Occasionally, Fortnite pros will announce where they intend to land and what loot route they intend to take for a tournament game online before or during the game. But why would they do this? And should they be allowed to?
The Fortnite competitive scene struggles for legitimacy
One of the issues with this is that competitive Fortnite is already seen as unimportant or illegitimate by a number of people. Some of the reasons behind this perception are unavoidable and not the responsibility of the competitive Fortnite community, such as Epic Games gearing the title toward a more casual audience instead of supporting competitive Fortnite.
But some of the ideology behind this perception stems from the behavior of the competitive community. The best of the best Fortnite pros have long been accused of soft collusion, whether it involves simple stuff like avoiding one another’s landing spots or coordinating loot paths to avoid running into each other at the same POI.
These small acts of collusion result in the pros avoiding early elimination and help them get to the end game more consistently, a benefit which newcomers would not have access to. They also provide information about who is likely to come from each location, giving pros another angle to prepare for a fight.
What do pros have to gain by publishing their landing spots?
One interpretation about why pros might publish their landing spots publicly is that it further circumvents the penalties for soft collusion. Rather than the pros getting together in a shadowy room to decide who goes where, they are simply announcing their intentions from the rooftops and expecting everyone to act accordingly.
This has the added benefit of possibly scaring off newcomers as well. If you are new to the game and discover that a world class player will be landing at your intended POI you may decide to relocate, effectively forfeiting that POI and its loot to the pro player, further increasing their chances of victory.
Does this need to be addressed? And if so, how?
Given the implications behind making this kind of statement it seems bizarre that Epic Games hasn’t taken more action to address it. Imagine, for instance, if a professional American football team’s coach announced in advance what play they intended to use throughout most of the first quarter. Whether that announcement was genuine or some sort of trick, it would be using an out-of-game element to affect the game.
Fans of the sport would not be happy with it, and fans of Fortnite shouldn’t be happy when their pros do it either. The only thing that should determine a player's success or failure in Fortnite are the events that happen in-game. Everything else is an unwelcome addition.