Epic Games reveals exciting news for competitive Fortnite in 2021.
FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 5 represents the first legitimate Epic Games-hosted Fortnite competition of 2021. The team behind competitive Fortnite has been working hard to acknowledge player concerns, including factors inside and outside the game. After much anticipation, Fortnite's @FNCompetitive Twitter account broke the internet with its newest update for the competitive scene in 2021. Epic Games has officially committed $20M USD to the FNCS this year and made all future events cross-platform. ESTNN has broken down all of the information for you to digest as Fortnite heads toward this season's flagship competition.
We’ve got a meaty blog post for you today covering:
➞ #FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 5 Format, Schedule, Prize pool, Broadcasts
➞ Gameplay changes
➞ More ways to compete
— Fortnite Competitive (@FNCompetitive) January 19, 2021
$20,000,000 Prize Pool
Some highly regarded professional players recently took issue with Epic's handling of Cash Cup prize pools. Despite the rhetoric, Epic came storming back with an astounding $20M USD prize pool for this year's FNCS competitions in response. That allotted money will encompass four planned Fortnite Champion Series events in 2021. Epic Games spoke explicitly to their plan in this competitive update:
"We plan to have four FNCS seasons in 2021, each with a $3,000,000 prize pool, for a total of $12,000,000 in FNCS prizes for the year. The distribution across all regions for the $3,000,000 prize pool is currently based on the most recent competitive participation and regional game population. We have provided a chart below and will continue to monitor and evaluate data before each season to make any necessary adjustments."
Here is the prize pool breakdown per region for FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 5:
- Europe - $1.35 million
- NA East - $690K
- NA West - $300K
- Brazil - $300K
- Asia - $150K
- Middle East - $120K
- Oceania - $90K
On top of the $12M USD Epic will commit to the Fortnite Champion Series, an additional $8M USD will sit on reserve for mid-year and end of the year competitions, similar to the FNCS Invitational. Top-performing FNCS players will be eligible for these competitions.
FNCS Competitive Gameplay/Format Changes
PC players can rejoice, knowing that console players now have to earn their money against the world's best. All future FNCS competitions will be cross-platform, meaning console and mobile players stand toe-to-toe with the PC elite.
The robust money offering was only the beginning as Epic Games also announced changes to competitive loot pools. Here is a quick rundown of Epic's alterations for this season:
- Addition of Lever Action Shotgun
- Vaulted Rift Fish
- Vaulted Shockwave Grenades
- Removal of Elevators and IO Guards
- "Sand tunneling will remain in competitive playlists and tournaments as long as it remains in the core playlists, as it is a major feature of this Season's map."
- "We've made adjustments to the amount of Bars players start with in competitive playlists. We'll continue to monitor how the Bars system fits in competitive, and will make adjustments as necessary."
The removal of Rift Fish and Shockwave Grenades is a significant development. Both of these items represent some of the only mobility options on the current map. Not many players will miss IO Guards in competition, and the change creates a much more level playing field. It will be interesting to watch how these changes affect gameplay in scrims leading up to FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 5. All in all, these alterations come out as a net positive for the entire competitive Fortnite scene.
More Tournaments Announced & Some Changes
Epic Games recently revealed a handful of tournaments for Chapter 2 - Season 5. They followed through with their promises in a massive way with Solo Saturdays' announcement, Trio Cash Cup changes and competitions exclusive to console players. Here is what to expect with Solo Saturdays:
"Solo Saturdays are weekly Cash Cups for Champion level players to show their skill, compete for the opportunity to win cash prizes, and potentially get on the radar of players looking to fill out their FNCS Trio. There will be intentional overlap with FNCS to provide players who may have already qualified, or didn't make it to Round 3 of the FNCS Qualifier for that week, an opportunity to jump into a cash prize tournament."
Trio Cash Cups will now occur every Monday, instead of the previously planned bi-weekly schedule. Limited Time Mode (LTM) tournaments will appear on Sundays and offer no prize pool to participants. The cash planned initially for the LTM competitions will go to Solo Saturdays and Trio Cash Cups.
FNCS Broadcast Expands Beyond the United States
Each seasonal Fortnite Champion Series will feature a more diverse group of commentators on the official broadcasts. Coverage now encompasses French, German and Spanish speakers for the European region. Additionally, the NA West and Oceania regions have their own broadcasts moving forward. Epic Games will team up with the folks at the Australian Open for coverage and future events.
"The FNCS OCE broadcast will be presented by our friends at the Australian Open (AO). The AO has highlighted OCE players in previous years with the AO Summer Smash featuring Fortnite. This partnership will span across all Qualifiers and into the Finals. Expect great coverage of the FNCS OCE competition, exclusive interviews, and other content that ties into the AO tennis tournament coverage in February. Stay tuned to AO social channels for more details."
It's an exciting time for competitive Fortnite fans across the globe. Epic Games is finally listening to player concerns and making massive changes accordingly. More tournaments, large prize pools, diverse commentary and in-game alterations are happening. FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 5 will get underway on February 4. Stay tuned to ESTNN for a complete breakdown of the format, prize pool and scoring system.
Featured Image: Epic Games