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Mackwood, ZexRow & Yung Calc win Ninja Battles Week 1

Mackwood, Zexrow, and Yung Calc take home $25,000 by winning week 1 of the Ninja Battles featuring Fortnite

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The first week of the $480,000 Ninja Battle tournament series is in the books with reigning Trios champions Mackwood, Zexrow, and Yung Calculator taking home the tournament victory. This was an incredibly entertaining event and sets the stage for the next month + of competitions.

In many ways, this tournament was what fans thought professional Fortnite would look like: the biggest players in the game going at it in a stacked lobby. As Ninja expressed on Twitter, it gave us some serious “old” Fortnite vibes.

From a competitive perspective, open qualifiers are a fantastic way for unknown players to make a name for themselves. Some of the most popular names in Fortnite got to where they are because of these open qualifiers.

At the same time, from a viewership perspective, the days of watching Team Faze vs. Team Liquid are over. Ninja revived this feeling with the Ninja Battles series.

There was one glaring issue with the first week: the format. Arena Trios just released, as the tournament was in progress. That means that these teams had to fight it out in a pubs format – no siphon, high material cap, and no moving zones. Every game featured a Flopper heal-off. Thankfully, this will change next week.

Mackwood’s high-ground flopper-filled loadout

Now, let’s get into the results. As you can see from the title, Zexrow, Mackwood, and Yung Calc won the tournament with 59 points, but it wasn’t that simple. They tied with Riversan, Edgy, and Cented, leading to a tiebreaker that even MonsterDFace and BallaTW were confused by.

The two teams were followed by Bizzle, Emad, and Megga who were in first place going into the final game. Rounding out the top five we had:

  • Nate Hill, BullyWYD, FunkBomb
  • Chap, Scoped, Av

The rest of the standings were as follows:

6. Arkham, EpikWhale, Rehx
7. Erok, Zyfa, Avery
8. Reverse2k,Slackes, Keys
9. JaredFPS, Tilt, Innocents
10. Bugha, Commandment, Stretch
11.SypherPK, Hogman, Bini
12. 72hrs, Zayt, Saf
13. NickEh30, Replays, Punisher
14. Ninja, Vivid, Co1Azo
15. Ceice, Kreo, BuckeFPS
16. Assault, Khanada, Unknown Army
17. BrookeAB, Slix, Furious
18. Ship, Plead, Stameyz
19. Tinaraes, Maddie, IcarleeFN
20. Jaomock, Shibot, JDWBTW

As we said, this was an entertaining event to watch and will be even better when we get the Arena format. We’ll be back next week with more coverage.

Esports

Epic announce a $20 million cross-platform FNCS prize pool for 2021

Epic Games have answered the call of many professional Fortnite players, announcing a $20 million FNCS prize pool across 2020.

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After several complaints from the competitive Fortnite community, Epic Games have once again dedicated themselves to rewarding esports with a $20 million prize pool in the FNCS, alone.

The competitive Fortnite community has been outspoken on the topic of prize pools for over a year now. The 2020 FNCS prizes seemed to be a far cry from those awarded in 2019, and many of the top players weren’t happy about it.

The real culprit in all of this could have been Epic Games’ communication. They still offered a substantial amount of prize money to players, but it was divided among PC, console, and mobile platforms, separately.

This all came to a head in the early days of 2021, after Epic announced the Season 5 FNCS and competitive schedule. With tournaments that award players with Twitter shout-outs and free skins, the competitive players base wasn’t too happy.

Cross-platform FNCS prize pools

On January 19, Epic Games released a blog post that directly addressed these concerns and announced some major changes. They pledged to offer $20,000,000 over the course of 2021 in FNCS-related competitions, alone.

This change was amplified by Epic’s decision to unify all platforms into one bracket. Instead of console players competing for the same amount of prize money as PC players in a separate tournament, all platforms will compete for more money, together.

This, alone, fixed one of the major problems that so many pro Fortnite players had with recent competitive Fortnite history. Their stance was: why should console players get the same amount of money as PC players when all of the pros are on PC? Fortnite doesn’t even broadcast the console tournaments as they do for the PC platform.

Epic also outlined their plans for competitive Fortnite for the next year. They plan to host four FNCS tournaments worth $3,000,000 each, split across all regions. At the end of the year, the top performers in each region will be invited to a new tournament series, worth $8,000,000.

Prize pool splits

The separation of the prize pool was another area of disagreement for a lot of professional Fortnite players. The NA-East region competes for more than double the NA-West region, for example.

In the blog, Epic explained that “The distribution across all regions for the $3,000,000 prize pool is currently based on the most recent competitive participation and regional game population.”

Epic admitted that they will “continue to monitor and evaluate data before each season to make any necessary adjustments,” when it comes to evenly dividing the prize pool amongst these seven regions.

Regardless of region, this is great news for all Fortnite players. Epic offered $17,000,000 in prize money in 2020, but that was further split in each region by platform, significantly reducing the amount of money pro players make.

Even more, console players now have a larger stage to prove themselves. Now, if a console player truly has what it takes to compete against tier-one pros, they have the opportunity to prove it by qualifying and placing in the cross-platform FNCS.

We’ll continue to cover the Season 5 FNCS and beyond, so stay tuned for everything else you need to know to watch or compete in all upcoming open Fortnite tournaments.

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FaZe Clan X Manchester City announce FaZe City Cup feat. Mongraal, Nate HIll & more

FaZe Clan, Manchester City, and Fortnite have teamed-up to bring us the FaZe City Cup and new soccer-themed cosmetics to the Item Shop.

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FaZe Clan Man City Fortnite

FaZe Clan and Manchester City have joined forces to bring players the FaZe City Cup, featuring new cosmetics and some of the biggest names in the game.

Popular esports organization, FaZe Clan, have announced a continuation of their partnership with the football club, Manchester City, to bring the Fortnite community a brand new tournament: the FaZe City Cup.

The tournament will kick-off on January 21, featuring some of the biggest names in Fortnite. Nate Hill and Mongraal are confirmed to be participating, and we can expect to see other FaZe Clan Fortnite players join them.

“The FaZe City Cup featuring Fortnite is an important illustration of our groundbreaking partnership with Manchester City,” says FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink. “Alongside Manchester City, we are thrilled to be a part of a competitive tournament in Fortnite. We look forward to building this tournament and producing more entertaining competitions in the future.”

The FaZe City Cup & in-game cosmetics

The tournament will feature a Duos playlist, with the top-50 (100 players) earning early access to some new Fortnite cosmetics for free. These include the upcoming “Kickoff Set,” which allows players to showcase their favorite football clubs in-game. Of course, this includes Manchester city.

Two new emotes will also be available, including the “Fancy Footwork” dribbling emote. These cosmetics will hit the Item Shop on January 23. As of now, 23 football clubs are participating in the event, giving players a ton of different customization options.

 “The FaZe City Cup featuring Fortnite is an exciting first for the club in one of the most popular gaming titles globally and we hope fans worldwide will get involved in the competition and wear their Manchester City outfits in-game with pride,” said Nuria Tarre, Chief Marketing Officer at City Football Group.

We’ll keep you posted as more details about the tournament become available. Until then, we can look forward to some high-level Fortnite competition and a new wave of fan-favorite soccer skins.

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Longtime NRG pro Zayt retires from competitive Fortnite

One of the original players in the competitive Fortnite community, Williams ‘Zayt’ Aubin, has announced his retirement from the game.

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One of the original competitive Fortnite greats, Zayt, has announced his retirement from competitive Fortnite.

In a landscape where Fortnite pros are outspoken about the dwindling tournament prize pools and lack of incentive to “grind” Fortnite, one of the most iconic pro player in the scene, Williams “Zayt” Aubin, has announced his retirement from competitive Fortnite.

“Before you guys freak out, I’m not leaving NRG, I’m staying in the Fortnite scene,” Zayt told his fans. “But … I’m gonna stop competing in Fortnite. I’m gonna stop playing tournaments, I’m gonna stop playing scrims.”

Zayt went on to say that he’ll be using his Fortnite knowledge to coach other players and analyze professional gameplay. He even used the phrase, “content creator,” which he has seemed to avoid in the past.

Zayt is one of the only players who has stuck with competitive Fortnite since the early days. He and Saf were one of the only Duos to make it through the World Cup era and remain together through all of the FNCS tournaments.

Saf commemorated the departure of his longtime duo partner with a collage on Twitter. “Gonna miss you, this one hits hard,” he wrote. “Thanks for everything. Love u bro @zayt.”

World Cup champion, Bugha, gave his thoughts on Zayt’s departure as well. The former related Zayt’s retirement to the current state of competitive Fortnite. Zayt retweeted the post, suggesting that he may agree with the sentiment.

“Seeing one of the best fortnite players quit the game is pretty weird,” Bugha wrote. “If changes aren’t made soon many others will most likely follow down the same path. Best of luck to your future @zayt.”

While we’re disappointed to see a monolith of competitive Fortnite leave the game, he isn’t leaving the scene. We’re excited to see what’s next for Zayt and which up-and-coming pros he’ll help lead to victory.

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