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Competitive ‘Fortnite’ needs an overhaul to become a legitimate esport

November 7, 2018

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Competitive ‘Fortnite’ needs an overhaul to become a legitimate esport

“This is literally the dumbest thing in the world, why do we even play,” said gaming superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins as he was eliminated in the Fortnite Fall Skirmish. “It’s like [lagging] every week; they have to do something.”

With their $10 million six-week Fall Skirmish tournament wrapping up last weekend at TwitchCon in San Jose, California, “Fortnite” made it clear they still need to fix their game to become a respectable esport.

Despite the game being out for a little more than a year and a competitive scene that’s been active for half that time, “Fortnite” is already the fifth-highest grossing video game of all-time in terms of prize pool money given out.

Epic Games, developers of the pop culture phenomenon, pledged $100 million to grow competitive “Fortnite.”

But if you ask anyone who’s involved in the community, the game is far from being ready for multi-million dollar tournaments.

With server lag, players not engaging in fights but “camping” and a scoring system that isn’t set in stone, those who play the game think it has turned into whoever has the best luck wins hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The game won’t flame out anytime soon, thanks to the bi-weekly content updates to the game, but something has to be done if life-changing amounts of money is on the line.

For anyone who watches the competitive games, you’ll notice players will not actively try to eliminate opponents, but rather disengage and flee.

This has everything to do with the numerous scoring systems Epic Games has tested out, with absolutely no incentive to eliminate opponents.

Players have learned that if you try to stay hidden and hope the game plays out in your favor, you’ll win a couple thousand dollars. This mentality is effectively tarnishing the young competitive “Fortnite” scene.

One problem leads to another, as the lack of eliminated players and shrinking play zones create the server lag everyone hates.

For those not familiar with how bad the lag is, it’s comparable to streaming a YouTube video in high definition, but having it buffer every two seconds.

When there are 50 players in the final zones of a competitive match — when a normal game would have about six — and everyone is building a 1 x 1 box to cover themselves, the lag to do anything in the game is unbearable, costing players winnings and the audience watchable gameplay.

Sure, upgraded servers could fix the lag, but an elimination-incentivized scoring system would solve just about every problem with competitive “Fortnite.”

Instead of having three eliminations netting one point, have every elimination worth one point. In the stacked pro lobbies, getting a single kill is already tough enough, so why not reward players?

Placements should also be reworked, with the top five only receiving points. Four points for first place, three for second, two for third and one point each for fourth and fifth places.

With an overhaul of just the scoring system providing an elimination-based incentive, issues of lag and gameplay could easily be corrected.


“Fortnite” already does an outstanding job by keeping the game and content fresh for their 80 million gamer base. They can do even more to continue to grow the competitive scene as well as create a legitimate esport.

Hopefully, we can expect a reworked competitive scene ahead of the 2019 “Fortnite” World Cup.

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