In theory, solo Fortnite competitions are the only way to determine the best players in the world. In practice, however, it doesn’t tend to play out that way. There are too many elements that are out of a player’s control. Sometimes, one lucky shot can end a player’s game and their chance at a high placement.
On top of the RNG, we have teaming, stream sniping, and other forms of skirting the rules. This always happens in high-priced solo competitions, and was on full display during the FNCS Grand Finals, yesterday.
We’ll start with this clip from Adonis. He had a coach in his call – as many players do – but this coach seemed to know a lot about the player Adonis was facing. Watch as Tfue marvels at how much information Adonis’ coach has – down to how many materials and shields his opponent is carrying.
The information didn’t do Adonis much good, as he died in this engagement and ended up finishing in 98th place – seven places behind Stretch, who didn’t even play the final round.
This is undoubtedly not the only instance of stream sniping that we saw during the FNCS – just the only one that we’ve seen caught on camera. Teaming was another common issue, however.
Wolfiez, a popular EU pro, tweeted a clip of his game crashing during one of his matches. This was very unfortunate for him, but he later deleted the tweet because of what was visible in the background: a conversation and call with fellow pro, LeTsHe, that occurred after both players ended their streams (while they were still competing).
In the screenshot, Wolfiez also had a stream up in the background. This isn’t proof of anything nefarious, however, as pros routinely watch other streams once they are eliminated. The call and conversation isn’t proof of anything either, but it shows the fine line between sharing information and outright teaming.
We even saw this brought up when it comes to fighting your friends off of spawn. Clix and Blakeps landed with one another, ignoring each other and splitting the drop for most of the game. Clix wanted to push people during the last two games, so he attacked the closest player to him: friend and fellow pro, Blakeps.
As Clix accurately stated on Twitter, “If we don’t fight, we get accused of splitting the drop and teaming, and if we fight it’s griefing.” He later went so far as to say that he shouldn’t have pushed Blake, which seems counter-intuitive in a Battle Royale game where you land with another player six times in a row.
Fortnite solo competitions are littered with situations like this. Duos is only a little bit better, to be fair, which could be why so many pros look forward to Trios – it’s hard to split a drop when six people are landing there every game.
We aren’t calling for action in any of these cases; we’re simply highlighting the mentality that’s so prevalent in Solos – ignoring people you know, coaches stream sniping, splitting drops, etc. The hectic endgames are second to none in solo Fortnite tournaments, but the game’s natural progression leads to situations like this.
It makes sense for two or three tier-one pros to not want to fight one another off of spawn every game. This is why we think a 60-player Grand Finals would be perfect – more places to land and less punishment for fighting. We’ve seen this play out in Ninja Battles, and think it would be perfect for all modes. Unfortunately, it seems like Epic is committed to the 100-player model pioneered by PUBG.