Anyone that was still hoping that Epic Games would hold back on game updates over the next few weeks has been left disappointed.
Just two days ahead of the next set of Fortnite World Cup qualifiers, the version 8.51 update has dropped. Though it is a relatively small one, the patch introduces a new item that pros will need to familiarize themselves with in the next 48 hours.
Version 8.51 introduces the Shadow Bomb, a new consumable item that turns players invisible for six seconds but prevents them from attacking, building, or picking up loot. While under the effects of a Shadow Bomb, players are granted increased movement speed and gain the ability to both wall jump and double jump for the duration. The weapon has incredible value for sneaking up on enemies or escaping when a firefight starts to get hairy.
Past the Shadow Bomb, the 8.51 patch is light on content. No weapons were rebalanced, no vehicles were tweaked, and the vault was left untouched. A new weapon was added to the PvE mode and a few new prefabricated props were added to the creative mode, but nothing else was changed in the battle royale.
Though this is a fairly light update for Fortnite, it still comes at an awkward time for the game.
Last week, Epic Games ruffled feathers when it released a developer blog post directed at pro players who had taken issue with the game’s regular updates continuing alongside the online qualifiers to the Fortnite World Cup. Though top Fortnite stars have regularly vented frustration over competing in a game that changes on an almost weekly basis, Epic made no effort to address those concerns in the blog. Instead, the company made it clear that its release schedule was unchanged and would continue on as normal.
With the Shadow Bomb now in the game and boasting an uncommon rarity, expect to see the item pop up early and often this weekend during the Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers. Then expect pro players to tear into it on Monday.
The full patch notes can be found on the official Fortnite website.