TSM Myth calls for unionization after Fortnite backlash
Fortnite Professional Player Myth has called for Fortnite players to organise and unionize in response to recent actions by Epic. This comes on the back of a few recent missteps in Epic’s handling of its competitive community. Poor communication and outright misrepresentation of the rules of their tournaments have generated considerable bad press and a negative reaction from players.
Myth’s main grievance is Epic not keeping to their word on competitive play. A big issue here is the constant updates, patches, and tweaks. Epic’s Fortnite is under almost constant revision. It is part of what has made the game so popular but its also a hurdle for a competitive community. Epic has been clear recently that their aim is to avoid big updates and changes around the time of competitive events. This would help players know exactly what game they will be playing.
This made it all the more surprising when Epic announced that Season 8 of Fortnite is due to launch on the exact same day as the IEM Katowice tournament. This tournament features a $500,000 prize pool, making it an important event for competitive players. A new season brings some of the biggest changes that ever happen at once in Fortnite. Epic promised they would stop tinkering with the game beforeof tournaments, so instead they are completely overhauling the game on the same day as a tournament. It’s a frustrating change and one that makes it difficult for tournament participants to do much preparation.
It’s possible that Epic could be using an older version of the game for these events. This would prevent changes that occur that day from harming competitive play. However, since Epic hasn’t communicated anything on this topic, it is an unlikely solution. In any case, Epic need to work on their communication.
Another issue for Myth is the selection of players for the invitational. When the Secret Skirmish was announced, it was unclear how players for the tournament were going to be selected. Epic has now given more indication of how this is going to work. They initially specified that a cup would only act as a qualifying round if they had made this clear beforehand. They promised transparency with this. They didn’t deliver. The top 25 players from the Explorer Cup qualified for the Secret Skirmish, there was no indication that this was the case until after the cup had finished.
Epic did brand the invitational as ‘a secret’ but it’s hardly a good defence for misleading competitive players. Epic is publically committing to doing various things to help their community function, then doing the opposite. Stronger communication in future can help avoid these problems. At the least, Epic could avoid saying directly contradictory things. Keeping players in the dark would be better than saying one thing then doing another, although just keeping their word would still be preferred.
TSM Myth’s calls for more organisation from players might not be successful. Epic is still trying to foster a bigger competitive scene, but they aren’t making it easy on themselves. Better organisation would definitely do a lot to improve the chances of tournaments running smoothly. However, it’s unlikely that current plans around Season 8 or the tournament will change. With some luck, in the future Fortnite players will have enough sway over Epic to ensure future tournaments have clear selection rules and a build of the game that hasn’t been overhauled that same week.