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Skill-based matchmaking reportedly returns to Squads playlist

Epic have, reportedly, re-enabled skill-based matchmaking in all Fortnite modes.

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Fortnite Skill-based matchmaking faze thiefs

Life without skill-based matchmaking was short-lived. The system was reportedly removed from the Squads playlist on May 5 and returned May 12.

We saw Epic briefly confirm the removal of skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in an email to those with a creator code. They told us that they were still making tweaks to the system and are looking for community feedback.

Well, a week later, the tweaks are continuing as SBMM has been reportedly re-enabled in Squads. This comes after complaints of too many AI players in this mode, limiting the amount of fun that you could have.

All of the evidence for this is anecdotal, as was most of the evidence for the removal of SBMM. The games do seem to be back to ‘normal,’ however, with players of similar skill in our lobbies.

Of course, this spurred a lot of complaints from the community. Many players took aim at SypherPK, who they assume was responsible for the change. We’ll cover his response to the backlash in a separate article.

Epic are, clearly, trying to take Fortnite back to the “fun” days of early Chapter 1 and away from the sweat-filled game that it has become. This will require multiple iterations of SBMM. We’ll have to be patient while they find a solution, even if that means a week or more of sub-par systems.

The team is trying to make Fortnite fun for everyone: new players, bad players, old players, returning players, and pro players alike. This will take time and this iteration likely isn’t the final one.

Epic Games

Will Fortnite be banned in the US after Tencent investigation?

Epic Games has received a letter from the Committee on Foreign Investment involving their investor, Tencent. What does this mean for Fortnite?

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News has been swirling about the potential ban of TikTok in the United States, recently. Banning the biggest app in the world not only has implications for the millions of users but also for other companies that have attracted similar scrutiny from the US government. That ban has recently been put on hold, but it still could be coming later this week.

Namely, the Chinese technology company, Tencent, is under investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Tencent is one of the largest gaming companies in the world and boasts ownership of Riot Games and a 40% stake in Epic Games.

Epic Games

A recent report from Bloomberg stated that Epic and Riot – among other companies – have received letters requesting them to turn over information about their security protocols, including how they handle the personal data of their US-based customers.

Epic Games is an American Company, but Tencent has a large stake in them. Epic may have access to the personal data of their customers, and the US government is concerned about what they’re doing with it. In China, companies and the government aren’t as separated as they are in the US and other countries.

So, what does this mean for Fortnite? Well, it’s too soon to be 100% sure. We’ve seen some outlets waffling over whether or not Fortnite will face a ban, similar to what we’re seeing with TikTok. We’re no experts, but we don’t see this happening.

Tencent has a minority stake in Fortnite. At most, we expect them to be forced to sell their stake in the developer and move on. It might be more tricky with companies like Riot Games, where Tencent owns a controlling stake. Fortnite, however, should be safe.

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Epic Games

How to unlock Fortnite cosmetics in Rocket League ‘Llama-Rama’ event

Rocket League is celebrating going free-to-play with an in-game event and Fortnite crossover: Llama-Rama.

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Rocket League fans, largely, rejoiced when they learned that Fortnite developer, Epic Games, had purchased the Rocket League development team, Psyonix. Rocket League is a brilliant game, but the monetization efforts weren’t too player-friendly – especially for a game that cost $30.

Fortnite, on the other hand, has one of the most user-friendly microtransaction systems in all of gaming. You can say what you want about Fortnite and the choices of the developers, but it’s hard to criticize their approach to monetization.

Epic has already been making its mark on Rocket League since its acquisition of Psyonix. They made the loot boxes transparent, made the game free-to-play, and are now bringing the first in-game event with unlockable cosmetics.

The ‘Llama Rama’ Fortnite crossover event will run from September 26 through October 12 and will give players the chance to unlock the Battle Bus cosmetic pack, Llama Wheels, the Loot Llama Decal, the Top Llama Topper, and the Llama Fly Antenna.

You’ll need to complete some in-game challenges to earn these rewards. The challenges haven’t been released at the time of writing, but we’ll be sure to update this post when the event goes live this weekend.

Update: Rocket League challenges released

The challenges are now live in Rocket League, which unlocks rewards for both Rocket League and Fortnite. Here’s a look at all of the challenges and rewards for the event:

  • CHALLENGE 1: LLAMAS, START YOUR ENGINES!
    • Rocket League Challenge: Play an Online Match in Any Playlist
    • Rocket League Reward: Llama Flyer Antenna 
    • Fortnite Reward: Rocket League Spray 
  • CHALLENGE 2 – FLAGGED FOR VICTORY
    • Rocket League Challenge: Win 1 Online Match in Casual with the Llama Antenna
    • Rocket League Reward: Top Llama Topper
    • Fortnite Reward: Holodata Drop Contrail
  • CHALLENGE 3 – TOP OF THE WORLD
    • Rocket League Challenge: Get 5 goals, saves, or assists with the Llama Topper
    • Rocket League Reward: Loot Llama Octane Decal
    • Fortnite Reward: Rocket Groove Music Track
  • CHALLENGE 4 – AN EPIC ENDEAVOR
    • Rocket League Challenge: Win 5 Online Matches in Any Playlist with the Llama Decal (Octane)
    • Rocket League Reward: Llama Wheels
    • Fortnite Reward: Rocket League Emoticon
  • CHALLENGE 5 – LLAMA LEGEND
    • Rocket League Challenge: Get MVP in any Online Match with the Llama Wheels
    • Rocket League Reward: Battle Bus + Battle Balloon Antenna, Battle Bus Wheels, and Battle Bus Engine Audio
    • Fortnite Reward: Octane RL Backbling + style variant
Via: Epic Games

Rocket League is the kind of game that no one knew they wanted until they played it. It’s incredibly fun and we strongly recommend trying it if you haven’t already.

Like Fortnite, Rocket League is a simple game with a massive skill ceiling. It’s easy to get the hang of but incredibly difficult to master – something that most Fortnite fans will naturally love in a game. Now, it’s free, so there’s no reason not to try it out.

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Epic announce Fortnite X Rocket League promotional crossover

Epic Games are celebrating Rocket League going free-to-play with a Fortnite promotional event.

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Fortnite players might not be too familiar with the massively-popular Rocket League. It’s a game that no one knew they needed until it existed. Like Fortnite, the game presents itself to you with a simple concept that has a massive skill ceiling.

Last year, Epic Games purchased the developer of Rocket League, Psyonix, in what felt like a match made in heaven. The success of Rocket League mirrored that of Fortnite in many ways, but fans of the game grew frustrated over the monetization efforts of the former. Epic Games brought the Fortnite monetization strategy to Rocket League, which is much more consumer-friendly than the loot box-oriented microtransactions of the past.

Rocket League

Epic’s acquisition of Psynoix eventually led to the announcement of Rocket League going free-to-play. It’s clear that Epic are closely following their Fortnite blueprint – allowing players to buy in-game cosmetics rather than purchasing the game and then gambling on loot boxes.

Rocket League will officially become free-to-play on September 23. To celebrate the news, Epic are hosting a cross-promotional event between Rocket League and their most popular title, Fortnite. Rocket League and Fortnite players will be able to unlock cosmetics for both of their favorite games.

We’re not sure what these cosmetics will look like, just yet, but we can expect some Rocket League skins to be in the mix. Epic seem to be promoting Rocket League more than Fortnite, here. We also expect to see a Fortnite reward tied to Rocket League playtime.

We’ll update this post when we learn more about the specific rewards that Epic are offering. If you haven’t played Rocket League, we highly recommend trying it when it goes free-to-play. It’s a ton of fun whether you’re a casual player who can barely jump or a sweaty competitive player who can juggle the ball while flying through the air.

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