This could be an amazing year for competitive Fortnite, but we need to start off on the right foot.
Fortnite is in a very strange place right now. On the one hand, popular streamers are returning daily, tournaments like Friday Fortnite are bringing back the hype, and overall public sentiment is the highest it has been for years… but not everyone is having so much fun.
Many key figures in the competitive community have come together to voice their opinions on the current state of the game. With Cash Cups already back underway for Chapter 3, and the first FNCS Qualifiers just weeks away, time is running out to make some important changes.
Firstly, let’s talk cheaters. Some praise Epic for being one of the best teams at handling hackers, while others believe that a lot of these players are simply going undetected.
Built By Gamers star Calc shared his thoughts on Twitter, saying “Everyone is cheating in Fortnite. It started in Chapter 2 but people use aim assist on KMB, walls, and soft aim”, later adding “a lot of these people are pros who you guys think are just crazy talented”.
Calc isn’t the first pro to claim that certain top tier players are cheating, Clix, Scoped and others have said similar things in the past. The issue is that they are always reluctant to give names, since there is no real way of proving anything.
Of course, this problem extends beyond competitive too. CouRageJD recently posted a video in which he was killed by someone who was able to fly around the map while shooting.
The other big concern is the meta. In the words of Become Legends founder Reno, “When most of the pro community across the world is complaining, there is something to it”.
The Chapter 3 honeymoon period came to a crushing end when people realized just how broken SMGs are this season. Two balancing adjustments later and things are no different. The time to kill is so fast that most fights become 50/50s, with whoever lands the first shot getting the elimination.
While having spray weapons be super powerful is great for new and returning players who may struggle with building and editing, it’s a nightmare in a competitive setting. The high fire-rates on the Stinger SMG and MK-Seven mean bullets bleed through walls, which leaves you very little escape when being pressured from multiple angles.
Despite being one of the most enjoyable items to use, Spider-Man’s Mythic Web Shooters are also widely unpopular with pros. Their large number of uses almost completely removes the skill necessary to rotate efficiently, and the lack of audio warning makes clips like this way too common:
But even at the top tier not everyone can agree. World Cup champion Aqua argued, “Without Spider-Man this game would be unplayable, if they remove it and don’t add anything else the game will 100% be worse”.
This is where an organisation like the Fortnite Professional Players’ Association (FNPPA) should be more heavily involved. Epic needs to have an open dialogue with pros and prominent competitive community members to facilitate fast and measured action.
The alternative is that we see more and more cases similar to Saf’s retirement, where players reach breaking point and decide to step away. On Saturday, respected Fortnite coach Bloodx wrote a statement pleading for change, and mentioned, “I am seeing and hearing things from the best and toughest Fortnite competitors like Tayson and more, that even they can’t cope with how the game is running right now”.
Last year, it seemed that the developers were making a deliberate effort to communicate more openly with competitive fans and listen to feedback. We can only hope that this continues throughout 2022.