The hottest topic in Fortnite might be skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). Players have been discussing the system off-and-on since Chapter 2 began, but it surged back into the news with the reported removal of SBMM in the Squads playlist.
Quite a bit happened following the reported removal of SBMM. Matches were filled with bots, which was disappointing to content creators like SypherPK, Tfue, and EmadGG. Sypher made a video on the topic, proving how many bots were in each match.
A couple of days later, Epic adjusted the SBMM system – as they told us they would. A sizeable chunk of bots was removed from this mode, which led many to believe that SBMM was back.
Fortnite Twitter turned on SypherPK for his criticism of the new system. They used the hashtag #f**kSypherPK to show their distaste for the streamer.
Everyone from Tfue to Ninja came to Sypher’s defense following this Twitter outburst. The angriest group appeared to be the trickshotters, who couldn’t spend 20 minutes setting up a shot on a bot, anymore.
After a couple of days playing the new Squads mode, it appears as though SBMM isn’t back in its original form. The skill discrepancy is still all over the place in Squads – there just aren’t as many bots.
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Sypher and crew noticed this as well and even completed a five-corner mythic weapon challenge. The addition of SBMM and the removal of bots are not the same thing, but they appear to have been confused.
As you can see at the top of the article, data miner Hypex confirmed that all of the “data miners” claiming that SBMM was back weren’t truly able to tell. It appears as though the Twitter hatred toward Sypher was premature, misinformed, and misdirected – even if he was directly responsible for the removal of bots.
Again, none of this is confirmed without a word from Epic. From reports and personal experience, however, it appears as though SBMM is not active in Squads. Hop in and try it for yourself.
CourageJD officially addresses why he quit Fortnite
CourageJD officially addresses his departure from Fortnite, citing skill-based matchmaking as the primary reason he left the game.
Any longtime Fortnite player and fan has undoubtedly noticed the changing of the guard when it comes to Fortnite content. Many of the original creators have moved on from Fortnite and on to other games like Warzone and party games like Fall Guys and Among Us.
NickMercs, TimTheTatMan, DrLupo, Tfue, and many others have left Fortnite behind them. Ninja appears to have reinvigorated his interest for the game, but he’s one of the only big names returning to Fortnite – at least, for now.
CourageJD returned to Fortnite, briefly, for a sponsored Chipotle tournament with other content creators and pros. The streamer had fun during the event but sat down after recording the tournament to officially tell his fans why he moved on from the game that changed his life.
Courage began his statement by telling his fans how much he fell in love with Fortnite and how much it did for his life – both personally and professionally. He met some of his best friends while playing Fortnite, and the game helped to catapult him to the point in his career where he is, today.
“Towards the end of Chapter 1 I was already falling out of love with the game. It became more stressful than anything,” Courage explained. “My allure for signing on every day was fading away.”
In Courage’s eyes, the World Cup was a turning point for Fortnite – where players became far more competitive than they were before the event. “And then you add in things like skill-based matchmaking, which I think was one of the things that completely destroyed my love for the game,” he admitted. “Skill-based matchmaking was a huge factor of why I no longer play.”
(Topic starts at 13:29)
Courage continued on to identify a few other problems with Fortnite, but most of it came back to skill-based matchmaking as the root cause. His friends left, random duos lost its luster, and each match became more difficult to stream.
The fact that Courage and other creators left the game only means that they moved on to something that they now enjoy more. Just because your favorite creator left doesn’t mean the game is dying. It just means they need a break from a game that they played for almost three years straight.
We hope to see Courage and other creators come back to Fortnite at some point, as Ninja has. For now, though, they seem to be on to the next game.
SypherPK shows how to travel the whole Fortnite map in one jump
SypherPK combined Iron Man’s Gauntlets, Wolverine’s Claws, and a Crash Pad to send him across the entire map.
Fortnite Season 4 might have the most nuanced strategies in any season this chapter. Casual players might not know about strategies like using Bouncers and Shockwaves together to catapult players towards a distant zone.
The Fortnite trickshotting community is all too aware of another strategy involving Crash Pads and Iron Man’s gauntlets. You can use these two items together to get an extreme amount of height. Some players even happen upon this glitch accidentally.
Streamer and YouTuber, Ali ‘SypherPK’ Hassan, put a spin on this strategy during a recent stream with his younger brother, JuniorPK. The two of them used the same Crash Pad strategy with an added wrinkle: Wolverine’s Claws.
As many of you know, Wolverine’s Claws give players a speed boost when they use the item. When you combine this effect with the Repulsor Gauntlet and Crash Pad strategy, it sends you further than you could imagine.
Using the Gauntlets, dropping them, pulling out the Claws, and landing on a Crash Pad was enough to send Sypher from Misty Meadows all the way to Coral Castle. We would have kept going, too, if he didn’t hit a cliff edge in front of him.
Is this a practical strategy? Probably not, but trickshotters are going to have a field day with it. It also makes for a pretty entertaining clip. Do you think you can pull it off? If you get it, we’ll give you a shout-out on Twitter @FortniteINTEL, so send us your attempts!
Ninja calls 100-player Fortnite tournaments ‘not playable’
Ninja blasts Epic Games for their server performance after hosting the first and last 100-player Ninja Battles tournament.
Server performance is one of the biggest recurring problems in competitive Fortnite. It’s been a major issue since the early days of the game and eventually led to the Band-Aid solution of Storm Surge – a game mechanic that forces players to engage with one another or die.
The competitive servers seemed to improve at the tail end of Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, however, with the move to the new Physics Engine, it seemed like performance took a massive step backward. Pro players would regularly complain on-stream and on Twitter about how bad the servers had become – often comparing it to one of the first competitive tournaments: Summer Skirmish.
Enter Ninja Battles – Ninja’s Trios tournament series that has been sporadically taking place over the last few months. The invitational tournament was largely comprised of pro players with a few content creators sprinkled-in. The biggest difference between this tournament and something like the FNCS, however, was the number of players.
Instead of the traditional 100-player lobbies, Ninja Battles featured 20 teams of three – totaling 60 players. The reduction in players changed a lot about how the tournament played out – with the most positive change being the significant reduction in end-game lag.
During the final week of the event, however, the tournament organizers – not including Ninja – decided to up the player count to 100. The result was, as expected, a massive increase in lag across the entire game – especially as the zone closed in.
Ninja was openly critical of the tournament and – more pointedly – of Epic Games for failing to address these problems three years into development. During the tournament, Ninja even tweeted an apology to the competitors, going so far as to say, “100 people in tournament servers are just not playable/enjoyable.”
Ninja and his teammates, Ronaldo and Paper, theorized on why Fortnite tournaments tend to be so laggy – from game development to the fire mechanic, to the spectator client. “I think it’s the spectators,” Ninja said as both Paper and Ronaldo agreed. “They added the casters … and I think that is what adds all of this delay. It’s the only thing that makes sense. It’s the only thing that’s different.”
The three continued to throw ideas out there about game mechanics that could fix the lag, but it’s a difficult topic and none of them are game developers. The one solution that Ninja already had seemed like the most practical, however: lower the player count.
Lowering the player count in official Fortnite tournaments would be a controversial change, but it might be worth an experiment. Ninja Battles has already shown how much better it could work – so why not adopt it for Season 5?
Unfortunately, Epic have seemed married to the idea of 100-player Grand Finals in Fortnite – even if the game is “not playable/enjoyable,” as Ninja says. We can only wait and see if Epic decide to experiment with the Ninja Battles format.
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