Fans are wondering if the focus of Fortnite esports is about to change forever. Could Zero Build be the new norm?
Epic Games has teased a big announcement about their plans for competitive Fortnite going into 2023. The news will drop during the upcoming $1,000,000 FNCS Invitational tournament in Raleigh.
This has prompted players, analysts, and viewers alike to start discussing what it could be. Another World Cup? Back to Trios? Or even a switch to Zero Build?
It’s no secret that competitive Fortnite is struggling right now. Viewership is way down, pros have lost interest and there’s next to no hype about anything. Something needs to change.
Is Zero Build the future?
Since Zero Build arrived in Season 2, there have already been a number of prized events. They are often invite-based and tend to feature a lot of content creators. They even brought Tfue back to Fortnite!
However, until now the FNCS and majority of prize money has been reserved for standard Battle Royale competition.
Some believe that Zero Build can play a huge part in driving viewership and bringing fresh eyeballs to Fortnite Competitive. It’s a lot easier to follow for new viewers, there’s constant action, and people aren’t put off by the “sweaty” building and editing that drove so many away in the first place.
Others argue that making Zero Build the main mode would be like getting rid of Fortnite’s secret sauce. The thing that makes it so special. If it didn’t work out, it would probably be too late to go back.
If Zero Build were the focus, pros would still quickly get far ahead of casual players in terms of skill. Also, viewership hasn’t been great on Zero Build either, so there’s no guarantee that it fixes anything.
Everyone will have their own opinions on how competitive Fortnite should look, and how the two modes should be balanced.
Personally, I think they can coexist to the benefit of the scene as a whole. I don’t however, like the idea of just splitting everything down the middle – i.e., a regular and Zero Build FNCS, each with the same prize pool.
I believe Battle Royale should remain the core competitive mode, with Zero Build used as a tool to market, bring in new people, and help create a dedicated competitive community that will stand the test of time.
This means big in-person events, with popular streamers and celebrities playing Zero Build before the main show. Pro-ams like the 2019 World Cup, and online opens with deep prizing like the Winter Royale, so that anyone feels they have the chance to win.
Then the Battle Royale FNCS needs a rework. With more of a link between what happens season to season. End of year Championships like the Invitational should have a clear route to qualify, preferably including regional LAN qualifiers.
There’s a path to salvation for competitive Fortnite, but simply switching to Zero Build isn’t it. 2023 is going to a be a pivotal year.