Note: I want to emphasize this statement for everyone who reads the article: There’s a difference between “this event was better than the rest!” and this event is solid, well rounded, stable, fair, and legitimate in its result. The article is pointing out that this is still an unfair, unstable competitive scene. Just because you had a great time or your favorite streamer did well does not mean that people weren’t cheating, lagging, or teaming and that any of those things are okay in a competitive scene. Thanks for reading!
With the Fortnite Winter Royale Qualifiers behind us, we can now begin to reflect on exactly what took place.
First, let’s take a look at the format and tournament details. Players were to queue into a special event, the Winter Royale, within the game. The solo event would play out like a standard game would apart from the scoring system laid on top of it.
- Victory Royale: +3 Points
- Top 3: +1 Point
- Top 10: +1 Point
- 7 Eliminations: +1 Point
- 5 Eliminations: +1 Point
- 3 Eliminations: +1 Point
This format would allow players to earn a maximum of 8 points per match and 5 for coming in second or third as long as they’d made at least 7 eliminations.
Players were not limited in the number of games they could play, but were allotted several windows in which to attempt to attain a higher score. For instance, the North American Qualifier held sessions from 1-4pm ET, 5-8pm ET, and 9-12am ET. The highest score from the three sessions would be the one selected and put against all other participants scores. At the end of both days of qualifiers and all the sessions, the 200 players from each region with the highest scores would be considered qualified pending a “survey.”
Those participating were experiencing the opportunity to change their lives. A $1 million dollar total prize pool, the chance to make a name for yourself, to draw in an organization willing to pay a salary, sponsorships, and more. Unfortunately, it wasn’t left up to purely talent or may the best players win.
Now we’ll discuss what occurred during the games. Many players experienced laggy server connections, rubberbanding, delayed results on shots, and some even timed out completely. I remind you, this is for the chance at slice of $1 million and more. Outside of the server issues, there were cases of full-blown cheating within the qualifier. Players out to ruin the chances of others, running the map with aimbots and wallhacks.
Add to this the players who found a friend to team up with in a solo event, helping each other to secure more kills and higher placements. Sure this can be sniffed out, but with a team good enough at hiding it alongside a few participants able to rotate through the matches, people can slip through the cracks.
Imagine you’re the player with 6 kills (2 points) and you’re in the top 10 (1 point) and an aimbotter strikes you down only to find out minutes later that you missed qualification by one point. Maybe Epic can make sure the cheaters who qualified don’t make it, but they’ll never be able to give those players their chances back. The chance to prove themselves, to show their mom, dad, friends, family, that their dream can come true. That the hundreds or thousands of hours they’ve spent perfecting their craft was worth it, that they could forge a better life for themselves by being the very best at the game. Instead, they played on a laggy server, were killed by an aimbotter, and were forced to battle a duo in a solo event.
It’s relatively safe to assume this event killed dreams. A boy or a girl, a man or woman has decided this was it. This was their shot, their chance to prove the hours were worth it and to continue this path. Instead they were thrown into an online server with a poor connection against cheaters and never given a fair shot.
Some might make the case, “the conditions were the same for everyone” and that would be a poor argument even if it were true. Some servers ran smoothly, some games didn’t have cheaters in them, and most games didn’t consist of teamers. But some did. Some players would have to experience more than one cheater, a majority of laggy servers, and take that 1v2 battle with a shrinking zone at their back.
It’s a dishonor to the game’s community, the players, the competitors, and fans. The integrity of the competition, the fairness, the legitimacy of Fortnite’s current state of competitive play is not in question, as there is no question. It is downright erroneous.
While I congratulate those who made it, I feel and sympathize for those who didn’t get their fair shot.