The ESL Katowice was held this past weekend in Katowice, Poland. The event featured both a solos and duos tournament, with the duos being the main event and the focus of two of the three days. Players from all over the world participated, as the ESL was one of the first major international Fortnite tournaments since the game became competitive. Of the fifty duo pairs, nine hailed from North America and the rest were European. Later today or the following day I will release a full in-depth recap of the events as I did for the Secret Skirmish.
The event coincided perfectly with the start of season 8. With the start of season 8, Epic renovated the entire northeast portion of the map. Instead of Lazy Links, Tomato Temple and Wailing Woods, we now have Lazy Lagoon, Sunny Steps, and an unnamed volcano. Epic also introduced cannons, which allow a player to enter and launch themselves across a hefty portion of the map without taking fall damage. The cannons can be predominantly be found at the Lazy Lagoon pirate ship, but are also spread out across the map as movement items usually are. I predicted last week that if planes were to be removed, Epic would need to add more movement items to the game. It looks like Epic solved this problem with cannons, which are an entirely novel way to rotate in Fortnite and are useful for evading the storm.
On day one, players participated in the solo event, which had a total prize pool of $100,000. On days two and three, players paired up and played for a total prize pool of $400,000 in the duos event. Each day featured seven games apiece.
The ESL Katowice featured an entirely novel points system. Players earned a constant 5 points per elimination throughout the tournament as well as throughout the game as they stayed alive. Teams earned a total of 65 points for a victory royale and 58 for a second place finish, which proved to be more significant than the points players earned from eliminations. This new scoring system was much more truthful than past systems. At the Secret Skirmish, points were far more difficult to earn, and the points system failed to balance kills and placement effectively. Teams had to register three eliminations or place in the top 10 to gain a single point. This meant that there was far less variation among the scores of the teams at the Secret Skirmish compared to ESL. The ESL point system ended with the winning team scoring in the hundreds, not the teens.
While the solos event was the warm-up for the duos event in a sense, it was still a great tournament. Professional Fortnite players take a ton of pride in their ability, and the energy that results in solos events is unmatched. Players are playing for clout within their own community and know the social ramifications of being killed by one of their close competitors or even teammates. Below are the final standings for the top 25 finishers from the solo tournament:
|2||Atlantis Magin||316 points||$16,000|
|3||Solary Kinstaar||269 points||$12,000|
|4||Ghost Bizzle||255 points||$8,000|
|5||LeStream Skite||248 points||$6,000|
|6||SEN Animal||244 points||$6,000|
|7||NRG Zayt||244 points||$4,000|
|9||INTZ Histtory||224 points||$4,000|
|10||Forward Ares||223 points||$4,000|
|12||LeStream TheVic||220 points||$2,000|
|13||LeStream Blaxou||219 points||$2,000|
|14||DV1 Hoopek||208 points||$2,000|
|15||AGO Zeek||205 points||$2,000|
|16||Atlantis Mitr0||205 points||$2,000|
|17||Faze FunkBomb||205 points||$1,000|
|19||Liquid Vivid||196 points||$1,000|
|20||LeStream Vato||185 points||$1,000|
The duos event was especially interesting as it was stretched between two days. Seven games Saturday, seven games Sunday. This was analogical to a two-week fantasy football championship, where the winner of the first week has to deal with an unnerving sense of uncertainty as he waits for the intermission to end and the final games to be played. Only in this scenario, the emotions felt by the winner of the first day are formed from within.
At the end of day one, Vinny1x and Zexrow lead with 406 points. The duo was hot after day one, with Vinny1x taking first and Zexrow finishing within the top 20. Both players have been featured on my Fortnite Power Rankings (https://estnn.com/estnn-fortnite-top-55-stock-report/) in the past but only Zexrow made the most recent iteration. He placed 16th. Behind the North American duo came the heavily touted European duo of Jamside and 7ssk7 as well as two more European pairs before Ghost Saf and NRG Zayt rounded out the top five with 321 points. Saf has been hot as of late, winning the duos event and finishing second in the solos.
As anticipated, Vinny1x and Zexrow’s lead did not last long in day 3. The two struggled early, as they died twice in a row in games ten and eleven before losing the top spot for the remainder of the tournament to Saf and Zayt. The final rankings for the top twenty duo pairs are below:
|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|
Following his performance at the Secret Skirmish, Ghost Saf was asked whether he would stick with his partner for the event, Ronaldo. The two had placed first and seemed to have great chemistry, but Saf simply replied, “probably not since I have Zayt.” Along with being an absolute savage, Saf showed at the Secret Skirmish that he could win without his longtime partner Saf. While the two are in different clans, NRG & Ghost, they are great friends, often playing together in tournaments. After showing the Fortnite community that he could win with a relatively unknown, Saf came into ESL Katowice with more momentum than any other player. He finished with more momentum too, cementing his spot in the top tier of competitive players including Tfue, Bizzle, 72hrs, and Chap.
Upcoming Articles and News
Tomorrow I will release the in-depth recap of both events. These will include summaries of all the games played as well as general trends resulting from the changes made to Fortnite as a result of season 8. I will also update my Fortnite rankings with the data from both the solos and duos events. This will give me an even greater player pool and should result in some pretty legitimate changes in the rankings.