Fortnite’s competitive scene is in for a big change when it comes to the game’s explosive weaponry.
Epic Games has announced that Rocket Launchers, Mechanical Explosive Bows, and Cuddle Fish are all vaulted out of competitive Fortnite playlists. This effectively nixes every explosive weapon from the game with the exception of the standard issue grenade.
Boom Boom💥. Buh-bye 👋
We’ve made the decision to remove the following items from competitive playlists:
Mechanical Explosive Bow
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) April 16, 2021
The changes were warmly received by Fortnite players and pros alike, with these weapons having been a source of frustration for a long while now.
The Rocket Launcher has long been one of Fortnite’s most powerful weapons. It’s easy to aim, has an enormous area of effect, and presents little damage dropoff at distance. It’s always been a dream in late-game situations as it can wipe out structures as well as players without much difficulty.
Bows have bounced in and out of being overpowered, but the Mechanical Explosive Bow was particularly problematic. The weapon was actually capable of one-shotting a fully healed and shielded opponent with a headshot, dealing a maximum of 212 damage.
The Cuddle Fish were effectively a sticky grenade combined with a landmine. The item could be thrown and would latch onto any enemy that walked within its AOE, dealing 35 damage. While that’s a low number, more than one Cuddle Fish could be planted on the same spot to have a player get covered and blown up shortly after. This made for an amusing visual, but also a frustrating experience for the player on the receiving end.
All three weapons are now vaulted out of the competitive weapon rotation, something that should make the meta a bit less dependent on RNG and a lot more focused on Fortnite’s high-flying gunplay.
Competitive Fortnite is not dead, but it is in an awkward position. Fortnite’s competitive scene was set to be entirely built around the Fortnite World Cup, an event that drew millions of viewers in 2019 and featured a massive prize pool that was briefly the largest ever awarded in esports. The event’s cancellation in 2020 and its likely cancellation in 2021 has left the Fortnite competitive scene without its biggest anchor event.
Epic Games is still heavily invested in Fortnite’s success and has been pumping significant sums of money into keeping the game’s pro players active. Still, there’s a hole in the scene so long as the Fortnite World Cup remains off the table.