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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.

Patch Notes

Fortnite v13.20 Update patch notes

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It’s a new week, and that means that there’s a fresh update for us all to enjoy, as the Fortnite v12.30 patch goes live on all platforms on Tuesday, June 30, introducing a new weapon and a major change to an existing item.

Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 3 has been live for a few weeks, and while the first major update of the season made sweeping changes to the game, Epic haven’t sat on their hands, dropping the 13.10 update to add Firefly Jars, and a second patch on June 30.

The Flare Gun and Portable Upgrade Benches are the major inclusions in this week’s patch, and we’ve got everything you need to know about the new items.

Flare Gun

Epic love to include new weapons for us to try out, and the v13.20 Update is no exception, with the Flare Gun finally making it’s long-awaited debut in the game.

The weapon, which holds six cartridges and deals 60 damage on a direct hit, was first spotted in the game’s files all the way back in Chapter 1, but for one reason or another never made it to the full game. Finally, though, it’s arrived, and with its ability to start fires, it is the perfect way to burn through enemy structures and send them back to the pre-game lobby.

The Flare Gun is the latest weapon added to Fortnite.

Portable Upgrade Bench

The other major change is the to the Upgrade Bench, which can now be broken and carried around to be used whenever you need it.

Simply hit it with your harvesting tool and it will transform into floor loot, which you can pick up and place in your inventory.

The Upgrade Bench can now be broken.

Bug fixes

Of course, no Fortnite update is complete without some bug fixes, and we have a full list of glitches addressed by Epic thanks to their official Trello board.

General

  • ‘Lock Input Method as Mouse’ does not lock the input method.
  • Missing styles for the Specialist Pickaxe and Arroyo Pack Back Bling.
  • Rage Emote fire effect remaining on/near players.
  • Sandstorm Outfit missing hair.

Battle Royale

  • Party Assist Update
  • Replays not saving on PlayStation 4.
  • Slow Glider speed after redeploying in certain situations.
  • XP bar can be visually incorrect while in a match.
  • Fall damage from Ziplines while landing in shallow water.
  • Epic & Legendary SMGs sometimes cannot be sidegraded.
  • Damaging Marauders counting towards storm surge.
  • Chug Splash does not heal when thrown inside of a bush.
  • Supply Drops may sometimes push loot under the map.

Creative Mode

  • Consumable items don’t stay in Item Spawn Pads in Creative on mobile.
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New Items

Loserfruit Fortnite skin bundle: Leak and release date

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Loserfruit Fortnite skin

The next cosmetic item in Fortnite’s Icon series, this time for streamer Loserfruit, has been leaked, with the release date all but confirmed for June 21.

Following on from Ninja’s skin release earlier in the year, Loserfruit, one of the most popular Australian streamers, has been waiting on her skin coming to the game for months now.

Its initial launch was pushed back due to ongoing protests around the world, but it looks like it’s finally getting a proper release.

On June 21, a handful of leakers got their hands on the encrypted files for the skin, and accessed them, showcasing a full, high-quality look at the skin we’ll soon be able to rock in-game.

Featuring a replica of Loserfruit’s hoody with rainbow-colored arms, the arm portions light up spectacularly, and there is also a backpack that mirrors her own real-life version.

Loserfruit skin release date and price

The skin is set to release on June 21, now confirmed by Epic Games. Reliable data miner iFireMonkey says that a source has confirmed this date for the entire bundle.

The bundle includes a fruity pickaxe too, as well as the Bounce Berry emote.

The skin will be available at 8pm ET. It will cost 1,500 V-Bucks for just the skin, or 2,000 for the whole bundle.

Loserfruit herself is actually already rocking the skin in-game on her stream, thanks to exclusive access before the rest of us, so you can see it in action here.

We’ll keep you updated when the skin bundle is available to purchase in the item shop.

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All Platforms

When does Fortnite Season 3 end and Season 4 begin?

Find out the Fortnite Season 3 end date and Season 4 start date for 2020.

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We’re only a couple of days into Fortnite Season 3, but fans are already wondering when the next season will come. We’re not sick of the new season – far from it. The past couple of seasons have lasted about 120 days each, though, so it’s not crazy to hope that this one is significantly shorter.

When Fortnite Season 3 released, data miners were quick to tell everyone how much time was left in the season. At the time of release, Epic had an end date of August 27, 2020. That’s only 71 days long, which is quite reasonable.

Not so fast, though. Data miner FireMonkey was quick to point out that the number of weekly challenges doesn’t match an 11-week season. There are already 12 weeks worth of challenges in the game files, which would have Season 3 ending on September 3.

This isn’t out of the ordinary. Epic have, traditionally, extended seasons for an extra week or two with Overtime Challenges. The past two seasons, which were both extended over a month past their original end-date, are still outliers in the history of Fortnite seasons.

A one-week extension is nothing major. We can live with that – and will even enjoy the Overtime Challenges that Epic give us. There’s no need to panic, right now, but the season will likely be extended at least one time.

Normally, this wouldn’t be something we’d cover so early in a Fortnite season, but the recent history of lengthy seasons makes us wonder if this one will follow suit. Hopefully, we’ll be playing Season 4 by September 4.

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