Optic Gaming’s Fortnite team decisions
OpTic Gaming have recently released the last two Fortnite players that constituted their team. It’s the second shutdown of a Battle Royale team from the esports group. Usually, this would indicate a larger problem with the health of a game’s competitive scene. While OpTic Gaming’s decision is disappointing, on this occasion it’s a reflection of individual players rather than an abandonment of the game altogether.
Gunfly and Baldy were the last two players on OpTic’s Fortnite team. This followed earlier releases that dwindled OpTic’s squad down from its original size of four. Without any players and with no new talent on the horizon for them, OpTic’s team is now entirely disbanded. OpTic also recently disbanded their PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds team. That decision was based on their assessment of PlayerUnknown as an ongoing esport. With this recent news, OpTic Gaming have now removed themselves from competition in the two biggest Battle Royale games. Is this the end for the genre? Probably not.
The decision to stop participating in PlayerUnknown tournaments was likely motivated by a lack of success. While Optic have officially said the move to release Gunfly and Baldy was because of the player’s requests, this might have been a factor in this decision too. The loss of their last two team members was done on good terms. Both team members have made this clear, as have OpTic Gaming.
Both players made this clear in their tweeted messages to explain the move. Baldy said “Parted ways with @OpTicGaming. Huge Thanks for Everything they did for me. I’ll now be looking for a organization to represent for the Fortnite competitive scene”. Gunfly gave similar sentiments with “I’ve officially parted ways with @OpTic Gaming. Left on good terms with no bad blood That being said I’ll be a F/A & looking for an organization to represent.”. OpTic clarified the situation in a press release. They’ve said that both players wanted to play with other partners for duo matches. This is something that OpTic’s shrinking roster could no longer accommodate. This forced their hands into letting the players go.
No player is playing at their best for a team that they feel is unnecessarily constraining them. Baldy and Gunfly have not achieved much success as a duo. They finished 50th at the Fall Skirmish, which hardly set the world on fire. Both players have demonstrated more ability prior to being paired up, with Baldy previously holding the kill record for solo v solo. The match-up shows that OpTic might not have adjusted too well to the way a Battle Royale team has to function compared with their more successful teams.
OpTic Gaming will still be keeping an eye open for rising talent in Fortnite. However, don’t expect them to be a major player in tournaments anytime soon. It will take a while to build a new roster. Fortnite’s growing esports scene seems to be something that Optic struggled to get a foothold in. They might have more success if they take some time to organically assemble a team.
OpTic will remain a very successful organisation outside of Fortnite. Hopefully, they can re-establish themselves in the scene with a team that has more compatibility.