Hunter C. June 26, 2019
One of competitive Fortnite’s brightest stars has announced his retirement.
Jake “POACH” Brumleve of Team Liquid fame announced that he would be moving on from competing in Fortnite through his Twitch channel.
POACH will still create Fortnite content, and the battle royale title is sure to continue to be the majority focus of his streams. However, he’ll now mix in some other games in addition to Fortnite.
POACH also echoed complaints that many professional Fortnite players have had about developer Epic Games, in particular how the competitive scene is treated.
“I don’t really enjoy playing Fortnite competitively,” POACH said. “Just because, like, I don’t feel like the game is very competitive.”
Epic Games has come under serious fire from its competitive community for alleged poor balancing decisions. From the balancing of the RNG of chest loot, to the decision to unvault the demonstrably broken Drum Gun, to adding the Infinity Blade into the game the day of the semifinals of the North American Winter Royale, Epic hasn’t had a good run of it in recent months.
In the end, what will keep Fortnite going is the casual scene and the microtransactions, not the competitive community. POACH’s critiques in his retirement announcement aren’t anything new, as competitive Fortnite players have been issuing similar refrains for months now.
The question that comes with POACH’s retirement is simple: Will this create a wave of retirement announcements from a disgruntled competitive players? Content creation in Fortnite is extremely lucrative, and many names are big enough to transition into full-time content creation and make a similar, if not better, living that what is provided by competitive play.
The future of Fortnite isn’t in jeopardy, not by a longshot. The game has weathered a resurgence in popularity in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and the surprise success of Apex Legends. The competitive scene doesn’t look quite as healthy, however, and the retirement of POACH from competitive play is indicative of those continued struggles.