One of the world's best players has announced his sudden retirement from competitive Fortnite. It follows the revelation that the competitive prize support for this season has been significantly reduced.
On Twitter, Zayt talked about how even winning multiple major competitive Fortnite events isn't enough to pay rent. This has been part of a running trend, as Epic has seemingly closed off players' potential to make a living through their competitive performance.
Will this spell the end for competitive Fortnite?
A competitive scene can exist for a game despite the developing organization's wishes. Perhaps the best example is Super Smash Bros.
Melee has maintained a thriving competitive community for decades despite Nintendo actively attempting to shut it down. However, Fortnite isn't like Melee.
It's a game under constant development as new features and updates are released consistently over a prolonged period. Players, both competitive and casual, share opinions about the game, and Epic can change and tweak elements to keep people invested.
But this has always been a one-sided relationship. Epic has used the competitive scene for Fortnite in the past, using events to market their game, and selling digital goods based on professional players.
Epic has rarely done anything to directly support competitive Fortnite in any way that wasn't immediately profitable, and this short-sighted policy may ultimately end competitive Fortnite.
Why play in a competitive scene that isn’t respected?
For competitive players, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to stick with Fortnite. This latest season shows how Epic doesn’t even seem to want a competitive scene as if they are actively driving players out.
For now, anyone aiming to make money with Fortnite can only really do so through the production of content, streaming, and sponsorships by effectively marketing Fortnite and other products.
The competitive scene has minimal support from the company behind the game, both in prizes and game development. With such a bleak outlook for the many talented competitive Fortnite players, it’s possible that competitive Fortnite could be over by the end of the year.