Fortnite may feel that some of their thunder has been stolen by the emergence of Apex Legends, but the appetite for the competitive aspect of Epic’s record-breaking game is unabated. This weekend we have the ESL Katowice Fortnite, a $500,000 prize tourney with 200 players making the trip to the IEM Expo in Poland for what is set to be a classic.
The last major LAN was the Winter Royale in January and since then we’ve only had the one weekend Secret Skirmish to keep us entertained. Things are ramping back up though in the competitive scene. There was a soft launch Polish-only ESL Katowice last weekend and if there is anything to go by this is set to be one of the most well-run and watchable tournaments yet.
So read on for 5 things to look out for this weekend including attendees, format and prize money!
1) It’s a full weekend of Fortnite!
ESL Katowice Fortnite starts this Friday the 1st of March and runs until Sunday the 3rd meaning we have three full days of Fortnite action!
Each day the action will kick off at 11:00 am GMT (12:00 pm CET)
Friday will be devoted to Solos, while Saturday and Sunday will be the main event – 14 Duo games spread across the two days.
There is a massive $500,000 prize pool up for grabs with a $100,000 purse for the Solos and $400,000 for the Duos. The winners of the duo tournament will take home a massive $80,000!
For a full breakdown of the prize money click here.
2) The format favours placement (just)
It’s not ideal for the viewer but players this weekend will have placement in their mind first and foremost.
Points work on a sliding scale with 65(Duos) going to 1st with 2nd place getting 56 Points, 3rd 52 Points, 4th 48 Points, 5th 44 Points all the way to 25th place which would net you just 1 point. Each kill nets you 5 points.
The real gem of this tournament is the number of games and the number of points you can win. After Day 1 competitors will have an idea who are the ones to beat and what needs to be done to catch them. So expect to see players play increasingly aggressive as the tournament nears its end.
For a full breakdown of the format plus the solo scoring click here.
3) Things are s-s-s-l-l-o-owing d-d-down.
Those that sat down to watch last weekends Polish pros and influencers tournament will have noticed some subtle differences to the regular Fortnite casting. With experienced tournament organizers ESL taking charge of the production there was bound to be a few changes and it looks to be for the better.
One of the most eye-catching was the slow-motion replays, a simple idea but one that in the fast-paced, every man for themselves world of Fortnite makes perfect sense. Never has a wall edit/shotgun combo looked so good.
In addition to that, the HUD now includes a glut of amazing information such as available builds, storm zone, time until the storm, a full inventory and a minimap in the corner.
Making sense of the action has never been so easy.
4) The best duo in the world WON’T be there.
Yes, you read that correctly. Everyone’s favourite duo and the winner of the Fall Skirmish LAN – Tfue and Cloakzy will not be making the trip to Poland. It’s a real shame that we won’t be seeing these two in action but don’t think that means it’s just scrubs in attendance.
The invited players are a who’s who of Fortnite. Players from FaZe, Team Liquid and Ghost Gaming will all be represented. Team Liquid will be sending Poach and Vivid as one duo and 72hrs and Chap as another. Ghost Zayt, Saf, Bizzle and DMO will also be in attendance, as well as the 2nd place duo in the Fall Skirmish LAN – FaZe Natehill and Funkbomb.
TSM’s Myth will also be in attendance but in a sign of the strength of the TSM roster he will be taking Cloud, an unsigned player to accompany him. It’s clear now Daequan and Hamlinz have little appetite for the competitive game.
Fan favourites, controller players and all round legends Ghost Aydan and Nickmercs will also be joining forces once again. “The Kings of Titled” always bring the fun so expect to see them do what they do best – slay out.
5) And of course, a potentially massive change in the meta.
It wouldn’t be a Fortnite tournament without the potential for a massive egg-on-face moment. Epic are dropping season 8 on Friday which, of course, is the day the tournament starts. We hope Epic have learned their lesson with this, as serious meta changes have wrecked past tournaments – case in point the Winter Royale LAN, where the infamous infinity blade proved to be a game breaking addition to the game.
Planes are being removed which should change the meta, especially in a competitive sense when competitors take to flying around in circles avoiding combat. There will also be new items and changes in the maps, with rumours of AI controlled “snakes” finding their way on to the map and an Earthquake mechanic, something that is already visible in the game world.
Whatever happens, it’s sure to get people talking – let’s just hope it’s for the right reasons.
ESL Katowice Fortnite – How To Watch
So who do you think will win the ESL Katowice Fortnite tournament? Will the introduction of season 8 ruin it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.