Fortnite Battle Royale’s struggles with competitive play have had it stricken from at least one universities offered games.
Collegiate esports are rapidly becoming more important in the esports ecosystem. Over 60 American colleges have now implemented varsity programs for esports with scholarships.
Many more have partial support and operate as an official club team with varying ranges of financial support.
UCLA’s program is a club team, and one of the more interesting universities where esports is concerned. While their LA neighbor UC Irvine is actually the dominant esports program in the region, UCLA is still the largest university in LA. (They beat USC by 2,000 students.)
Considering LA is the epicenter of western esports, it stands to reason that the collegiate program at the largest university carries weight.
The issues with Fortnite’s competitive scene are starting to have more ramifications in the landscape. It also seems like Epic forgoing an official collegiate league like Riot or Blizzard have caused problems for collegiate clubs.
The game’s balance issues were also called out by two students who won an event, and announced they were quitting right after.
It is impossible to predict the future of competitive Fortnite but with plenty of viewers still tuning in to the World Cup qualifiers, Epic is safe until at least the end of July.
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From that point, some significant changes will likely need to be made to competitive balance or structure if they don’t want players to quit and move to other games.
Who knows what internal discussions at Epic Games are like, but decisions like this are definitely not positive.