Fortnite Season 8 brings big changes
Season 7 was a bit of a turbulent time for Fortnite. On the one hand, the game reached new heights with events like the Marshmellow Concert and the launch of Fortnite’s biggest year for Esports. On the other, competition is beginning to heat up. Apex Legends has made quite a dent in the game’s popularity and is quickly launching its own competitive events. Fortnite needs to do more than ever to stay relevant. Season 8 launched recently in Fortnite, and it has brought with it some massive changes.Usually, the launch of a new season sees an overhaul to map, the inclusion of some new challenges, and changes to the content of the game. Season 8 has done that, but it also introduced some major changes to gameplay that will seriously alter the metagame in use for Esports players. The biggest change is the introduction of a pinging system. Well, that or a creative island that previews a few new tracks from Weezer.
That feature comes straight out of Apex Legends. With this system, players can point to objects, other players, or anything else in the world and flag it for teammates. This provides an alternative way of interacting without using a microphone. Even with audio-communication, the ping system gives some dramatically different options for communicating.
Squads are becoming more important
With this new system, the Duos rounds that make up half of competitive Fortnite events will feature much more coherent communication between team members. This is great news for adding even more complexity to the games. It should especially be interesting if epic continues to use the rulesets they implemented in the recent Secret Skirmish. In this tournament, teams for Duos were randomised and players didn’t get the choice of their partner. The pinging system could help randomly selected teams to communicate better.It’s also interesting for the prospect of introducing squads into competitive Fortnite. So far the third main play-style from the game has largely been missing from competitive events. This communication system can really help to coordinate between four players. Maybe with these improvements, it might finally be time to bring Squad matches to competitive Fortnite.
Another big new feature is the introduction of cannons. Season 8 of Fortnite is pirate themed, so this item was a shoo-in. You can use them to attack and take out other players, with the guns being movable to line up that shot. You can also launch yourself out of a cannon. It provides a quick and fun way of transporting yourself around the map. As Fortnite has continued to develop, Epic have often drifted towards focusing on mobility and speed in the game. This is reflected in competitive play, where keeping mobile for the entire run is very important. The cannon gives new options and it’ll be interesting to see how its utilised in the next competitive Fortnite event.
Season 8 has brought plenty of new changes to smaller aspects of the game and the map. These two changes are the biggest in terms of competitive play. However, the introduction of a greater focus on squad-based games is an interesting takeaway from the last update. It seems to be pointing towards an introduction of a Squad tournament to the competitive scene. If this pans out, it could bring a lot of new opportunities for competitive Fortnite players.
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