A Look Back on Fortnite’s Competitive Season X and Ahead to Season XI

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A Look Back on Fortnite’s Competitive Season X and Ahead to Season XI

With Season X in the books, Fortnite's competitive scene looks stronger than ever. There's really only one thing that could top the level of play that fans were treated too in Season 10, and that's the upcoming FCS Season XI.

There’s been a lot of buildup and hype heading into FCS's Season 11 of Fortnite: Battle Royale. The past 10 seasons have provided some record-breaking numbers and more hours of content watching than Epic can shake a stick at. A few tidbits from the last two years include the rise of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins from small-time streamer to the face of Twitch, Ninja’s surprising transition from Twitch to Mixer, a huge number of LAN events, brand-new and returning locations and, finally, the first-ever Fortnite World Cup. Leaks and predictions for Season 11 indicate that fans will likely experience an entirely new map, and many professional players and personalities around the competitive Fortnite scene are predicting this to be the best season yet.

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Epic Games’ popular Battle Royale has been in a state of flux since Season X's debut. Many disliked the content that Season X offered. The introduction of the B.R.U.T.E. mech suits soured players across both the competitive and casual communities. Even the minor additions and removals surrounding items and locations in Fortnite left gamers questioning the developer’s decisions. Early in Season X, it seemed as though Epic was busy digging a grave for one of the most successful video game titles in recent history. Even professional players and streamers felt that Fortnite was slowly, yet rabidly rapidly, losing its appeal to viewers. Epic's Season X even saw long-time Fortnite supporters jump ship, including personalities such as Blevins, Jack “CourageJD” Dunlop and Turner “Tfue” Tenney as they chose to work Minecraft titles and other game developers into their streaming rotation.

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The B.R.U.T.E. mech suits almost spelled the end of Fortnite during their release. Dunlop notably raged over the newly added vehicle alongside Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar during a TwitchRivals tournament. The overpowered mech suits strangled the innate strategy of Fortnite, dumbing it down to a level where many players and streamers felt as though they couldn't enjoy the game.

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Finally, Epic Games decided to make adjustments to the vehicle throughout Season X, but, in our humble opinion, the season's most enjoyable games were the ones after Epic removed the suits altogether. After several patches, B.R.U.T.Es became easier to counterplay against, but the lasting effect of the vehicle’s inclusion left a bad taste in the mouths of many gamers.

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Each of Fortnite Season X's patches ended up leaving the game substantially worse off than prior to the patch. For example, Patch v10.00 didn't just add incredibly overpowered massive manga robots, but Epic decided to vault cherished items such as the Quad Crasher, Flint Knock Pistol, Shadow Bomb and the Glider Redeploy. They gave little explanation to these massive, meta-defining changes, and while both the competitive and casual communities felt the effects, the competitive side of Fortnite suffered the most.

Epic's removal of rotational items watered down the competitive product, essentially reducing end games to the use of launch pads and shockwave grenades for height advantage. Although the final moments of each match remained exciting, there was an empty feeling throughout the community and viewers of the professional Fortnite scene.

It wasn't all bad, though!

One of the brighter points of Fortnite Season X was the Batman and Borderlands co-branding. Batman's inclusion of the Grapnel Gun, Explosive Batarangs and even Gotham City became a part of the map, replacing Tilted Town. Fans welcomed Gotham City for the general appearance, and the new Rift Zone provided a new landing spot to experience. The Borderlands crossover added the Pandora Rift Zone, which included the cell-shading aspects of the Gearbox developed series. The Fortnite X Mayhem collaboration also saw the Bubble Shield added as a deployable item, which created a separation from exterior enemy fire. Both the Batman and Borderlands updates also produced character skins for players to utilize.

Fortnite’s developers were in a constant struggle with fan criticism against its flagship title. Many players grew tired of competitive solo matches, and the eventual removal of the Arena Duos playlist added another layer of frustration to an already endless list. That said, the addition of Arena Trios was a breath of fresh air for Fortnite: Battle Royale, as the new playlist subsequently produced the Fortnite Champion Series, where teams of three would compete for a $10M USD prize pool. This reinvigorated the competitive drive within many professional players. The Fortnite Champion Series produced the ultra-talented and seemingly unstoppable European trio of Kyle “FaZe Mongraal” Jackson, Benjy “NRG Benjyfishy” Fish and Dmitri “mitr0” Van de Vrie. At the conclusion of the Season X Fortnite Champion Series, we learned that the next FNCS will switch gears to teams of four instead of the normal three-person squads,.

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Fortnite's Fan-Made Zone Wars Is Here to Stay

Another positive take away from Season X was the implementation of a Zone Wars playlist into Fortnite: Battle Royale. Zone Wars is a game type that simulates end games and provides players with weapons and building materials. Up to 15 players can participate in Zone Wars at a time and both casual and hardcore players were able to experience the intensity of a tightly knit end game. It took a beloved user-created mode and brought it into the limelight. Many professional players and streamers have spent countless hours competing alongside other players in this mode and made it a bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming Season X.

Season 11 is just around the corner, but Epic Games has refused to confirm any rumors or leaks related to the brand-new season. There are some indications that players will enjoy an entirely new map and landscape. If this is true, it means fans will have to say goodbye to the map they know inside and out. No longer will they experience Dusty Depot or Tilted Towers. These changes aren't always bad, however, and many notable names in the Fortnite community are confident that Season 11 will bring Fortnite back to its roots.

In fact, there's more hype and a whole other level of excitement across Fortnite players that we haven't felt since the Grand Finals of the Fortnite World Cup, and certainly not for a patch. In reality, all fans can do is wait and see how Epic's plans for SXI pan. After all, Fortnite's fate is squarely in Epic's hands.

Fortnite's Live Event, called “The End,” will give fans a peek at Season XI and kicks off at 2 P.M. EDT or 11 A.M. PDT on Fortnite's official channels.

Stay tuned to ESTNN as we provide extensive coverage of Season 11 and all that will undoubtedly come along with it.

Images VIA Epic Games

Avatar of Matt Pryor
Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.