Not long ago Fortnite held a special themed tournament where players could compete in the Marvel Knockout game mode for a chance to win the Daredevil skin before it came to the skin shop. While this tournament wasn’t meant to be a premier event, the results showcase how Fortnite can sometimes overlook the basics.
Fortnite Daredevil Cup Results
The Fortnite Daredevil Cup was a series of tournaments played across all regions, open to any trio that wanted to join and play. With seven open regions, we would expect seven teams to have achieved first place in their respective localities, resulting in 21 first place winners.
However, what ended up happening was the 25 teams ended up with perfect win rates, winning 10/10 matches and placing at the top of their servers, and all but six of them ended up with the first place finish they might have expected.
That means of the 75 players who had earned a perfect record throughout this tournament, 57 ended up placing below their expectations due to a non-interactive tie-breaker. And of the seven regional tournaments, four of them had their first place decided via this kind of tie-breaker.
Fortnite Daredevil Cup tie-breaker problem
While it’s not uncommon for tie-breakers to be used from time to time, it’s very rare for tie-breakers to be the default method for deciding first place. Additionally, the specific method for determining placement for this specific Fortnite tournament was each team’s average eliminations.
In theory this means that the better team, the one more capable of getting kills and who had more dominant wins, would naturally rise to the top. However, the format played has too many random variables for that to be applicable. For instance, the matchmaking must have allowed players of widely varying skill levels to play against one another, otherwise there likely wouldn’t have been so many perfect scores.
A team who played more less skilled teams would naturally have more eliminations than a team who earned a perfect score playing against more equally skilled teams. In that case, the tie-breaker wouldn’t necessarily place the better team in first place, but simply the team with more favorable matchmaking.
Secondarily, this format randomizes the powers used during each match. If a team should end up playing more games where defensive powers were used, as opposed to more offensive powers, the deciding factor would yet again be which team was favored by randomness, and not which team was actually better.
Why excessive tie-breakers are a problem for competitive Fortnite
Another issue with this is that a tournament’s primary function is to identify who the best team in a given region is. By structuring the tournament in such a way that resulted in so many ties we can’t really say anything one way or the other about the top players.
The fix for this would have been simple too. Just make the top players play against the others in a second phase. Even having the top 8 teams from each region play a simple double-elimination sub-tournament would have not only been more clear about who won, but would have resulted in an exciting grand-finals section which could have become an entertaining stream for Fortnite.
The one upside for this Fortnite tournament
Fortunately, the Fortnite Daredevil cup was simply a fun tournament that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously by anyone. There was a monetary prize up for grabs, in addition to a free skin, but it wasn’t at the same numbers of the more iconic Fortnite Champion Series.
It’s fair to say that Fortnite tournaments that are bigger, and more focused on competitive expression, have both higher expectations and greater care placed into them.
Nonetheless, if you find yourself in a position to run a tournament, for Fortnite or anything else, then please take the time to consider how your tournament rules might negatively affect the outcome.Published 16 Oct 2020, 21:12 IST