Fortnite In-Game Tournaments have arrived!
Professional leagues are notoriously hard to break into when it comes to esports. Players have to be competent, good at the game and be able to showcase their skills. Some titles come predisposed for this, allowing ranked games and smaller tournaments for budding pro players to showcase what they can do. These can be the difference between launching a lucrative career as a competitive esports player, or just playing the game for fun on weekends.
Fortnite, despite it’s incredible popularity, had none of these things. There were official tournaments run by Epic, and a few smaller events this year, but they all had one thing in common. You already had to be a pro player or almost there, to compete. There was no easy channel for players to showcase just how good they were. Players who were could also showcase their skills via platforms like YouTube were also able to make some headway, but not everyone has the time or funds to make streaming like this possible.
Finally though, fans have been blessed with just what they’ve been asking for, tournament games within Fortnite. Now, competitions can be hosted directly within the client itself. It’s possible to showcase just how good you are, from the comfort of your own home. Perfect if you’re just trying to start out as an esports pro-player. There aren’t full official seasons, or overall rankings, thought perhaps we may see this. Instead though, you can compete in tournament rounds to show just how good you really are.
Unlike other esports, Epic have also chosen to take the unique approach of allowing cross-platform play. Ordinary matches give players a choice, whether to be matched to the same platform or not but these options are never usually extended into organized or ranked matches by developers. It will be interesting to see how the console, PC and mobile versions of the game all merge together and whether they truly are all on equal footing.
No doubt, there will be some debates around this and there are likely some strong feelings one way or the other. Until this is tested though, it’s probably best to hold fire on getting too worked up and see how this actually pans out. Still, Epic must be incredibly confident in all of their platform releases to allow them to face off against one another like this.
One thing is for sure though, this update and the addition of tournaments, means Epic is backing Fortnite as an esport all the way. Combined with their recent pledge of over $100 million in tournament price money, it just goes to show that Fortnite is definitely here to stay and Epic are aiming to compete with the big guns of the esports arena. The nice thing about this, is that fans now have easier access to pro-player careers than they did before. As older players cycle out of the leagues or move on to other projects, the ability to bring in new competitors is essential and with this update, Epic have assured they can do just that.