As the competitive Fortnite scene really starts to heat up with the first round of Epic run tournaments starting billed as the “Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series”, we thought it was a good time to produce a handy guide of sorts to get you up to speed and let you know everything that is going on at the highest levels of the game.
As with the other games we’re covering, we’ll cover everything there is to know about the competitive Fortnite scene. Once you’ve read this, you’ll be a fountain of knowledge on all things in the world of competitive Fortnite.
Things like who’s staking a name for themselves as the best player? The best team? We will also look at what tournaments are out there and the current competitive meta.
In part one, we will cover all the official and unofficial tournaments: the formats, the highlights, winners, and losers, as well as how you can get involved so you can test it out and challenge yourself against the best and win prizes.
Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series
So the first of the Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series was held last Saturday and if you didn’t know, it ended up being an absolute disaster. The reasons were myriad and in many ways foreseeable if you have been keeping up with developments in the nascent competitive scene but let’s take a look at what happened, how it happened and where we go from here.
To tell the story, let me take you back to Saturday afternoon. As we were approaching the start time to the first tournament in Epic’s recording-breaking game, the only information we had officially from the developers was this.
A five-line press release.
As we got closer to the event, more information started coming out. We learned that the tournament would be played across 10 games and that the first Duo to win 2 games would win the tournament and $50,000. If no team was able to win 2 games, the duo with the most kills would be declared the winner. Conversely, a separate $6,500 was also put up for grabs in each match for the duo with the most kills.
That is pretty much what we expected, no custom rules or game types. Epic is desperate to keep the public and competitive game the same and has been tweaking the meta in the public game to better serve competitive Fortnite. This is all well and good. But, the way you play when you play when messing around in public and the way you play when there is $50,000 on the line is very different and it seems crazy Epic haven’t realised this yet.
Competitive Fortnite Is Off to a Disastrous Start
To say that what transpired over the weekend was disastrous would be an understatement. Perhaps, the most glaring of all issues was the lag, which made the game unplayable for everyone. The games were played on the NA East servers but, what amplified the issue was the way participants played. A huge number of players were still alive in the late game and with all those players building the strain on the net code was just too much. Many died from the storm unable to move because of the lag. It was a sad sight to see.
The next big issue was the casters, from at times having no idea who was competing to laughing at players dying in the storm because of lag. It just wasn’t a good look.
Finally, the presentation was not so good. Epic hasn’t yet developed a spectator mode to capture the games. So, instead audiences had no choice but to watch from the participant’s streams. At one point, viewers even saw an excel sheet with links to the streamer’s broadcasts.
After just 4 games, Epic had no choice but to call the tournament off and it took another hour for them to declare a winner. For a game praised by many for its polish, it was weird how Epic messed the supposed debut of competitive Fortnite.
What’s going to happen forward is anyone’s guess. The server issues could be a long-term problem for a game that we must remind ourselves was never designed to have 100 players running around. What we do know is that Epic will not be giving up anytime soon with the series set to return this Saturday. At the very least, we should expect a new ruleset.
If you like being annoyed you can watch the full tournament here.
The Unofficial Tournaments
Epic sanctioned tournaments have taken a while to get off the ground and going by this weekend it could be a while longer before they overtake what’s already on offer, namely Keemstar’s Friday Fortnite and NerdOut’s Anything Goes Tournament. Due to the lack of custom games, these events have played a variation on the squad game mode. Players partner up vs another pair and they battle it out for the most kills in a two-legged knockout tournament. Final placement in the game does not matter.
The full ruleset can be found here.
UMG/Keemstars Friday Fortnite Tournament
The longest running tournament and most prestigious is UMG/Keemstars weekly Friday Fortnite Tournament. For the last 10 weeks, top streamers and content creators have been battling it to take the top prize of $20,000.
Most of the top players have played in this tournament and because of the ruleset prioritizing kills over placement, there have been some absolutely amazing displays of skill on show. And with UMG’s slick broadcasts it’s been well worth tuning in for.
Going into this game Ninja and his partner King Richard were down by 8 kills after game 1 against FaZe boys Tfue and Cloak. Ninja pulled off an amazing 23 kills to ultimately draw and send the match into a 3rd game tie breaker!
This match is what it’s all about. 4 of the best players. A comeback, and a nail-biting tie-breaking game. The full match can be seen here.
Now, one for FaZe. Tfue and Cloak went into match 2 a whopping 15 kills down.
A poor showing by their opponents TSM Daequan and CaMiLLs in that game and a monstrous performance by the FaZe boys gave us one of the greatest performances in Fortnite history. Check it out here.
1st Week — NICKMERCS and SypherPK
2nd Week — Typical Gamer and SoaR Thief
3rd Week — FaZe Tfue and Cloak
4th Week — Team SoloMid’s Myth and Hamlinz
5th Week — FaZe Tfue and Cloak
6th Week — Team Secret’s Domentos and Mongraal
7th Week — FaZe Tfue and Cloak
8th Week — Ninja and Hysteria
9th Week – FaZe Tfue and Cloak
10th Week – King Richards and AimBotCalvin
Nerd Out Anything Goes Tournament
NerdOut may seem a strange choice to run a tournament, and if you don’t know who they are its because you are probably at least 15 years old. They are most famous for producing songs inspired by games and movies including classics like this. Yeah, the less said the better.
However we’re here because of their tournaments and in that respect they have done a pretty good job. With a cash prize of $20,000, they have been able to attract the top players and put on some fantastic matches. Nerd Out have also tweaked the rules slightly. Players are allowed to sabotage each other by destroying bases and ramps which gives some of the matches a little extra spice.
Ninja and Tfue are becoming the Messi vs Ronaldo debate of the Fortnite world. Everyone has an opinion on who is the best. You can Watch Tfue sabotaging Ninja in a match in week 2 that cemented this rivalry.
1st Week – Wildcat and Marksman
2nd Week – FaZe Tfue and Cloak
The Nerd Out tournaments are held every Sunday and worth watching. The only drawback is the overall presentation is a bit lacking compared to UMG’s offering.
How You Can Get Involved
At the moment? It’s not easy. Unless you have a couple of million subscribers on YouTube or Twitch, which we’re going to assume you don’t. But, competitive Fortnite is young, and Epic Games has promised that they are planning on hosting competitions for players at all levels, so there’s still plenty of hope.
Additionally, there are a couple of ways for you to test yourself against better players and win some prizes. Case in point, you can get involved with the aforementioned Nerd Out Tournaments. They run a series called the Golden Ticket Tournaments with a $2000 cash prize and a ticket to the premier tournament — Anything Goes. For more information and to keep up to date with everything going on check out their Twitter.
UMG, the creators of the Keemstar Friday, are also a long-running competitive platform. There you can wager small amounts of money against other players in one-off matches. The winner is the player with the most kills. They also run knockout tournaments with small cash prizes.
If you want to improve your skills, “Solo Snipes” is the way to go. Bear in mind, Solo Snipes is currently only available on PC and requires Discord.
If you’re serious about competing, these games are the best for getting you in shape for when Epic Games start opening the tournaments to everybody.
Be sure to check in with us next week for part two of your guide to competitive Fortnite.