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What hiring Nate Nanzer means for Fortnite esports

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With the announcement of Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer being hired by Epic Games, we have to wonder what that could mean for Fortnite esports.

The Overwatch League is one of the most ambitious esports undertakings ever.

Expansion slots for the second season went for upwards of $40 million as a host of new teams joined.

The OWL is unique because it is operating under a city-based structure where teams are run by organizations but are ultimately separate entitles.

By 2020, the goal is to have all OWL teams play in their home stadiums.

Nate has been leading the charge on a lot of that. On Friday, May 24th it was announced he has been hired by Epic Games.

His official role hasn’t been announced, but if Epic offered him enough money to leave his spot in the OWL, he has to be entering a senior leadership role for Fortnite esports.

Quick note, it has been speculated that Nanzer has been brought on to help with Rocket League, but in the official announcement he specifically says Fortnite. As the flagship title for Epic, most popular game with a disorganized esports scene, it makes more sense for him to be working on Fortnite anyway.

Who is Nate Nanzer?

He’s an executive who has been working in market research firms in the games sector since the 90s. He spent eight years apiece at two different firms before joining Blizzard in 2014.

He was put in charge of Overwatch Esports before the league began, and then was named commissioner of the league before the first season.

Besides Jeff Kaplan, he has been the Blizzard executive most associated with Overwatch esports. His work developed the Overwatch League and brought in those huge investments from traditional sports owners like Robert Kraft, Stan Kroenke and Jeff Wilpon.

The future of Fortnite esports | Credit: Esports Observer

He’s been focused on the gaming world for a long time and has proven he is able to build up an esports ecosystem, basically from scratch.

What can Nate Nanzer do for Fortnite?

Consistency.

Right now that is the main thing missing from Fortnite esports. Epic has experimented with a wide variety of events in the ten months since they began the Summer Skirmish.

Each one looked a bit different, used different scoring systems and formats, had different ways to qualify.

What Nanzer can do is create a formal structure for Fortnite esports. He will have two months as they are fully committed to the World Cup, then whatever his plans are will be announced.

If you look at the biggest esports in the world they have set times for flagship events. League of Legends Worlds happens in the early fall, Overwatch League finals happen in the summer, Dota 2’s The International is every august and CS:GO’s IEM Katowice is at the beginning of march.

League of Legends Worlds is one of the best scenes in esports | Credit: Dot Esports

Fortnite needs that structure. They need clear ways to qualify for events and a solid scoring structure that makes sense and is easy to follow.

Battle royales have a lot of issues for esports that games like Overwatch do not. Head to head games are simple while Fortnite needs to use some combination of kills and placement to determine the best players.

Nanzer will have two months to figure out the best way to cement Fortnite esports for the future.

What Fortnite esports could look like under Nate Nanzer

Now we are going to try to figure out some ways Nanzer could accomplish a formalized Fortnite league.

To start, they need to separate competitive and casual playlists. This has been the case for a long time, and it isn’t immediately clear why it hasn’t happened already.

Have one team balance the competitive game and have one team work on making the main mode the most fun it can be. That provides the solutions Fortnite needs, but for some reason it hasn’t happened.

Regardless of that, let’s look at possible league structures.

The best example of a battle royale league is in PUBG. While not as popular as Fortnite in America, PUBG is still the battle royale of choice in Asia.

They structure of “PUBG Global Esports” resembles League of Legends in many ways.

Could this be the model Fortnite esports are headed towards?

They hold regional competitions in America, Europe, Korea, Japan, China and Chinese Taipei. Teams compete amongst themselves, getting together for global events after each of the three phases.

Scoring is tracked on a cumulative leaderboard, if you are familiar with racing events it is similar to that. Each week, all 16 teams drop in together, and the points earned through kills and placement go towards the overall leaderboard.

Top teams after each phase get invited to the global events and the bottom teams have to fight to not get relegated.

PUBG wasn’t the first to use this type of league, that was actually the now-defunct H1Z1 Pro League. They pioneered the use of the cumulative leaderboard taking place over an extended period of time.

The benefit of that is that as more weeks are held, the more skilled players rise to the top of the pack.

H1Z1 also had a unique scoring system, and one I really enjoyed.

Instead of having placements give a set amount of points, they became a multiplier for kills.

In Fortnite terms, that means someone in a Baller all game who finishes in fifth place receives no points if they don’t get a kill.

On the other hand, a squad that goes aggro and gets 20 kills total but finishes in eleventh would get no multiplier but still have 20 points.

In the H1Z1 Pro League, first place got 2x their kills, 2nd through 5th got 1.5x, 6th through tenth got 1.25x and 11th through 16th got no multiplier.

This model would have to be adapted for Fortnite, but provides an interesting mix of strategy and aggression.

The other interesting detail between the H1Z1 Pro League, PUBG Global Esports, and Fortnite is that the first two are squad based.

Fortnite on the other hand has focused on duo and solo competitions almost exclusively.

It would be interesting to see if that changes under Nate Nanzer and Fortnite pushes towards a model more similar to those other battle royale titles. The consistency of it makes a lot of sense, and having slots in the league makes organizations more willing to invest in their Fortnite players.

Epic Games

Is Fortnite Mobile returning to Apple App Store?

The verdict has been issued for the Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit, but what does this mean for the future of Fortnite Mobile on the App Store?

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epic games vs apple suit

It’s been over a year since Fortnite Mobile was removed from the Apple App Store, and here’s what we know about its return.

Updated 9/22/2021 – Following an appeal submitted by Epic Games, Apple has confirmed “Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple Ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals.” Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, believes this process could take up to 5 years.

On August 13, 2020, Apple removed Fortnite Mobil removed from the App Store. This was because Epic Games added a third-party payment option which is against Apple TOS.

The direct payment method allowed players to pay Epic Games directly in exchange for V-Bucks. Epic incentivized this method of payment by discounting all purchases made directly to Epic Games.

Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple with claims the App Store is an anti-competitive marketplace. The Court has finally issued the verdict following a lengthy court process. However, what does this mean for the future of Fortnite Mobile?

Fortnite Apple in game event

Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit verdict

After over a year of legal battle and long wait times, the court has finally issued a verdict in the Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit. The court has decided that “Epic Games overreached” and it sided with Apple on almost all accounts.

The court did not find Apple as an “antitrust monopolist in the submarket” for mobile gaming. The verdict states, “The Court finds in favor of Apple on all counts except with respect to violation of California’s Unfair Competition law and only partially with respect to its claim for Declaratory Relief.

However, the Court is forcing Apple to allow direct purchasing methods which is why Fortnite was banned in the first place. A court document reads, “Apple… are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from including in their apps and their metadata button, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing.

Due to the loss, Epic Games has to pay Apple 30% of $12+ million in damages. While Epic Games may have lost, mobile game developers won as a whole. Direct Purchasing will allow developers to make more money from microtransactions.

Fortnite apple trial verdict

Is Fortnite Mobile coming back to Apple App Store?

The official Fortnite Twitter announced that it has requested to have its developer account restored by Apple. However, Apple denied this request stating it would only reinstate the account “if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder of Epic Games, doesn’t seem to want to comply. Twitter user imgoldenyt offered a solution that could allow Fortnite to return to iOS. Sweeney responded by saying “I read all of this. I just disagree.”

In a separate tweet, Sweeney claims that the ruling is not a win for developers or consumers. He goes on to state that “Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment.”

However, on September 22, 2021, Tim Sweeney sent an email to Apple stating that Epic Games would remove its direct payment method. The email once again requested Epic’s developer account to be reinstated.

This tweet from Tim Sweeney shows the email sent to apple from Epic Games.

However, apple once again denied Epic Games’ request. In response back, Apples states that it will “not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and non-appealable.”

In short, Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple Ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals. Sweeney believes this process could take up to 5 years.

So it seems that Fortnite won’t be returning to the Apple App Store anytime soon. Apple doesn’t have to reinstate Epic Games’ developer account even though Epic Games is willing to comply with the rules. Sadly, mobile player may have to wait years before Fortnite returns to the App Store.

For more Fortnite, check out when and how to watch the end-of-season event, and stay tuned for more news and guides.

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Battle Royale

Best Prop Hunt maps available to play now in Fortnite

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Prop Hunt has long been part of collective gaming culture. The mode has finally arrived in Fortnite and it looks to be a whole lot of fun!

Due to some mishaps on the part of Epic, Fortnite has been suffering some negative strides. In order to switch things back around, the devs need a successive streak of victories.

Prop Hunt has been a much asked for ‘just for fun’ mode and Epic is now delivering. This, along with great v9.30 changes, could really bring back a lot of excitement for Fortnite!

Prop Hunt playable now in Fortnite

Fortnite’s Creative mode is a stirring pot of creative genius and remarkable talents. For the lucky few chosen by Epic, the creations made in Creative become legendary adventures played by millions.

Prop Hunt has been brought to life by a team of talented Creative creators. The team at StrayKite managed to create a replica of the classic experience that plays like a dream.

Prop Hunt now in Fortnite! – via Epic Games

The mode is available to play now in Creative & Playground lobbies.

The basic rules of Prop Hunt are as follows:

  • Props are given a set amount of time to hide before Seekers try to find them
  • Each Prop can switch between differing objects a certain amount of times
  • Seekers try to find all the Props before the time limit is reached. If they manage to do so, the Seekers win.
  • If all Props are not found, the Props win.

Epic Games has not given any end-date for the Prop Hunt island feature, but the prop hunt mode can always be played from here on out. This can be done by using the Island Code provided by Epic (6069-9263-9110).

Using the Creative mode’s configuration settings, you can also create custom Prop Hunt game types. This includes longer Seeker time limits, stricter win conditions, banned props, and more. More options will be added for the mode in the future.

Best Prop Hunt island codes 2021

Island NameIsland CodeCreator
Prop Hunt: Modern Mall1679-1165-5282Regirom
Prop Hunt: Cozy Cafe8851-5874-9250Regirom
Lazer Tag Prop Hunt4313-9914-2759Puzzler
Prop Hunt: Battle Pass Edition9565-6442-7019Shride
Mall Prop Hunt!7666-6510-5877Gamerzhits
Prop Hunt Infinite7263-1478-7522Puzzler
Prop Hunt: The Simpsons3913-1259-2687Marablind
Asteroid Arcade (Prop Hunt1534-1221-2242SHAVERMAN46
Stranger Things Prop Hunt7011-8363-9120Mr_glaisternator
The Office Prop Hunt3006-8634-9197Mr_glaisternator
Prop Hunt With Abilities9249-3264-0093TeamUnite
Prophunt: Esports Villa5097-8380-0119H4llover4ter
Silhouette Prop Hunt5176-4146-5073ChannelFN
Swimming Pool Prop Hunt3487-1374-0131Fortniteart
Warlock’s Grave Prop Hunt6180-5637-0525Shinohara

Happy hunting!

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Epic Games

Epic Games vs. Apple court trial starts today, lasts three weeks

The court trial between Epic Games and Apple starts today and will last for roughly three weeks before any decisions are made.

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epic games vs apple suit

The long-awaited court trial between Epic Games and Apple starts today, May 3, 2021, and will last roughly three weeks. Epic Games vs Apple could not only decide the fate of Fortnite on iOS devices, but also the future of the App Store.

On August 13, 2020, Epic Games announced a permanent discount on V-Bucks across all platforms. However, mobile users would have to use a new payment option to receive this discount. This option would bypass Apple’s 30% cut of in-app purchases by allowing players to pay Epic Games directly.

Apple quickly removed Fortnite from the App Store stating that Epic Games had violated the App Creator’s Term of Service. Epic Games had anticipated its removal and simultaneously launched an in-game event calling for players to rally against Apple. Tournaments were held, merch was released, and the hashtag #FreeFortnite trended to raise awareness of the legal actions being taken against Apple.

Fortnite Apple in game event

Epic Games vs. Apple trial starts

Epic Games filed a suit against Apple alleging that its App Store guidelines are anti-competitive in nature. As well, the suit would not be for monetary gain but to liberate app developers from Apple’s unfair cuts. Apple filed a counterclaim that Epic Games had breached its developer agreements when it implemented a direct payment method.

Now, almost nine months after the Epic Games vs Apple case was originally filed, the court trial is starting. According to legal documents found on the Northern District of California’s website, each party will have 45 hours to plead their case to the United States District Court. The trials will last for roughly three weeks before a verdict is drawn.

The trial starts at 11:15 a.m. EST today, May 3, 2021. Due to the popularity surrounding the case, public access to the court hearing is being offered via phone. Those interested can call 1 (877) 336-1839 and use access code 9403112 to listen to the lengthy trial.

The CEOs of both Apple and Epic Games will speak during the trial. Tim Cook of Apple will argue that Epic Games breached its contract while Tim Sweeney will fight for developer and publisher freedoms.

While the anticipation for the Epic Games vs Apple trial is at an all-time high, decisions won’t be made for the next few weeks. Fortnite Intel will continue to keep readers updated if any big news comes from the trial.

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