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Slasher claims Fortnite esports’ real problem isn’t the prize pool

Esports reporter, Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, claims that Fortnite’s main problem as an esport isn’t the dwindling prize pool.

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With the recent announcement of the Fortnite Season 4 FNCS tournament, high-level competitive players have been calling out Epic Games for the lowering of their esports prize pool after their massive $100 million splash during the 2018-2019 season.

Top competitors like BenjyFishy, Zayt, and others have taken to social media to call out Epic for the seemingly drastic lowering of the prize pool over the course of the last year.

Players who place in the top three of the most popular regions in the game are seeing about half of what they won a year ago. The winner of the European region in the FNCS will earn almost $370,000 less in Chapter 2 Season 4 than they did during the same tournament in 2019.

To be fair to Epic Games, there are a few reasons for this. Most obviously, Epic are now providing daily and weekly Cash Cups to their player base. These events might not garner as much attention as the seasonal FNCS and DreamHack tournaments, but they do count towards the total prize money that Epic give away for Fortnite esports.

This might sound like Champaign problems to a lot of people reading this. Yes, we’re largely talking about young video game players who are competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the comfort of their own homes.

To the top players in the game, however, this isn’t all about the money. To them, it’s another sign that Epic don’t care about the competitive side of Fortnite. In their defense, they have years of evidence to back this up.

Esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau weighed in on this topic on Twitter, stating that the real problem with Fortnite esports has nothing to do with the prize money. “Fortnite esports doesn’t need $100 Million in prize money for (it) to be successful,” he wrote. “Fortnite needs Epic Games to truly care about its competitive player community with a long term plan for the pros instead of treating esports as a nonsense marketing exercise to promote the game.”

In a follow-up tweet, Slasher evoked the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple and how many of the pros in the community remain indifferent on the objectively positive stand that Epic are taking. This writer has heard one popular pro claim that he wanted Apple to “clean out” Epic while raging about the Fortnite server performance in the Season 3 FNCS Grand Finals.

As unfortunate as it may be, Slasher is right. Epic are using Fortnite esports as a “marketing exercise to promote the game.” They always have. When did Kevin the Cube come to Fortnite? In the middle of a tournament. When did the Infinity Blade come to Fortnite? The night before a tournament.

Chapter 1 Season 7 began four days before a $1 million Winter Royale tournament. That means that all of the qualifiers took place on a different Fortnite season than the finals. In fact, the EU finals and the NA finals for the same tournament happened on two entirely different seasons.

Fortnite competitive series chapter 2

In his final tweet in the thread, Slasher acknowledged that “Fortnite esports is still in an okay spot, but given the size and impact of the game to the gaming community at large or even mainstream culture.” Fortnite might be the biggest game of all time when it’s all said and done, but the esports side of things, “could be so much more,” as Slasher states.

Over the past year, in an interesting twist of fate, competitive Fortnite has become the number-one way to watch Fortnite on Twitch. Popular streamers like CouageJD, Ninja, DrLupo, and NickMercs have all left the game. Browsing the Fortnite category will primarily bring you streams of players like Clix, BenjyFishy, and Bugha broadcasting pro scrimmages.

At the same time, however, these pros are largely negative about the game that they all play. We all rage from time to time, but many of the Fortnite pros go out of their way to trash the game on other platforms – not just on-stream. It’s a problem for a game when its most popular players are constantly talking about how bad it is.

The worst part of this scenario might be that the game isn’t bad. It’s actually quite good. Casual players who don’t understand why these pros are complaining start to drift away from watching them. This was the primary cause of the philosophical divide that we’re now seeing between the casual and competitive Fortnite player bases.

Sentinel head dirty docks

There’s a way out of this for Epic Games, but we’re not too confident that they’re going to take it. Like Slasher said, Fortnite esports is in a good spot; despite all of the issues that it has. On a casual level, Fortnite has almost as many players as ever. Season 4 seems like a return to form for the core game.

As someone who was overwhelmingly excited for the future of Fortnite esports during the first Friday Fortnite tournament, though, I can’t help but feel disappointed. There was a ton of potential and it seems like we might already be past the peak. It could have been a lot more, but that’s not the route Epic are taking.

Leak

Leaked ‘Fancy Kevin’ skin set & Jetpack leaked for Forntitemares

More Fortnitemares leaks come rolling in with an update expected any day now.

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Kevin the Cube Fortnite skin

Fortnitemares 2020 is just around the corner, with an update expected to come to Fortnite as early as this weekend. Fans have been speculating as to what the new update will bring this year: Zombies? Husks? A unique LTM? We won’t know until the update drops.

We saw several leaks about the event come out of the v14.30 update, including one that suggested that Midas would be coming back as a ghost or zombie. Data miner, Mang0e, added to the leaks with news of a “Cosmos” Jetpack and a new “Fancy Kevin” skin set.

Kevin, for those who don’t know, was the community-given name for the cube that landed on the island during Chapter 1. Epic embraced the name, and have used it in several promotional cosmetic items, announcements, and in-game hints. It’s the reason that the Kevolution Energy plant has its name.

As for how this skin will look, we may not know until it hits the Item Shop. Kevin fans should saver their V-bucks in the meantime.

Now, moving onto the Jetpack that was found in the game files. We have already seen Jetpacks in Fortnite, and they’ve almost always been relegated to LTMs. According to Mang0e, this Jetpack has some new effects and, reportedly, won’t be for an LTM.

We’re not 100% sure whether or not this Jetpack will come to Fortnitemares or if it will be a part of Stark Tech later in the season. Jetpacks occupy an interesting place in Fortnite when it comes to balancing them. With Shockwaves, Bouncers, and Crash Pads already in the game, do we need another way to take height without using builds?

Keep in mind that this Jetpack could be among the nine leaked weapons found in the game files, and that it’s not guaranteed to ever see regular play in Fortnite.

If you want to know more about what to expect in this year’s Fortnitemares, you can take a look at our predictions and guide to the leaks here. We’ll keep you posted when the update goes live, so stay tuned!

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Story

5 times Fortnite tricked their player base

The Fortnite plotline is tricky with a lot of dead ends. Here are five times Fortnite tricked their player base.

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Casual Fortnite fans may not know about all of the nuances of the game’s plotline. On its surface, Fortnite seems like little more than a cartoony Battle Royale game. The plot that’s spanned three years of the game’s lifecycle can be a lot to digest for new or casual players.

Dedicated players know that there’s a ton going on behind the scenes, however. In fact, there’s hours worth of content on YouTube dedicated to deciphering the subtleties of the Fortnite storyline – always updating and changing with each event.

Epic knows this and is intentional with what they tell their fans and what they omit. They also set traps for theorists, giving the red herrings that ultimately lead to dead ends.

That’s what we’re focusing on, here; the times when Epic tricked Fortnite players into thinking something would happen when it wouldn’t. Here are five times that Fortnite ticked their player base.

1. Heroes vs. Villains

Longtime Fortnite players know that Chapter 2 Season 4 isn’t the first time that heroes made their way into the game. Chapter 1 Season 4 had the same theme – albeit without the Marvel crossover.

Most fans assumed that the theme of the season was “Heroes vs. Villains.” When the season ended, however, we found out that the Battle Pass characters were actually a part of a film – not heroes and villains in real life. This was all a distraction while the Visitor set his plan in motion.

Not only did this red herring lead theorists down the wrong path for the season, but the theme led us to believe that The Visitor was evil – something that wouldn’t get cleared up for another six seasons.

2. Tilted Towers Destruction

The destruction of Tilted Towers was rumored to take place almost every season of Chapter 1. When the Visitor’s rocket first took off, it headed directly for Tilted before rift-jumping into the sky. From that point forward, fans assumed that each update would bring the destruction of Tilted Towers with it.

Season after season, Titled stayed standing – save for one building in the middle of the POI that kept getting destroyed. When Tilted eventually did get destroyed at the end of Season 8, the building that was constantly under construction was the only one that stayed standing.

3. Fortnite X It 2

When It 2 came out in September of last year, red balloons began popping up all over the Fortnite map. This was right after the Fortnite X Stranger Things crossover, so fans assumed that It was coming next. We even saw leaks surrounding Pennywise and possible voice tracks.

Unfortunately, none of that ever came into the game. The red balloons hanging out of sewers were all that we got. We don’t know if this was intentionally misleading or if something happened between the studio and Epic, but the Fortnite X It 2 crossover never came to fruition.

4. The Crashed Astronaut

In the Fortnite Season 3 Battle Pass, one of the characters seemed a bit out of place with the theme. Sonia, an astronaut, seemed like she belonged in the Chapter 1 Season 3 Battle Pass rather than in Chapter 2.

Later on in the season, when the water level began to lower, we found Sonia’s ship with another astronaut inside. Players were able to complete a mission to get the ship back in the sky, but that was the last we saw of this strange visitor.

It might be too soon to call this a Fortnite red herring, but we haven’t seen anything happen with this astronaut. For now, it seems like Epic were misleading us, here.

5. Ghost and Shadow War

Much like the theme of the heroes and villains in Chapter 1 Season 4, the Chapter 2 Season 2 theme strongly misled players as to where things were going. Players assumed that there was a massive war brewing between Ghost and Shadow, and that the Chaos Agent and Midas were the leaders of it.

When we heard that Midas was working on a Doomsday Device, we assumed that this would be his retaliation against Shadow. They had taken over most of the major POIs, after all. When the Doomsday Device went off, however, we learned that Midas was fighting against the storm and the creators of the simulation. The war with Shadow was only a front.

To this day, we don’t know the exact objective of Midas. The last we saw, he was eaten by a shark at the beginning of Season 3. One thing’s for sure, though: the Ghost vs. Shadow war was nothing more than a distraction.

There were other moments of trickery throughout the seasons of Fortnite, but these were the most jarring ones. Some honorable mentions include The black helicopters from Chapter 1, along with the Enforcers – who never really did anything once they got here.

Epic Games is playing a subtle game with their plotline. As players and theorists, we don’t know what’s important and what’s a red herring. We still have a lot to uncover within the story of Fortnite, but keep an eye out for dead ends.

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Esports

DreamHack Open ft. Fortnite October results

Demonspect wins the NA-West region of the DreamHack Open featuring Fortnite.

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Another month, another DreamHack Solo competition to help carry us through a week of competitive Fortnite. On October 8, the NA-West region completed its stage of the tournament to kick things off for the month. Last night, October 16, NA-East joined them.

So far, the tournament has showcased some household names, some off-ping warriors, and some rising stars that call North America home. Here are the entire results of the NA-West and NA-East DreamHack competitions, so far.

NA-West DreamHack Open results

The NA-West region is, as always, the first to wrap up the DreamHack October tournament. Players on NA-West finished the tournament on October 8, with Demonspect taking home first place. He finished six points higher than 77 Xarez in second.

Rising star in the region, Reet, came in third and one of the established juggernauts in NA-West, EpikWhale, finished in fifth. Nosh and Maken rounder out the top ten. Other noteworthy finishes outside of the top ten include WHofishy at 12, VerT at 14, Marzz_Ow at 20, Jamper playing off-ping at 25, Skqttles at 26, Wavy Jacob at 36, MackWood at 45, and H1ghSky1 at 47.

Stats via: FortniteTracker

NA-East DreamHack Open results

Furious, one of the top controller players in any region, walked away with the win in NA-East with a score of 307 points – 7 points higher than skqttles in second. Furious padded his victory by winning two out of the six games.

After Skqttles was Degen in third and Okis in fourth. Other noteworthy finishes include Paper at 10, MackWood at 16, Zexrow at 17, Slackes at 18, and Th0masHD competing off-ping at 19. Here’s a look at how the top 15 looked at the end of the tournament.

Stats via: FortniteTracker

We’re still waiting on the results of EU, which is set to take place next week. We’ll update this post when the final region completes their DreamHack October tournament.

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