.

There are some positives to this, but from a viewership perspective, we think the negatives outweigh the positives. Anything is possible, though, so we hope that a dedicated Fortnite league is in the cards for the future.

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