Its been a long time coming, but the Fortnite Winter Royale NA Finals are here. Qualification was over 3 weeks ago and the EU finals have been in gone. In that time we have had a major patch and the start of Season 7 so the competitive Fortnite we will see on Tuesday is going to be different from anything that has come before. The finals will be taking place over 2 days and with $500,000 on the line and some of the best players the game has to offer – it’s going to be a must watch.
Taking place over 2 days and with $500,000 on the line, the Fortnite Winter Royale NA Finals have been a long time coming.
1. Walking In A Winter Wonderland
The world of Fortnite waits for no man, or tournament as it happens.
A lot has changed in the 10 days since the EU final of the Winter Royale. Season 7 is now upon us with its Winter themed map, aeroplanes, heavy shotguns, double barrel vault, clinger vault, those buggy zip wires and honestly we could go on that’s just some of the gameplay changes. We haven’t even got to the “esport” mode, which was also tweaked(but more on that later..)
These changes obviously raise issues around the fairness of a competition, if you qualify for a football tournament and turn up and get handed a hockey stick you might feel a little peeved.
So what can we expect? Again this is tough… everything could be vaulted by tomorrow, making this a waste of time, but we’ll try our best… First the Airplanes. These are both OP and a metal box of death. Find yourself boxed in with one of these firing at you from above, its deadly AP rounds can make short work of any walls you put up. On the other hand, from the plane, you are a massive target that can be seen and heard from miles around. Due to the fact that this is a solo game mode, increasing the number of “teams” against you, we reckon these won’t have too much of an impact on proceedings.
One addition more than likely to be vaulted is the zip wires, while a nice addition and fun option for moving around the map. the bugs present in them just make them too much of a liability. The hitbox for them is all over the place and there have even been instances of players getting thrown off the map.
With all that being said the reaction to Season 7 is largely a positive one, guns feel in a good place after the upgrade and introduction of the new pump shotguns. Plus the vaulting of the double barrel and clingers is welcome.
One’s thing is for sure, all these changes sure keep players on their toes.
2. Its A Blizzard
What format then? In case you’ve forgotten in the qualifiers and EU Finals player were rewarded for their aggressive play by receiving +50 health or shield for every elimination. It was a good system and helped give players a reason to push especially in the early game. For the NA Finals, they are going even further. Giving players matts for every elimination and changing the caps. Previously it was capped at 500 for each matt but it’s now been adjusted to 700 wood, 500 brick and 300 metal. Eliminating an enemy will grant you 100/50/50 resources AND the +50 health or shield.
They have also implemented a new mechanic called Storm Surge, depending on how many players are alive in certain circles the storm will move faster than before. There are 3 points it can be activated and they are:-
If more than 70 players are remaining after Circle #2 closes.
If more than 50 players are remaining after Circle #4 closes.
If more than 30 players are remaining after Circle #6 closes.
This all means games will be faster and with more action. Though a case could be made now for actually slowing down the late game as changes like the moving circle into previous storm zones, and continually moving circles give players and casters no time to breathe.
The format for the Winter Royale NA Finals will be:-
Victory Royale: 3 Points
2nd-3rd Place: 2 Points
4th-10th Place: 1 Point
7+ Eliminations: 3 Points
5-6 Eliminations: 2 Points
3-4 Eliminations: 1 Point
Big Bonus: After 7 Eliminations, +1 Point will be added to each elimination.
3. Who’s Going To Be There?
Well.. the 200 best players in North America. The open qualification means that every single player is here on merit and undoubtedly new stars will make their name over the two days. That’s not to say some of our favourites aren’t here, the majority of Team Liquid and Ghost Gaming will be making an appearance and TSM boys Myth and Kaysid will also be here. Ninja also secured a place in qualification and with this being a solo tournament you can bet the competitor in him fancies his chances of doing well.
Missing out is FaZe Tfue, Cloak and Natehill. Cloak didn’t attempt to qualify while Tfue and Natehill simply failed to qualify. It will be a less interesting tournament for their absence.
Atlantis Mitr0, an EU player, will be looking to take it to the NA players, even if he will be playing with a 100+ ping. He has beef with Ghost going back to the Fall Skirmish LAN and will be hoping to make life hard for them.
Keep an eye on Zexrow, he qualified for both the NA and EU finals and will be wanting to make a statement performance.
4. With Winter Comes Sundown
Catching a quick early morning flight back out to LA to help out with the #WinterRoyale broadcast on Tuesday and Wednesday!
Can't wait for the matches they are going to be amazing 😊 pic.twitter.com/5S5CQB1EdQ
— SUND0WN (@xSUND0WN) December 8, 2018
Those who tuned in to the EU Finals and the Fall Skirmish will have noticed the presence of “Esport coordinator” Sundown. He has been a welcome addition to the casting team providing insightful commentary and keeping up with the action which is no easy feat in a BR. The community has fallen in love with Sundown which makes it all the better when he confirmed he will be back on stream for the NA Finals. Joining him will be veteran caster – Alex “GoldenBoy” Mendez who has casted Halo, Call of Duty and most recently Overwatch.
Giving a chance and developing talent is key to the future of the game. Long may it continue.
5. Fortnite Winter Royale NA Finals – Schedule
The tournament runs for two days starting this Tuesday. Day 1 will be split into two heats featuring 100 players and 5 games. The top 50 players will move on to Day 2 Grand Finals.
NA Finals Day 1 Tuesday 11th December
3:00pm – 6:00pm EST: Heat 1
7:00pm – 10:00pm EST: Heat 2
NA Finals Day 2 Wednesday 12th December
5:00pm – 9:00pm EST: Grand Finals
Do you think the Season 7 changes will have a big effect on the Winter Royale NA Finals? Can Ninja win it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.