The recent events of the Fortnite Winter Royale are showing hints that Epic Games have lost interest in catering towards professional competitive players and instead would prefer to tailor the game towards an entertainment perspective instead.
The Winter Royale is an event that has both frustrated and entertained players and viewers, but more importantly, calls in question the integrity of Fortnite as a competitive Esport title. This was Epic Games first fully open event, which gathered 9.2 million players together across Europe and North America with the goal of reaching the top 400.
Without a doubt, the biggest issue in the game right now is the Infinity Blade. Fortnite is known for having wild and wacky experiences and that’s what makes it appeal to so many younger players, however, having the likes of this available in a competitive tournament just lowers the skill gap.
To wield the Infinity Blade, a player must pull the item from an exposed area in the newly added, arctic mountains. Once the Blade has been wielded, the player will have permanently had their loadout emptied except for the Blade and the starting pickaxe. In return for emptying their loadout, players health will be doubled to 400, they will have increased movement speed, receive 1 point of regeneration per second and can deal strong slash attacks on opponents.
The outrage from players seemed to stem from the fact Fortnite released an update on the morning that the event started, leaving everyone with no time to adapt to the situation and increasing the ever present RNG that exists in Battle Royale games.
Following this update, we witnessed many established professional struggling to get points in the qualifier, some of which failing to qualify all together; Ninja, Myth, Bizzle and Poach.
With the backlash that Epic Games have experienced following this event, it will be interesting to see how the approach these situations in the future and if they will continue to ignore the needs of the competitive environment in Fortnite.