The IO and Dr. Slone are plotting their grand return to Fortnite Chapter 3 and it seems like they have been hidden beneath the map this whole time. After leakers teased players with images of IO drill outposts a few days ago, the first IO drills in Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1 have officially arrived.
These IO outposts will emerge across the new map and consist of massive drilling equipment, a few bunkers, tents, and other things. Given that the first IO drill can be spotted on the island, players might see Slone's return anytime now.
Fortnite IO drills will soon cover the map
Leakers had earlier shared information about IO arriving with drillers and setting up five outposts on the map around The Seven. The IO is looking to re-build everything after what transpired during the Season 8 live event. Players can now spot the first IO drillers east of Logjam Lumberyard.
It looks like the IO guards have managed to dig themselves out using their massive drillers. Last season, the IO built several underground bunkers and captured Jonsey in one of these facilities. However, the Seven and the Foundation helped Jonsey and the loopers escape to the other side of the island.
While we don't know what happened with Slone and the IO guards, the general assumption is that they would have been trapped underground.
Now they are slowly digging themselves out and looking to increase their presence on the island.
IO drilling outposts can be a hint towards a possible Grotto 2.0
Leaks about Epic Games bringing back the old Grotto location in Fortnite Chapter 3 have been doing rounds on the internet. With IO drillers popping up, those speculations might become a reality.
Grotto was a main IO base but submerged during the flood. Last month, HYPEX talked about a counterpart of "The Sanctuary" called "Covert Canyon" codenamed "Crazy Cave."
There's also a Fortnite quest that requires players to "collect different types of weapons at Covert Canyon or the Sanctuary." This will be added with the mid-season update. Players might see some major lore twists and the return of a few characters.