This past weekend, players from all across the world participated in the ESL Katowice, A Fortnite tournament held in Katowice, Poland. The tournament followed suit after TwitchCon and PaxWest, two international tournaments and finales of the Fall and Summer Skirmishes. The duos portion of the tournament spanned over the second two days with 14 games being played total. While less than 20% of the players in the event were from North America, the group dominated the solos event, and newly signed TSM member Vinn1x won in all.
The duos event, which has become the staple of Fortnite tournaments as the industry has taken form, featured a $400,000 prize pot with the winning team taking home a grand total of $80,000.
The tournament coincided perfectly with the start of season 8 which launched last Thursday. The update brought a complete renovation of the northeast portion of the map and cannons - the newest movement item in Fortnite. A picture of the updated map can be found below. The new locations on the map are Lazy Lagoon, Sunny Steps, and a volcano. Epic seemingly is creating a contrast in Fortnite between ice and fire in this most recent update. The southwest and northeast corners of the game have create a juxtaposition that will undoubtedly be continued by Epic. As for the cannons, they have the ability to shoot a player up to 260 meters in any direction, making them an excellent tool for rotations and evading the storm.
Like the duos event, the North American teams dominated the first day of duos competition. This is not a surprise, as only the best NA players traveled to Poland to play in the ESL Katowice. In my Fortnite Power Rankings, nine of the top eleven ranked players participated in the ESL duos event with the only standouts being FaZe Tfue and Cloak. Tfue and Cloak are one of the best NA duo pairs rankings 2nd and 11th respectively in my Power Rankings. Both players were invited and the pair was planning on attending but Tfue decided to stream instead. This is not a poor decision by him, as he makes more money keeping his spot as the most subscribed streamer on Twitch than playing in tournaments.
The day began with Ghost Aydan and 100T NickMercs landed Tilted Towers. The duo, who were seemingly destined for each other as they both are controller players and Tilted often, competed together in the past but split when Nick and SypherPK became partners.
Another NA duo that was (debatably) worth following was TSM Myth and Clouds. Myth caught on early in Fortnite’s lifespan as the second big streamer with Ninja. Because Myth was so popular on twitch, he was invited to all of the early Summer Skirmishes. He never played well at all and is infamous for falling to his death in competitive matches. Every tournament, a new announcer has the opportunity to make fun of Myth dying to fall damage - and they do. Myths inability to perform in competitive and his overall dismissive persona led him to lose his significant twitch following. He used to average 20-30 thousand viewers on Twitch. Now he is more likely under 5 thousand.
Myth sort of disappeared from the competitive Fortnite world in an almost Nick-eh-30 fashion. Nick, who also streams (and has stayed more successful than Myth), gets anxious during but has commentated for past skirmishes. He runs a very family friendly stream and has monopolized the Fortnite Youtube Streaming market. He consistently pushes 20-50 thousand live viewers on his streams which is unheard of on his platform (YouTube).
While Myth has placed horribly in many of the duos events he has played in, he is often partnered with a surprisingly bad player. In my Fortnite Power Rankings, I measure how good each competitors average partners have been. Myth has had one of the worst average partners, ranking 374th of 436 potential NA players. He has played with Pokimane on a few occasions which really hurts his score.
Myth and Cloud performed well on day 1, as they ended with 213 points and a sat in 2nd place. This was honestly bigger news than it needed to be. Myth is no longer relevant as a streamer but Epic continually forgets that. While 12th is good, they finished 5th among the NA duos, or right about average.
TSM’s other duo, the ones who are professional gamers rather than content creators, placed well in the solos event Friday and led with a whopping 406 points at the end of the day. TSM just recently signed Vinny1x, so it was encouraging to see him and Zexrow do well on day 2.
After one day and seven games of Fortnite, the standings looked as such:
|TSM Vinny1x & Zexrow||406|
|VP Jamside & 7ssk7||358|
|E11 Crippa & Boyer||351|
|Alliance Tommo and itemm||322|
|NRG Zayt & Ghost Saf||321|
|Villex & K1nzell||318|
|Ghost DMO & Bizzle||257|
|E11 Tschinken & Stompy||256|
|SEN Aspect & Animal||255|
|Pr0voked & Tuckz||242|
Vinny1x and Zexrow held their lead until game 10. They didn’t regain it either. The duo that overtook them was not a suprise: Ghost Saf and NRG Zayt. Friends, the two play across-organizations (Ghost and NRG). When asked two weekends ago (after winning the Secret Skirmish with Ronaldo) if he would like to keep Ronaldo as his teammate. Saf replied, “probably not since I have Zayt” and yes he did.
The top five had stayed relatively similar at this time, with the Solary duo of Airwaks and Nikof sliding into third place to replace Tommo and itemm. Myth and Cloud were nowhere to be seen, and the story was the same for Aydan and Nick. Both pairs were placed outside of the top 20.
As the duos event came to a close, it became more apparent that Zayt Saf would be the eventual champions. The NA-hybrid duo dominated after taking over the lead in game 10. They continued to win games 11 and 12 in epic fashions. In the closing seconds of game 11, Saf built down to the remaining team and used his rift-to-go. This forced all three of them up into the sky and the storm, only unable to heal. While falling down eventually to their storm-induced death, Zayt sat at on his platform and bandaged, giving him enough health to outlast the falling team.
As Expected, Myth and Cloud failed to capitalize on their initial performance. The duo fell through the ranks and eventually out of the placement money. Aydan and Nickmercs missed out too. One of the Liquid duos, Poach and Vivid finished 20th and at the edge of the breadwinners. This was an unusual finish for them, as they rank 5th and 4th on my rankings. The other Liquid duo, formed by 72hrs and Chap, placed even worse than the ladder duo, finishing in the last quartile of duos.
At the end of the event the standings concluded as such:
|1||Ghost Saf & NRG Zayt||$80,000|
|2||E11 Boyerxd & E11 Crippa||$64,000|
|3||Vinny1x & TSM ZexRow||$48,000|
|4||Ghost DMO & Ghost Bizzle||$32,000|
|5||Atlantis Mitr0 & Atlantis Khuna||$24,000|
|6||LeStream Skite & LeStream Vato||$24,000|
|7||SEN Aspect & SEN Animal||$16,000|
|8||VP Jamside VP 7ssk7||$16,000|
|9||Ghost Kamo & Ghost Issa||$16,000|
|10||Villex & K1nzell||$16,000|
|11||Solary Airwaks & Solary Nikof||$8,000|
|12||E11 Tschinken & E11 Stompy||$8,000|
|13||LeStream Blaxou & LeStream TheVic||$8,000|
|14||Secret Domentos & Gambit Fwexy||$8,000|
|15||itemm & Alliance Tommo||$8,000|
|16||Solary Kinstaar & Solary Hunter||$8,000|
|17||Tuckz & Pr0vokd||$4,000|
|18||Atlantis kejseR & Atlantis Magin||$4,000|
|19||GO JuleZ & GO M11Z||$4,000|
|20||Navi Bowman & Navi Alpha||$4,000|
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the tournament! Also, check out the ESL Katowice Solo Recap.