Fortnite Fall Skirmish is the new ongoing official tournament series by Epic Games that will take place between 21 September and 26 October. Fall Skirmish, as everyone would expect from a popular eSports event, has a huge prize pool of $10,000,000 throughout this 6-week tournament and will be streamed online through YouTube and Twitch. But unlike other conventional eSports tournaments by Blizzard and Riot Games, Epic Games has some remarkably distinct event style, which normal people would not expect from a $10,000,000 prized tournament.
Fall Skirmish is a 6-week tournament held on every Friday. 100 participants are put into 5 groups of 20 players. Players will score for their own group during different competitions throughout the tournament and the 5 groups are competing against each other for the final victory of Fall Skirmish. For each week, a new set of rules rotates out to add into the traditional competitive format, for example, in Kingpin (the name of Week 3) a new rule was set to give double points in the next round to the duo teams with 8 or more eliminations or victory royale. In addition, a trial format of the competition will be carried out during each week, for example, the Spin and Win (the trial of Week 2) asked the participants to make cosplay and music within the week. The winners of the battle royale and trial competitions will both score for their groups, as well as be rewarded with thousands of dollars in prizes.
As Epic Games is still trying out new formats and style for the upcoming Fortnite World Cup with Fall Skirmish, the event still seems quite fuzzy to the audience sometimes—as you can tell from the above chaotic competition format. We may not understand why they put the 100 participants into 5 groups, or why pro players should compete by cosplaying. But this is exactly why Epic Games is different. They are trying to pioneer a new area of eSports.
Epic Games is trying to divert Fortnite from a simple competitive game. Victory royale and eliminations alone will no longer dominate the play style, instead, the new formats introduced throughout Summer and Fall Skirmish will also bring in huge prizes to mediocre level players or players who are good at cosplaying or music, the gaming aspects that were not included in eSports tournaments before.
Fortnite Fall Skirmish also has a distinctive broadcasting style, compared to similar events like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Global Invitational. The casters casually wear t-shirts instead of formal suits, and they just laugh at any individual player’s loss as if they are chit-chatting with friends.
Tyler Erzberger from ESPN eSports points out that Epic Games is creating a new way of competitive gaming without being dominated by huge eSports organizations and sponsors. They want to be open and welcoming so families and kids can also enjoy the competitive side of Fortnite.
As Epic games should gather enough experience from the two Skirmishes in Summer and Autumn, we should expect a much bigger success in the upcoming Fortnite World Cup later this year.
Tyler, E. (2018). Epic Games caps Fortnite summer just the way it wanted. ESPN eSports. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/eSports/story/_/id/24579592/epic-games-caps-fortnite-summer-just-way-wanted
1) Screen captured from Official Fortnite YouTube Channel Fall Skirmish Week 3 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p49hrx7K4Zk 30:48
2) Screen captured from Official Fortnite YouTube Channel Fall Skirmish Week 3 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p49hrx7K4Zk 38:26
3) Screen captured from Official PUBG YouTube Channel PGI 2018 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2jzfJ97W-Y 31:29
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