Video Credit: Fortnite
Let’s face it — last weekend’s Fortnite $250,000 Summer Skirmish Tournament did not go as planned . What was supposed to be the first installment of Epic Games’ $100 million investment into Fortnite Esports ended up in disaster.
Saturday was supposed to kick things off, with Epic hosting a duos tournament filled with some of the biggest names in Fortnite, including TSM’s Ali “Myth” Kabbani and FaZe’s Turner “Tfue” Tenney. With such a crazy amount of money on the line, the community was hyped. But what actually resulted was a day full of terrible server lag, slow-paced gameplay, and no clear winner of the tournament.
The rules were simple enough: the teams would play in 10 separate matches, and whichever team could grab 2 wins first would automatically win first and a prize of $50,000. If no teams were able to win twice, the team with the most amount of kills would earn first place. Moreover, as an incentive to get kills, the team with the most amount of eliminations at the end of each game (regardless of winning or losing) would be awarded $6,500, a prize which would be split if teams tied for highest number of kills.
With the Fortnite Pro-Am being a big success, this tournament really did seem like it’d be the same. But from the very start, things weren’t quite right. The North American servers through which the tournament was being hosted lagged severely, to the point where it created unplayable conditions for the competitors. Some teams experienced lag so bad they couldn’t even move, and were subsequently eliminated without actually being able to play.
Adding on to that, despite over 120,000 viewers on Fortnite’s official Twitch channel, there wasn’t a spectator tool available, so the only way to watch the different perspectives would be to watch the individual streams of the competitors. To make things worse, because winning offered a far greater prize than the $6,500 elimination bounty, teams played extremely defensively, camping in forts that they built for a majority of the game. While this passive style of play is a problem for all battle royales (PUBG has a similar issue), Epic Games needs to figure out a format that can provide a more entertaining viewer experience.
Fortnite Friday, the weekly tournament hosted by Daniel “Keemstar” Keem and UMG Gaming, has seen more success because of its kill to win format, in which duo teams queue up in squads to see who can a greater number of combined kills. This creates a much more aggressive playstyle from the competitors, giving audiences nonstop action and chances to see top players put their full skills on display.
While Fortnite Esports didn’t exactly have its best first day, it’s sure to improve, and hopefully Epic will find the solutions they need to make Fortnite Esports a dominant force in the gaming world.