Fortnite recently made the announcement that they would be pulling the Storm Scout Sniper Rifle from their competitive playlists after receiving community feedback.
Previously, the Storm Scout Sniper Rifle could only be found in Fortnite if someone purchased it from Lexa at the Hunter’s Haven for 500 gold. Despite this steep price, the Storm Scout Sniper Rifle must have had some effect on competitive Fortnite or else it never would have been removed.
Did the Storm Scout Sniper Rifle give players a competitive edge in Fortnite?
It’s interesting that the Storm Scout Sniper has been singled out for removal from competitive Fortnite given the fact that the game frequently features strong mythic-tier weapons for players to fight over. In the previous season, even the most broken superpowers remained in the competitive format throughout the season’s runtime. Are Fortnite players to believe that the Storm Scout Sniper is significantly stronger than Thor’s Hammer?
Looking purely at the stats, the Storm Scout Sniper doesn’t seem to be significantly stronger than the other snipers currently available. The Storm Scout Sniper deals 85 damage per shot, and 215 per headshot with a six round magazine. It’s mostly underwhelming, so it’s likely that the weapon’s stats had little to do with its removal from competitive Fortnite.
However, when zoomed in with the Storm Scout Sniper players are presented with a map which shows their location, the storm’s coverage, the current circle, and the upcoming circle. This allowed players with the Storm Scout Sniper to position themselves better than the other players, and to make early moves towards the circle during late game moments.
While having advanced knowledge of the storm seems useful, was it broken enough to warrant removal from competitive playlists? It may not be that it was too strong, in this case, but rather that the competitive Fortnite community simply felt like this gameplay mechanic was bad for the health of the game at a competitive level.
Epic listens to their community feedback
The Storm Scout Sniper might not be the most overpowered weapon in the game. But, removing it from the competitive playlist does show that Epic is willing to pay attention to the competitive Fortnite community, and address their needs when they can.
For a long time, Epic’s policy regarding competitive Fortnite was to profit off it when possible, but to otherwise ignore it. The beginning of Fortnite Season 5 brought with it worries that Epic was going to continue ignoring their competitive scene. However, recent developments from Epic have suggested that they have decided to give the scene some much needed attention.
The Fortnite Champion Series starts in just a few days. Hopefully, teams that had the Storm Scout Sniper as part of their core strategy will be able to adapt to these changes in time.