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.

Epic Games Releases Competitive Fortnite Update For Season 3, Including Broadcasts, Item Changes, Rules & Schedule

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Things are heating up on the competitive side of Fortnite in Chapter 2 - Season 3.


Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 3 has been out for nearly a week after much anticipation. Professional players and fans alike have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of how the competitive landscape will look. We know that Season 3 will feature Trio Cash Cups and the second straight Solo Fortnite Champion Series event. A lot of the finer details, however, were fuzzy. The competitive community wondered if Choppas, Crash Pads and Grenades would remain. In a recent blog post, The Fortnite Competitive Team detailed what the competitive scene can expect for the duration of Chapter 2 - Season 3.

Official Broadcasts Will Remain

After much speculation, Epic Games resurrected official broadcasts for the FNCS Invitational late in Chapter 2 - Season 2. Fortnite fans would once again have the option to watch as casters Ballatw, MonsterDFace, Shyowager, SUND0WN and many others broke down the storylines and gameplay. Chapter 2 - Season 3 will provide more of the same, with some incentive for community viewing parties.

“With last Season’s FNCS Invitational, we wanted to see if we could bring back the official broadcast with a completely remote, socially-distanced production team. Given all of the positive feedback we received, we will continue to broadcast our FNCS tournaments this year while highlighting new and rising on-screen talent during these broadcasts.”

Official broadcasts are not going anywhere for the time being. We could even see some other broadcasting talents showcase their skills after AussieAntics and ClayStehling had the opportunity last time around.

“Each season of FNCS broadcasts will also include more Competitive-themed Twitch drops. In an effort to better support community-led viewing experiences, we’ll be making these drops available to any Twitch channel streaming FNCS gameplay.”

Twitch Drops for in-game items always offer incentives for players and community members to stream either themselves participating or watching tournaments. TSM EmadGG made a career out of viewing parties, so the availability of Twitch Drops is a massive win for Fortnite streamers who would like to do the same.

Keeping an Eye on “Seasonal Items”

With the release of Chapter 2 - Season 3, competitive players wondered what the loot pool would look like in Arena modes. It didn’t take long for some to notice the presence of helicopters, Crash Pads, the return of grenades and many other items that competitive players do not typically see. Since then, professional players have explicitly called for the removal of helicopters, which would undoubtedly cause chaos in competitive matches. The Fortnite Competitive Team offered their take on the adjustments of “seasonal items.”

“With the Season 3 launch, we wanted to provide a reminder on how we’re handling Season launches and new items in Fortnite. When a new Season drops, core playlists and Arena will contain the same items. As new items are added throughout the season, there will be a two week evaluation period where new items are kept out of Arena and tournaments. If it is felt new item(s) will add value to competitive play, they may be added to the Arena and tournament pool after the evaluation period. In rare cases, some items may also be subject to change over the course of the season, as was seen with Remote Explosives and Grenades last Season. This philosophy only applies to items specifically and does not necessarily apply to map updates or environmental changes.”

Epic Games will keep a closer eye on how items will affect Arena modes and competitive tournaments. As they mentioned, Remote Explosives and Grenades left the competitive loot pool last season, and they never returned. Hopefully, they will keep a close eye on clips that go viral and determine what items should and should not be available in tournaments.

Competitive Integrity Updates

Epic Games is cracking down further on competitors who violate the rule set implemented for each season. First and foremost, if a player receives a 30-day ban for breaking a rule, they will not be able to participate in the next season’s Fortnite Champion Series.

“We are updating our event eligibility policy. If a player is caught breaking an official rule that results in a 30-day or longer competitive ban, that player will also be ineligible for the next Season’s FNCS (or other pinnacle event), regardless of competitive ban timing."

The Fortnite Competitive Team is also cracking down on players who use “smurf” accounts in tournaments. For those who don’t know, smurfs are lower-level accounts that would undoubtedly result in much easier lobbies for said players. We’ve seen professional player and Twitch streamer Turner “Tfue” Tenney use smurf accounts in the past.

“Effective immediately, players will not be permitted to play in the same session’s tournament across multiple accounts. This includes restarting a tournament on a different account to gain an unfair advantage, or having multiple players participate on the same machine.

Additionally, this season we will have some Cash Cups broken out by Arena level. Any instances of “smurfing” (playing on a secondary account that has a lower rank than your main account) in the lower level tournaments will result in actions against both your main account and smurf account.”

More on account names

Last but not least, Epic Games addressed display names that have inappropriate connotations.

“Part of our broadcast goals is to share Fortnite competitions with a globally diverse viewer base. It is our responsibility to make sure that all parts of our broadcast are living-room safe, including the display names of all competitors. Any player who has a questionable display name is required to change it now, or will be disqualified from current tournaments and ineligible for the next season’s FNCS depending on severity or repeated rule breaks.”

We have seen some doozies in the past, which can also make it challenging to identify the player who is on the screen. To create a more viewer-friendly experience, the competitive team will issue punishments to those using inappropriate in-game aliases.

Tournament Schedule for Chapter 2 - Season 3

Perhaps the most exciting news to come out of this blog post is that the Fortnite Competitive Team provided a schedule of events for Season 3. Trio and Solo Cash Cups will begin on Wednesday, July 15 and Thursday, July 16, respectively. Less than one month later, the previously announced Solo Fortnite Champion Series will commence on August 1st. It’s also worth noting that Epic Games is providing Trio Cash Cups for those ranked in the Contender and Champion divisions. See the full schedule below:

  • Contender-Only Trios Cash Cups: Every Wednesday from July 15 - August 12
  • Champion-Only Trios Cash Cups: Every Wednesday from July 15 - August 12
  • Platform Cash Cups: Every Thursday from July 16 - August 13
  • Hype Nite: Every Sunday from July 19 - August 16
  • 1st FNCS Qualifier: August 1
  • 2nd FNCS Qualifier: August 2
  • 3rd FNCS Qualifier: August 8
  • 4th FNCS Qualifier: August 9
  • FNCS Finals: August 14 - August 16

To wrap up the competitive update, Epic Games mentioned the upcoming monthly DreamHack Online Tournament series, which will last from July 2020 to January 2021. It will feature a $1.75M USD prize pool spread across seven months and three regions. The Epic team will also take time off from July 3 to July 12. No tournaments will take place during that time.

It’s an exciting time to be both a competitive Fortnite player and observers. The summer of 2020 will provide endless content and tournaments with massive prize pools on the line nearly every week.

Stay tuned to ESTNN for more Fortnite news and updates!

Featured Image: Epic Games

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