Due to the lack of competitive support from Epic Games, Fortnite pros are threatening to quit the game after the World Cup. Here’s a few things Epic needs to do to repair their esports scene.
Epic Games’ Fortnite was an undisputed success story for a long time after its launch due to smart marketing and unprecedented levels of game content.
However, once Epic Games took over the competitive aspects of Fortnite…things started getting rough. Even the casual side of the game has been experiencing the weight of Epic’s constant changes and disregard for game balance.
It’s time for Epic Games to take a step back and really understand what competitive players want to see in Fortnite esports. All they have to do is listen and look around at other esports for a little guidance.
While Epic has poured in a lot of money into prize pools, their structural support for the competitive community (and recently the casual community as well) has been lackluster.
These four points of interest would help Epic in securing the future of competitive Fortnite:
Ensure the game is as cheater-free as possible
This can be an near impossible task, but when we are talking about $30 million+ dollars for a tournament, it’s unacceptable that hackers have a chance to get in.
Two cheaters (Johnny TK & DubsFN) were recently exposed for cheating during the first Fortnite World Cup qualifier. DubsFN even managed to qualify…
Epic Games should, with haste, ensure that the game can no longer be breached. It’s a common problem in many PC games. While Fortnite’s anti-cheat is touted as one of the best…it still isn’t standing up to the hackers.
Keep in mind that consoles have nearly eliminated all cheaters from the platforms (with some notable exceptions). Maybe Epic could seek guidance from Microsoft or Sony?
There is another way to help ensure less chance of cheating during the Fortnite esports events. Local Area Networks.
Convert Online Events into LAN Events
Online events always run the risk, in any game, of having cheaters get through the cracks. This isn’t the case, however, for LAN events…for the most part.
Most esports nowadays run almost all of their main series events from LANs. Players travel to arenas, stadiums, and other locations to play in events that span weekends to months.
The list of games that run LAN events, even for qualifiers, is extensive and includes CSGO, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Halo, Overwatch, and many others.
LAN events put more control into Epic’s hands and allow them to setup secure events that only feature hardware/software approved by the company. Everything is setup prior to players’ arrival and players are not allowed to install/bring any unauthorized gear to the LAN site.
Money isn’t an excuse for Epic as they are profiting immensely from Fortnite and acquiring access to LAN event locations would be fairly trivial for them.
Different Patching Schedule/Content for Competitive Fortnite
Let’s be honest. Some of Fortnite’s content is a lot of fun when played casually, but simply does not hold up to a competitive standard.
Competitive does not mean “anti-casual”. It means “fair”.
Epic has been completely reluctant to have a different patching schedule for the competitive scene. At the same time, they continue pumping out new content into the game without taking into consideration the competitive impact.
We believe that Epic should continue to deliver their amazing pace of content for the casual game, but develop a two-tier system that allows the new items to settle a bit before being added to the competitive scene.
The Baller is an excellent example. While the Baller isn’t a huge problem in casual Fortnite, the threat to competitive gameplay could have been seen from a mile away.
It allows for easy rotations, safe traversal of end games, and gives you a 200 point shield. If Epic had only released this for casual Fortnite, they would have had time to evaluate the power of the vehicle and decide to not carry it over to competitive.
Imagine if Epic decides to add something as powerful and broken as the Infinity Blade again…
Better Communication from Epic Games
Epic Games’ has been quite good at communicating their problems and ideas to the community since the beginning. It’s why they rose to such popularity. While other games’ developers ignored most community ideas, Epic openly embraced us.
But recently, things have begun to change. Epic Games has made decisions that have been directly counter to what the community has been looking for. The siphon removal from casual Fortnite is a great example.
Ever since the competitive community has been asking for a more solid competitive experience, Epic has remained nearly completely silent on the matter.
The community has asked for more structured/tested releases, separate competitive patches, LAN events, etc., but Epic Games hasn’t responded to any of these requests.
Epic Games must have reasons for not carrying out these changes that have made other esports extremely successful. We want them to make their case. Give us a reason to believe that you are actually trying to do the best you can for competitive Fortnite.
As of right now, it seems like competitive Fortnite is nothing more than a marketing gimmick for Epic Games. A new way to drum up some noise about Fortnite while not really supporting the scene with anything more than money.
Prize pools don’t mean anything if the gameplay and competitive structure aren’t competitive friendly. Many big-time players can simply play the game casually on Twitch and make much more money anyways.