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Esports Fortnite

Fortnite: Season of decision making

Season 6 is in full swing and new strategies are being made every minute; and with a new map it is imperative for players to adapt to what is being implemented. Becoming mechanically good at any situation is a hallmark of a good player. Currently in Season 6 Fortnite rewards more for decision making rather than mechanical skill. Playing safe and taking third party plays is what the meta is right now for competitive. Players are mad about third parties interrupting a build fight and most importantly no kill incentives in skirmishes. Pros such as Jake “Poach” Brumleve from Team Liquid has made it clear that skirmishes still have no kill incentives.

@LiquidPoach // ScreenShot

Issues with Decision Making

During the Skirmish, both summer and fall, there is at least one match that ends in a Heal Off. A Heal Off is when two or more parties out heal each other when the final circle collapses. It is unexciting and horrible for viewers but it is the safest way to play. Players who have high ground have an absurd advantage to those who are below. Unless the ground player has a lot of ammo or some sort of vertical mobility item the odds of them winning are slim to none, unless they try to out heal the other person.

Even for mid-game, taking build fights during that time can result in putting the player at a huge disadvantage. Using over half of your resources for one build fight can set you up for failure. As end game nears you have less building materials than you originally had, took some damage and have less ammo. Going into late game you need every advantage you can get. Taking less fights, taking third party shots and avoiding players all together until end game is what the safest and arguably smartest way to play competitively is.

Aggressive in Casuals, Defensive in Competitive

Players use a lot of resources in build fights, both building material, ammo and healing items. When both players are equally skilled the fight is drawn out longer than it needs to in a competitive game. In public matches we see players such as TSM Daequan and FaZe Tfue push around players and not letting go of their “W” key.

Jumping in to 3rd party // In-game Shot @cosinejoe

It is exciting to see our pros pub stomp, and get into crazy build fights. In Skirmish matches, even Fortnite Pro League matches, players are playing defensively and not racking up kills. The reason is that there is still no incentive. Kill incentive in Skirmishes are a small fix for a bigger issue.


Aggressive in casual matches // In-game shot by @cosinejoe


Players are doing everything they can to come out on top, sometimes resorting to Heal Offs and third party fights. In casual matches there are negatives to hiding the whole match, and yet there is no penalty for playing hyper-aggressively either. Pros take advantage of the defensive players, knowing they have nothing to lose to act aggressively and it makes their streams exciting to watch. That is why we see Tfue and Daequan rack up 20 kill matches. When in Competitive we see the majority of pros who are known to rack up high kill games consistently walk away with two kills if they are lucky. There is a lot to lose in competitive which makes for a defensive game play. The players who are trying to get the kill point bonus are at a loss mid to late game because they don’t have the materials and resources to contest.

The game at its core rewards more decision making than mechanical skill. The issue with the lack of aggression in Skirmishes isn’t the format of the tournament itself but the game itself. Avoid fights till end-game and make sure to have a campfire ready with a med-kit if you want a better shot at winning. Playing safe and healing is what the competitive meta is at the moment. What could be changed to shift this meta? Let us know in the comments below!


Featured image courtesy of @Cosinejoe

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