Competitive Fortnite is always a topic that we discuss, here, but it’s been in the crosshairs of the wider gaming and esports landscape of late. Pro Fortnite players voiced their disappointment in the Season 4 PC FNCS prize pool, comparing it to similar competitions from a year ago.
The Season 4 prize pool is significantly lower, but Epic are allocating their funds differently, now. They spread their prize pool across several regions and platforms, which lowers the amount that they can give to the most popular platform: PC. They’re also hosting daily and weekly Cash Cups, which comes out of their prize pool budget as well.
You can say what you want about Epic’s distribution of their prize pool; that’s not the topic, here. The real problem – as esports reporter, Slasher, detailed in a tweet thread – is the lack of support that these tier-one Fortnite pros feel that they receive from Epic Games.
This feeling of now being listened to fuels some of the outrage that’s common within the Fortnite community. What’s more is that these high-profile pro players need to continue to prove themselves time and time again just to qualify for paid events – something that isn’t the case in any other top esport.
People like Clix, Zayt, BenjyFishy, Mongraal, Bugha, and all of the other household names in Fortnite have to continue to qualify for official Fortnite tournaments. Theoretically, they have the same chance of qualifying as your cousin who has been grinding Cash Cups for the past few months.
This element is part of the allure of competitive Fortnite – that anyone could be a pro player. Several pros have come out of nowhere to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. Morgausse was a prime example of this during the Summer Skirmish. An unknown pro at the time, Morgausse left the event $225,000 richer and as the hottest free agent in Fortnite.
We’ve come a long way since then, however. All of the events are held online, which means everyone who has Fortnite and an internet connection can affect these games. Even players who know they can’t win an event can “grief” a high-profile streamer – landing on them and ruining the streamer’s chances of qualifying.
It feels like, after 2+ years of competitive play, Fortnite finally has an established esports scene. Is it time that Epic Games began working with organizations and developing a league, similar to what other esports titles have done?
During the FNCS Warmup tournament, Ninja took to Twitter to propose just that: an official Fortnite league. In his opinion, a league sanctioned by Epic Games is the only way to avoid some of the common problems we see in nearly every Fortnite tournament.
It seems like nearly every Fortnite pro and passionate viewer would be interested in seeing something like this, but would Epic Games ever back such a tournament? In our opinion, the answer is an unfortunate, no.
A large part of Epic’s marketing strategy with competitive Fortnite seems to be that anyone could be a pro player. They’ve explicitly said this, at times, and used it as a justification as to why they don’t split the competitive and casual loot pools.
After seasons of requests from pro players involving the Fortnite loot pool, Epic have finally begun to make half measures in this regard. Still, there always seem to be a few items that are fine in core modes but completely broken in competitive. If Epic won’t even take the time to completely split the loot pool, would they really back a walled-off competitive Fortnite league?
Sadly, our outlook on this situation is a pessimistic one. A Fortnite league is possible, but we don’t think that it’s how Epic wants to handle the professional side of Fortnite. All of the evidence points to Epic wanting to keep Fortnite esports as an open platform.
There are some positives to this, but from a viewership perspective, we think the negatives outweigh the positives. Anything is possible, though, so we hope that a dedicated Fortnite league is in the cards for the future.