Fortnite competitive players are frustrated with “Arena” ranked mode

Fortnite has a history of running in-game events as qualifiers for their major tournaments. This ensures a wide field of entry and allows surprising new players to get as much of a chance as those from an established team. However, this approach hasn’t been sitting well with competitive players. Many have drawn attention to the poor matchmaking and low level of play going on in the new ranked mode. Along with recent unpopular changes, many Fortnite pros are becoming frustrated with the entire game.


© Epic Games

The recently added game mode “Arena” is a warm-up for the selection process that starts in April for the Fortnite World Cup. This game mode allows all players to compete in a constant ranked tournament. By scoring eliminations and surviving further into the game, players gain more points and advance up the various leagues. Once they reach the top of this they enter the Champions League. This league is likely what is going to be used to select participants for future events. By this logic, it should be full of high-level Fortnite play. However, it doesn’t look that way.

“Competitive” from FortniteCompetitive

Epic has been a little too vague in how this mode will factor into future tournaments. Most players are using this game mode to practise with the rule sets that will likely be in play for the actual qualifiers. This is a necessity since the game provides limited options for pros to actually practise. This is a problem though. In-game tournaments are rife with cheating and players are increasingly finding themselves matched with people who are more interested in exploiting the game’s recent changes to get ahead than actually playing.

The gameplay in even the highest level of this league is mainly limited to hiding and clinging to surfaces with the baller. Along with the recent changes to the game in v8.20, these current competitive rules reward passive play. The game has shifted to reward players who can stay out of fights and just keep themselves safe and hidden. This style of play doesn’t really reward skill, just exploitation of broken items. Cloak from FaZe has even called for the World Cup to be postponed until the game can be sufficiently balanced again.

The current rule set puts many professional players at a disadvantage. It twists the entire meta-game of Fortnite into something quite different. Adjustment is key for any competitive player. If the game remains in its current state by the time the qualifiers for the Fortnite World Cup actually open, it is possible we might see a number of entirely adept at hiding players going through to the big event rather than those players capable of getting eliminations. Despite all controversy, an update on April 2nd has shown Epic see the recent changes a natural evolution. Rather than reversing the changes or adjusting them for balance, they’ve left the new system in place as is. It is disappointing, but it might be here to stay.