The Potential Collapse of Fortnite’s Competitive Scene

The Potential Collapse of Fortnite’s Competitive Scene

Author: adminmalay

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With the release of Season 9, the most recent update to Fornite’s Battle Pass, there have been rising concerns from the e-Sports scene. Fortnite, due to its massive public success, has obviously developed a professional scene to capitalize on those high-viewer numbers and literally global fame.

But is the game really designed to be played competitively?

Let’s take a look.

Fortnite Compared to Classic e-Sports Titles

The icon of all professional competitive PC gameplay (in the Shooting genre, we should add) is Counter Strike. Counter Strike: Source was one of the first FPS games to take the genre to the next level, with huge prize pools, a sizable online following, and well-paid professional gamers that inspired a younger generation to follow in their footsteps.

Counter Strike has been so well-loved and well-played over the years because of its fundamental simplicity. Gunplay skill relies on practice, strong aim, and a memorization of tactics for individual maps. It’s strictly a team game, best played with a strong team of five. People played CS (us included) for hours and hours for no real achievement. We just wanted to get better.

Of course, Counter Strike: Global Offensive has added in cosmetics and generated quite a versatile ingame economy for its knives and Stat Track weapon skins, but the gameplay still remains simple at its core. The AK-47 accounts for over 30% of all the kills in CS: GO to date. It sounds stale, but that’s precisely what professional gameplay is about. Master the skill of the AK-47, the only gun in the game able to kill someone with one headshot, helmeted or not, and you will become a better player.

That’s where Fortnite’s first – of many problems – originates.

Fortnite is a Casual Shooter at Its Core

Fortnite is primarily a casual shooter, aimed at a younger audience and designed to keep players returning time and time again to log in daily. Its focused on generating income from cosmetics, which is essential considering it is a free game. However, another way Fortnite has managed to keep a strong playerbase is to release a staggering amount of content on an almost weekly basis.

We’re talking new guns, map additions, vehicles, novelty items, skins, buffing and nerfing where they see fit, constantly changing the game to the point that if you log out for a couple of weeks, you might return to an entirely different experience. Sure, this is fun, and suits the casual gamer who is just out there to play a few games with friends.

But for the professional gamers?

That’s a different matter.

The Problem with the Pump Shotgun

Like the AK-47, the Pump Shotgun was the weapon of choice for pretty much the majority of competitive players. It accounted for something like 25% of all kills made in competitive Fortnite matches. And guess what? The Pump Shotgun has just been ‘vaulted’ (taken out of regular matches) for Season 9. The other shotgun is available, but only at Epic, Legendary or beyond, making it much rarer.

This is a problem because Fortnite, at a competitive level, is a very close-quarters game. Building enormous structures at the speed of light is absolutely necessary if you want to be able to kill off your opponents. You only need to watch one or two matches to understand what we mean. Movement and small, snapshots between a mass of walls, floors and ceilings were what the shotgun excelled at.

Now it’s gone.

This could be a typical outburst from competitive gamers – we’ve seen complaints like this in the past before – but there is also definite upset in the pro scene. I think people are genuinely fed up of the record amount of changes made to the game on a regular basis. There is so much to learn, so much RNG introduced with random, novelty items, and a sense of continual complication that makes sticking with Fortnite professionally hard to maintain.

We’re yet to see the outcome of these complaints. Fortnite remains one of the most popular games on YouTube, Twitch, and has millions of players across multiple platforms. Although the pro scene might be getting fed up, it’s likely they’ll stick around for the big sponsorship deals until there is a final straw that breaks the giant’s back.

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