How does one follow up yesterday’s post?
A good question and I don’t have an answer so I simply won’t. Instead, we’re gonna veer off into some random topic completely and totally unrelated.
How about competitive Fortnite? Yeah, that sounds good.
If you haven’t heard, there’s this little game called Fortnite that’s starting to make a splash in the world of esports. Something about the developer, Epic Games, planning to drop a cool 100 million in prize money over the course of 2018 and 2019.
That is a large sum of money. Combine that with the absurd popularity of the game itself (according to Epic Games there are 125 million Fortnite players with 40 million playing at least once a month) and you’ve got a recipe for the next big thing in esports. Now if only they could find a competitive format that wasn’t so awful.
Currently, the most popular tournament in Fortnite is Friday Fortnite with UMG. Its format is this: two teams of two queue together into a random matchmade game of Fortnite with the only goal being to get more kills than the other team, then they queue up and do it again. Whichever team has the most kills after the two games wins the match and advances with the loser being dropped into a lower bracket and if they lose again they are eliminated from the tourney.
Two big ole problems with that. One is that by using random matchmade games in a competitive format you make the game not about outplaying your opponent, but rather about finding as many bad players as you can and obliterating them. Imagine if NBA games were decided by how many times Lebron could dunk on high-schoolers. Secondly, by using kills as the only metric to determine the winner you remove a critical aspect of the game, survival. In an ordinary game of Fortnite, the winner isn’t decided by who got the most kills, it’s the last man standing. Competitive Fortnite should reflect that to at least some extent, and I say some because if competitive Fortnite determined winners based solely on who lived the longest you’d have a game of glorified hide and seek where viewers sat silently whilst the random placement of the circle determined who won and lost.
So for an ideal competitive format you need something that pits the best players against each other and not random nobodies, encourages players to be aggressive and make plays, and also rewards players for surviving till the end. What you need is a point system where players earn points for getting kills and also for being one of the last few alive. Like you get 1 point for each kill, and 5 for being the last team alive, 4 for second last, 3 for third, etc you get the point. Something like this would allow a team that pops off and gets a 20+ kill game but doesn’t make it till the end a good reward for outplaying so many opponents but also reward players for designing strategies that allowed them to live longer. Obviously, the actual point values can be tinkered with, but that seems to be the best way to ensure that Fortnite is an esport that has depth as well as excitement. What do I know though, I’ve only been watching various esports for 8 or so years now. Not like I would know what would be any good. Just some thoughts for how things should look going forward for this new and if I’m being totally honest really cool game/esport. Later.
Image sourced from Epic Games