Even five years after its release, Fortnite Battle Royale remains one of the most popular games. While there might be a large group of casual players, the competitive side of the game is slowly dying. Several professional players have quit the game recently, and the official tournaments have a significantly smaller audience.
Clearly, Epic Games needs to focus on bringing major changes to Fortnite competitive to increase viewership. To do that, the developers need to identify why people do not like watching official tournaments. While there might be several factors contributing to its steady decline, it is the boring mid-game that pushes people away from watching events like FNCS or Cash Cups.
Audiences love to watch games like Counter-Strike and Valorant because of their dynamic and interesting gameplay. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with Epic Games' Battle Royale, which is only interesting during early and late game fights.
How can Epic Games make Fortnite competitive more interesting?
The competitive mode for Epic Games' Battle Royale came soon after the game started becoming popular. Only a year after its release, it had official tournaments with massive prize pools. The first-ever World Cup took place in 2019, where Bugha won the first prize worth $3,000,000.
Unfortunately, the popularity of competitive events went down as soon as the world was hit by the pandemic.
As all the tournaments came online, fans had to bid farewell to the in-person LAN events. The change also affected viewership of the online tournaments, with many fans calling them boring. However, a simple change can help boost viewership.
Mid-game in Fortnite tournaments need to become faster
YouTuber Reisshub recently analyzed some of the major tournaments held in the last few months. Based on his analysis, an average competitive game lasts 26 minutes. Out of these 26 minutes, the first and last five minutes or the early and late games are much more interesting than the rest.
Fans like to watch their favorite pro players drop onto the island, loot up, and take on initial fights. They also love to see the chaos once the zones start moving in the end-game. However, the rotations during mid-game are not that fun to watch. Thankfully, Epic Games has already recognized the problem and is working on a solution.
Right now, Storm Surge is the only thing that makes the mid-game interesting. For the uninitiated, Storm Surge is a mechanism that inflicts damage on the least active players. Those who have inflicted the lowest damage and have stayed away from fights are the worst affected.
Storm Surge changes can make Fortnite competitive better
Prior to the recent changes, even the Storm Surge was ineffective at forcing enough mid-game fights to make the matches more interesting. On average, only 30 eliminations happened during the entire 16 minutes of mid-game.
Most of the time, players just end up damaging opponents during rotations instead of taking aggressive fights.
The Cash Cup was held after Epic Games increased the frequency of Storm Surge 38 eliminations during the same 16 minutes. The event was more fun to watch as the mid-game was relatively interesting. The change also ensures that not too many people are eliminated during the mid-game, which would reduce the fun in the end-game.
Other changes to improve Fortnite competitive
Aside from the Storm Surge, there are many other things that Epic Games can change to make tournaments much more interesting. As LAN events return, fans will finally be able to see their favorite pro players in action through face cams and comms. This will make up for the boring mid-game, even if the Storm Surge changes do not work.
Besides LAN events, Epic Games can also bring back the 'Make it Rain' reward from Fortnite Summer Skirmish 2018. Players can be rewarded with insane cash prizes for getting the highest amount of eliminations during the relatively slower phases of the match.
Finally, the storm could also be made to move faster, forcing out early rotations and giving players less time to loot. However, this would certainly make the game much more chaotic than necessary. Clearly, there are many ways to fix Fortnite competitive, but fixing the mid-game gameplay is the best way to go.