Steven R. March 26, 2019
The build to the Fortnite World Cup has just begun and pro players are already angry over it.
Epic Games announced that it will use a series of online qualifiers to determine participants in the $30 million World Cup tournament. The process has many pro players criticizing the format.
The qualification process is a lengthy one, but has the potential to be quite lucrative for players.
The first step takes place on Arena Mode, a new game mode set for release with the 8.20 patch. Though little is known about Arena Mode at this point, it is believed to served as a sort of ranked matchmaking system. Players can compete and climb the ladder during the week in order to qualify for the second stage, the Online Open semifinals.
This stage will take place each Saturday en route to the Fortnite World Cup. During a three-hour window in each region's players will be able to compete in up to 10 games, players will earn points for kills and top-25 placements.
The top 3,000 players in points will then advance on to the Online Open finals on the following Sunday. The finals will have the same format, time limit, and scoring system, with the top performers from each week earning a spot in the Fortnite World Cup. Between 19 and 21 players will qualify in solos each week, with eight coming from Europe, eight coming from North America, and one to two each coming from Asia, Brazil, and Oceania. In duos, four will come from both Europe and North America, while one team will qualify from Asia, Brazil, and Oceania each every other week.
Additionally, each Online Open finals session will feature a $1 million prize pool. No details have been given on how the money will be allocated to winners.
This format is different from past official Fortnite events and injects a level of randomness into qualifying that many pros are uncomfortable with. The short windows to play coupled with standard matchmaking means that certain games could be stacked with pro players, while others might see one or two pros be given the chance to steamroll a field of casuals and amateurs.
This inconsistency could result in elite talents missing out on the chance to qualify, while less deserving players might ease their way into a shot at millions of dollars. Shortly after the news was announced, several pro players took to social media to discuss.
“Online qualifiers are dumb,” Faze Clan player Dennis "Cloak" Lepore said on Twitter. “Me and [Turner "Tfue" Tenney] had 6/10 lobbies with 0 pro players in them. Yet I watched [Thomas "72hrs" Mulligan] and [Noah "Vivid" Wright] played 10 games with almost full lobby of pros each game.”
“LMAO. I feel like they’re missing a step (customs with qualifiers),” 72hrs responded. “But whatever, time to play some fun games.”
“Qualifying for world cup is going to be harder than the matches will be at world cup,” Austin “Morgausse” Etue said.
Not all pro Fortnite players were critical of the format, with the likes of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins expressing nothing but positivity for the event.
The full list of rules and further information on the scoring structure can be found on the official Fortnite website.