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The Baller dominated the first weekend of the Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers

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The much anticipated Fortnite World Cup has finally begun, and the first weekend of qualifiers went exactly as most people predicted.

Spoiler: It wasn’t good. Despite a nerf that brought The Baller’s health down from 300 to 200, the vehicle still ran rampant over the competition and dominated late games.

In this clip from qualifiers over the weekend, in the screenshot used for the title picture, you can see 12 different hamster balls and only one player not in one with 17 people left in the game.

“Just shoot the ballers” from r/FortniteCompetitive

The Baller Problem

The primary problem with The Baller in competitive matches is that it doesn’t come with a disadvantage.

People piloting Ballers already have full load outs and 1500 mats, which they can then use to enter an engagement after The Baller has been destroyed.

Put yourself in the shoes of the one player facing down 12 ballers. Who do you attack? How can I protect myself from other people? Even if I do attack, can I guarantee a kill when that person will just begin to build immediately?

Right now a herd mentality has taken over Fortnite competitive, and it’s not the player’s fault. Being in The Baller is a better strategy than being one of the only players outside of one.

How can Epic fix The Baller problem?

There are two solutions in my mind, and something will need to be done before next weekend.

First, Epic could remove The Baller from competitive playlists.

This seems simple. They already are fine with having separate rulesets for competitive and casual, and now they could use that decision for good by leaving in a fun item in casual while removing it from competitive. Both parties would be happy. (Maybe even revert while they are at it.)

An interesting explanation for why they haven’t done that was posted in the comments. BentotheJJ asked the question: “How can anyone at Epic watch that and think it is fine?”

Bazoski1er had an interesting response I hadn’t considered:

Card

It’s a valid point. Maybe they decided a competitive scene with hamster balls bouncing off of each other was better than one with lags, bugs and glitches playing huge parts in placement.

Even with The Baller, bugs did still play a part as TSM’s Zexrow was taken out by a ghost shotgun blast at one point.

Still, this could arguably be the reason why Epic hasn’t acted on a clear problem over the last month.

The Call of Duty Gentleman’s Agreement

The second solution puts the fix in the player’s hands, but it also comes with a host of new issues.

Fans of CoD esports are familiar with the Gentleman’s Agreement (GA). Basically how it works is that when overpowered items, abilities or weapons are found in a new CoD, the pros agree to just not use them.

There have been issues with the GA plenty of times in the past, but ultimately CoD esports is in a better place with the agreement than without it.

The GA relies on the honor system and is designed as a way to make a game whose sole focus is not esports, into a better competitive experience. Sound familiar?

However, the key difference between CoD and Fortnite esports is organization. Call of Duty teams compete in the Call of Duty World League (CWL). They are all rostered by various esports organizations and compete in a controlled environment with staff on hand.

In Fortnite, that isn’t the case. Epic has worked to make Fortnite esports open to the casual player. The $1 million qualifiers are being held online so organizing the entire player base into a GA would be nearly impossible.

It could, however, be something to consider for the World Cup itself. In a controlled LAN environment with a set amount of players, a GA could be possible. Obviously, it won’t be over The Baller because of the way Fortnite quickly adds and removes things from the game, but this could be a potential solution if something OP is in the game by the end of July.

I don’t know how Epic will decide to proceed, and neither do the pro players. If The Baller truly is a way for Epic to get around the server load of competitive end games, the problem may be much more severe than we realize.

If they don’t feel like they can offer a competitive experience without a large amount of players in The Baller or planes before that, Fortnite esports is backed up against the wall with time running out.

Hopefully the Fortnite World Cup lives up to its billing as the most impressive esports tournament of all time, but the clock is ticking for Epic Games.

Leak

Fortnite tease new Drift Crew skins

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Epic Games are dropping some cryptic hints relating to the iconic Drift character in Fortnite, and speculation suggests it’s all leading to a new Drift Crew skin.

On January 24, Epic Games posted a series of mysterious tweets, to get the community guessing.

Their first post referenced Drift directly, saying: “Drift? Drift. Come in. Do you read me?” A series of messages followed, asking for help – presumably Drift’s help.

The Fortnite account has since deleted the tweets, but here’s a screenshot of all of them from iFireMonkey.

Data miner HYPEX was quick to highlight that these teasers are almost certainly connected to the upcoming new Drift Skin, which appears to be a female version of the fan-favorite skin.

Fortnite Crew is the monthly subscription service, and it’s expected that this new Drift skin will be included in the February edition of the subscription rewards.

Fortnite Monthly Crew Pack
The Fortnite Crew subscription includes V-Bucks plus cosmetic rewards.

The subscription grants players each new Battle Pass, plus 1,000 V-Bucks, in addition to the cosmetic rewards.

We’ll have to wait and see confirmation about the new Drift skin as we put January in the rearview mirror and move into February.

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Fortnite v15.21 update patch notes: Predator, Mythic Item, New Quests

Fortnite’s v15.21 update has shaken things up again, adding Predator and a brand new Mythic Item to the mix.

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Fortnite predator

Today’s Fortnite v15.21 update has shaken things up again in the battle royale game, adding Predator and a brand new Mythic Item to the mix.

The game has been subject to weekly updates for a long time now, meaning content is given a slight refresh some weeks, and on others things can change a bit more dramatically.

On January 20, after the latest patch was rolled out, it’s fair to say that not a lot of things have been tweaked.

In the absence of official patch notes, which have been vaulted since before Chapter 2 even began, we’ve rounded up the changes confirmed already by players and leaks.

Fortnite v15.21 patch notes

Predator

Fortnite Predator skin
Predator has arrived in Fortnite. Credit: Epic Games.

Predator is the latest crossover character to arrive in Fortnite, now available to fight at the Stealthy Stronghold location. The skin is also coming to the Fortnite Item Shop, along with some cosmetics – such as a pickaxe.

New Mythic Item: Predator Cloak Device

One of the biggest, and most exciting, elements of Predator’s arrival is the new Mythic Item it adds to the game. The Predator Cloak Device is now active in-game, and once it’s been found and activated, players can use it to turn invisible.

To get one, check out our complete guide here. It’s fairly easy to achieve.

New Quests

More Quests have been added to the Battle Pass for Season 5, following the v15.21 update.

The full list of these can be seen below, courtesy of HYPEX.

New Fortnite Quests. Credit: HYPEX.

Bug fixes and other changes

According to the official Fortnite Trello board, a number of things have changed – including general issues and things specifically impacting the BR mode.

General Top Issues

  • When playing Fortnite, players cannot create system-level parties that include players on both PS5 and PS4.
  • The Jumpshot Outfit is missing its facial hair.
  • The Banner menu may be unresponsive to controller inputs, causing players to have difficulty editing their Banner with a controller or the Banner not updating properly.
  • We’re investigating an issue that is causing players to experience a long loading screen after completing a session on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
  • The sound effect of certain actions, such as opening a Chest or hitting a Weak Point, may be delayed.

Battle Royale

  • In competitive playlists, players do not have access to their persistent stash of Bars. Instead, they are granted a set amount at the beginning of each match. This is intended. However, your end total of Bars in competitive playlists may appear in the Lobby in place of your persistent stash. This is a visual issue only.
  • The weekly Legendary Quest to ‘Get Headshots’ is not always visible after completing the first stage of the quest.
  • Players may receive damage mid-air when falling inside a car.
  • Players and Spectators may notice inconsistent camera behavior or stuttering after being near a Car they recently drove then exited.
  • Total Bars appearing as 0 in a match.
  • Assets appearing invisible in Performance Mode alpha.
  • Game freezing when going to the Compete tab on PlayStation/Xbox.
  • Sand Tunneling temporarily disabled.

As is the case every week with these unofficial patch notes, it’s an ever changing beast. If we find something that’s changed and not been included here in the Fortnite v15.21 patch notes, we’ll update you as quickly as we can.

Until then, jump in and see for yourself! Remember to thank the bus driver…

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How to go invisible in Fortnite with Predator Cloak Device

Predator has arrived in Fortnite just a week after the character’s ship landed, and he’s brought a brand new weapon.

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Fortnite cloaking device

Predator has arrived in Fortnite Battle Royale just a week after the character’s ship landed on the island, and he’s brought a brand new weapon – or ability – to the fight.

One of the most sought after abilities in Fortnite, pretty much since Day 1, has been finding ways to turn invisible. Out of sight for enemies, and handing yourself a huge advantage.

In the past, this has been achieved with exploits using previously added invisibility items, or just glitches that make players pretty much impossible to take down.

However, a legitimate way of doing that – for a limited time – is now in the game.

How to use Predator’s Cloak device in Fortnite

The first-look footage of the Predator Cloak Device shows that the process of actually using it is quite simple.

As seen below, in a post from HYPEX, all you have to do is activate it once you have stumbled upon one and you’ll instantly turn invisible.

This is not the first item to be added to Fortnite that turns players invisible, with Shadow Stones appearing in the past, though developers will be hoping the rollout of this ability doesn’t turn out to be as glitchy as those that have came before it.

Cloak Device stats

Not only do we know how it works already, but also the stats for it as well. It lasts 30 seconds and requires a cooldown each time of the same amount, seen below from HYPEX again.

Players can activate this, of course, though we’re now aware the NPC Predator can also do it. This is going to make the character slightly harder to defeat than others.

How to get Fortnite Predator Cloak Device

The Predator Device can be obtained by taking down Predator in-game, much like any other boss the game’s added during Season 5.

After visiting Predator’s location and striking the character down, it will drop the following, as well as ammo and Floppers.

That’s it! Now you know how to use the Predator Cloak Device, and it looks like it’s going to be quite tricky to get one in-game – especially if the NPC is using it to escape your gunfire!

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