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.

Fortnite: Epic Nerfs Small Fry Spawns After Qrei & Teammates Find Unconventional Success

The orange FNCS shield logo appears on a purple background with a Small Fry fish from Fortnite crossed out in a red circle.
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Epic Games has nerfed the healing gods.


Qrei, ArmoR zelek and treciux became overnight sensations in the competitive Fortnite scene last weekend. The three European players first arrived on the radar in the first Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) Qualifier, where they found success by dropping directly into the ocean on the outskirts of Slurpy Swamp and fishing their way to victory. Somehow, Qrei, zelek and treciux won multiple games without single elimination. Players and coaches within the scene took note, and the three players continued to gain steam.

In week two, the three Euros doubled down on their methods and ultimately reached the Grand Finals against all odds. Fortnite’s official FNCS broadcast even highlighted them for their unconventional approach. Qrei gained much of the notoriety, which he parlayed into over 50k followers on Twitter. Unfortunately, a recent patch from Epic Games seems to have indirectly addressed the infamous European trio, who might struggle to find the same success moving forward.

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Small Fry Nerf in Tournaments

While Fortnite’s latest update had many positives, a recently revealed Small Fry adjustment will undoubtedly affect Qrei, zelek and treciux. Fortnite features a fishing mechanic, and most of those fish will heal either regular health or shield. The three players’ strategy centered around Small Frys since they were easier to find than any other fish.

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Epic’s loot pool change above affects only tournaments, meaning the European sensations will have to alter their methods to continue this impressive run. It’s a tall order and one that only Qrei and company could overcome. Unfortunately, the three players undoubtedly forced Epic’s hands, considering how storm damage is such a crucial part of Fortnite.

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Was Nerfing Small Frys the Right Call?

Qrei experienced a cult following of sorts for his team’s antics. However, some players within the scene strongly believe what the three Euros accomplished shouldn’t be possible in competitive Battle Royale. That became the narrative behind it all, with the community essentially split on the matter. It’s difficult to say whether Epic made the right call. One could look at the situation and determine that Qrei, treciux and zelek were merely capitalizing on the in-game mechanic.

It’s not a cheat, but more of an exploit that no one else had perfected until this point. Epic Games ultimately did what was necessary to preserve the integrity of competitive Fortnite. As for the healing boys, they’ll have to devise another strategy that does not include Small Frys. The alternative seems to be working since Qrei, zelek and treciux are moving onto round two of the third and final FNCS Qualifier.

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