Everything that happened at Fortnite’s Secret Skirmish

The Fortnite Secret Skirmish got the game’s 2019 plans off to a fantastic start. Fortnite has been slowed down in recent weeks by the release of Apex legends and some ongoing problems with the game’s balance. All of this seemed completely forgotten as the tournament began on Valentine’s day. Epic addressed some long-standing problems with balance just before the start of the tournament and even included some rule changes that really spiced things up.

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© Epic Games via Twitch

The event wasn’t without hiccups. Epic issued a bizarre press release just a day before the start of the event, cancelling two tournaments that hadn’t even been announced yet. They claimed that technical issues meant they could no longer run the ‘secret evening operations’ that they had been playing to hold over the course of the event. It’s likely that these tournaments would have featured players facing off in one of Fortnite’s less common game modes.

Epic also made the bold decision to feature some rule changes for this event. For the first change, players would now receive a 50 health point boost every time they killed an enemy. This was a much requested and appreciated change. Health and Fortnite shields have been an issue for a little while now, so addressing this really made a difference.

Epic also changed planes, these overpowered vehicles can no longer break through structures. This was another popular change, re-balancing planes really helped swing the metagame back to its original and well-loved formula. Players were limited to carrying only 500 of each building materials, and players now dropped 50 of each material upon their death. Watching the event, it was clear that these changes made a big impact on the quality of play. These rules eliminate some of the game’s randomness and makes competitive players compete on their skill rather than luck.

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© Epic Games via Twitch

The second major change to the rules was the use of randomized duos. Teams for duo matches were decided at random, throwing player’s normal pairings completely out of the window. This might not have been a change appreciated by teams or popular duos from past events, but it made the tournament much more fun to spectate. Player’s different styles bashed up against each other as they had to alter their game plan depending on their new partner.

The first game was won by Dmo and Tfue. The third game saw Ceice rack up an impressive 7 eliminations, while his duos partner Lyricen was largely carried over the finish line. Tfue & Dmo, Saf & Ronaldo, Thwifo & Jruth, and Bizzle & TriggySoars were each on ten points at the opening of the final game. This four-way tie made the last round of the Secret Skirmish a nail-biting affair. It was eventually won by Saf and Ronaldo, partly thanks to this fantastic 30 seconds of play. Saf eliminated 7 out of 9 remaining opponents in this brief window, which really shows that he deserved to take home first prize.

Bizzle took the top prize for the Solo games, followed by Saf, and then Vivid. Over both categories, Saf really showed himself to be the standout player in the tournament. The solo event didn’t feature any moments as breath-taking as Saf’s last-minute massacre from the Duo’s final game, but they were each enjoyable matches.

The Secret Skirmish was an exciting start to the 2019 Fortnite competitive season. It demonstrated why Fortnite will continue to be a fun Esport to watch despite the emergence of a new rival in Apex legends. While technical issues stopping further surprises were disappointing, it’s a good thing that epic is using this as a warm-up to properly test their capabilities in advance of this year’s Fortnite World Cup. Their concession towards players with major rule changes for tournaments is also promising, these small alterations really bolstered the action at the Secret Skirmish and made it an unmissable event. If the rest of the year continues as the Secret Skirmish started, Saf will be one player to keep your eyes on.