The team at Epic Games has started to become more open and honest about Fortnite esports.
The crew behind the competitive scene for the battle royale mode did a lengthy AMA on Reddit’s Fortnite Competitive sub and fielded questions on a number of topics. The discussion bounced from topics widely discussed by professional players to the process of producing and broadcasting a competitive Fortnite tournament.
The full AMA can be found on /r/FortniteCompetitive, but there were a few key notes worth highlighting.
One of the most frustrating topics of conversation for Fortnite professionals has been Epic’s shifting stance on stretched resolutions. Just days before the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers were set to begin, Epic banned the use of 4:3 resolutions. This angered many pro players who had been practicing with non-native resolutions.
Though there were multiple reasons for pros playing in 4:3 with varying levels of legitimacy, the one proven benefit was a longer vertical field of view that was helpful during Fortnite’s vertical firefights.
Since the ban, pro Fortnite players have been searching for some substitute to give them better options for dealing with the game’s sky-high firefights but Epic said that no changes are coming, flatly saying “we have no plans to implement an FOV slider.”
Their rationale essentially boiled down two things. First, the popularity of 4:3 among pro players was simply a matter of perceived competitive advantages which are removed when all players are forced to use 16:9. Second, stretched resolutions made for an ugly, unenjoyable on-screen experience for viewers.
The Fortnite World Cup will feature events for solo competition and duos. Trios or squads? Nope. While that’s disappointing to many, it isn’t necessarily going to be the standard moving forward.
When asked whether fans can expect that to change in future events, Epic responded, “We will definitely be getting back to running regular Trios and Squads tournaments soon.”
But what about in the future? Another popular topic of discussion was taking the competitive Fortnite concept and removing the battle royale aspect of it, and making games into a one-on-one affair. Or maybe adding capture the flag? Or making other objective-focused game modes?
Epic didn’t offer specifics, but suggested that nothing is off limits.
“We are definitely considering all kinds of possibilities when it comes to alternate competitive modes outside of Battle Royale. We have plans to continue to expand Creative Mode so players can create their own favorite version(s) of Fortnite,” the team said. “We’ll be closely monitoring these community-created competitive modes as the tools for Creative Mode expand, and will officially support some of the more popular ones that pop up over time.”
A game of Fortnite in the World Cup qualifiers plays out very differently from the games played at the casual level. That had some asking if it might be a good idea to assign different rules or item spawn rates to competitive matches.
The idea makes sense on some level, as competitive Fortnite is sometimes panned as boring, featuring little variety in terms of weaponry and tactics. Epic isn’t keen on the idea, saying “Having the same core battle royale game played by players of all skill levels is healthy for the overall state of the game and keeps competition open, approachable, and for both players and viewers.”
Ranked matchmaking was long awaited by Fortnite fans, and when Arena Mode was finally introduced, it was done as a component of the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers. So with just three weeks left before that run ends, what happens from there?
Epic Games gave some very specific details on that topic.
“We are currently working on a refresh of Arena, with an emphasis around providing more high quality, exciting matches and tournaments with meaningful stakes,” Epic said. “’Hype’ will become more like a currency which you use to enter tournaments…with top overall performers for the season represented on a leaderboard. Seasonal rewards are on the roadmap as well for future iterations of Arena.”
This is interesting given Fortnite’s regular use of seasonal events like the Share the Love series, and it could mean that future Fortnite events might look very different.