Anyone who has watched Fortnite scrims prior to seeing the fiasco that was Week 1 of Epic’s Fortnite Summer Skirmish knew exactly what was bound to happen. Any multiplayer game is likely to run into issues and snags when trying out more ambitious tournaments. And lag is certainly expected when players are compacted down into a small area with nonstop action, but nothing like what happened on Summer Skirmish last Saturday.
If you haven’t seen the teams and their placements already, you can check them out here, but the event’s results are not the subject of this article — our subject revolves around the insane lag that went down Saturday afternoon, summed up perfectly by this one clip of HighDistortion, and how this can be fixed moving forward.
It is tourneys like these that make you wonder if Epic had ever seen what happened when a bunch of pros get into the same server together, let alone when it is teams of two. They have given out custom server keys before, and this exact thing happened. The problem with this tourney was not the lag, but rather the inability to see the lag, and do something about it in the first place (e.g. capping materials, disabling C4 initially).
Now Epic knew they had messed up only four rounds into the tourney, and they proceeded to cancel the tourney with no clear winner, and the reason being that they simply couldn’t justify this continuing. It was the right move, and ultimately it wasn’t a disaster for Epic. Most fans were calling for it to be cancelled after the first or second round, and so they got what they hoped for. Some were disappointed, saying it was Epic’s fault. While it was their first big “pro” tourney, they definitely should have seen it coming. Nevertheless, this is an eight-week event, so you have to wonder what they will do next weekend. By the looks of it, it will be a solo-style tourney, which shouldn’t get too chaotic, as solos don’t tend to get as bad with lag towards the final circles, mainly because more players will die quicker than they would in duos or squads, given they could be revived instead of instantly dying.
If this next weekend’s tourney is indeed solo’s, then that will give Epic a week to figure out how they will manage the next tourney. The community has come up with creative ideas to solve the issue of players camping until the end with a number of different scoring systems, including this post on Reddit by u/aircs, which factors in both position and kills into an overall score system that should solve the camping problem.
Another idea comes from Reddit user athlete__, who says the best way to format these tournaments whilst eliminating RNG would be to do a solely kill-based competition, where five games would be played. The user also further suggests that players should automatically have grey pistols, to eliminate beginning game RNG, and either get an increase in materials harvested, or award 50 materials per kill, thus if a team is attacked by another team right after a fight, they at least stand a fighting chance.
These are all changes to the format of the tournament, however we could also see Epic messing around and experimenting with more mechanical aspects of the game: like material caps and limits to spam building in the final circles. While these might be less appreciated by the community, it is necessary if Epic wants to advance the competitive scene in Fortnite any further. Either way, fans should definitely expect some major changes to come in terms of how the game is played, and the addition and removal of different metas within the game.
In my opinion, coming in with a competitive background, I believe the best format that will be beneficial for the future of the community is a system like the one shown above. One that factors in kills and positioning. That way it prevents people from camping, but it also puts a limit to others running around like mad men kill-hunting. That being said, Epic isn’t likely to implement something as complex as that scoring system just yet, but something similar may be enough to help put the competitive scene on track to be esports-ready.