Fortnite: FNCS Invitational Suffers ELO, Aim Assist and Format Issues

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Fortnite: FNCS Invitational Suffers ELO, Aim Assist and Format Issues

A laundry list full of issues plagued the opening weekend of the F.N.C.S. Invitational.

Fortnite players are not strangers to broken items in their game of choice. History is the best indicator of what Epic Games is capable of placing inside their polarizing Battle Royale title. When we think about broken items, some that come to mind are the Infinity Blade, Heavy Snipers and the B.R.U.T.E. mech suits. Now imagine a broken weapon that can drain your health in less than a second, coupled with what some believe to be a legal aimbot. What you ultimately have is the current state of competitive Fortnite. Aim assist is just one of many issues that affected the FNCS Invitational opener.

Issue #1 – Aim Assist

The past two weeks have provided some of the best communication, and on the fly changes, we've seen thus far in competitive Fortnite history. Despite Epic Games' recent efforts, aim assist has taken center stage as the biggest problem in Fortnite. Week one of the FNCS Invitational provided a chance for players the world over to have a crack at the $2 million prize pool. However, the tournament itself turned into a controller fest to see which player can use aim assist the best.

Most notably, a player known as Flawless dropped 30 eliminations in a single game of the N.A. East qualifier. He spent nearly his entire match w-keying opposing players. The clip above is a brief indication of how powerful Linear aim assist is in Fortnite. Flawless shredded his opponent's health down to nothing, armed with the Mythic Drum Gun and Linear controller settings. It was an absolute bloodbath to watch and not very compelling. No one could even contest Flawless as he effortlessly ran through the lobby. We can not discredit Flawless as a player, but it proves how unfair aim assist can be in the right hands.

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Issue #2 – Questionable Format and Scoring System

The open format may never cease to exist to give all players a fighting chance. Unfortunately, the end product comes out looking nothing like what Fortnite should be. Several broadcasted games barely reached the first moving zone. Some had ten or fewer players for the half and half zone. Player skill gaps range significantly from competent to exceptional in any given match.

Different skill levels allow for a player like Flawless to completely decimate his opponents. Four-point eliminations add almost no incentive to play for placement when a player can quickly rack up four or five eliminations and naturally gain placement points over time. To boot, none of the tournament players had any idea where they were in the standings on day two.

The Open Qualifier used a cumulative scoring approach, which took each player's total points over the two days of play. Epic Games would then tally up all scores to decide the top-100 who will play next week. Problems arose when players had no idea what position they were in heading into the final day of Open Qualifiers. Several competitors did not know whether they should w-key for more points or play it safe for placement.

Issue #3 – Alleged E.L.O. Abuse

If aim assist and the scoring system weren't enough of an issue, let's add the ELO abuse to the equation. For the unaware, ELO essentially ranks a player's skill and places them in a specific class. In the case of N.A. East player Flawless, starting nearly two hours late, worked well in his favor. We mentioned earlier that Flawless completed an insane 30-elimination Victory Royale. What we didn't say is that Flawless compiled only 70 points on day one of the Open Qualifier.

Flawless was supposedly able to queue into lower point lobbies by waiting until later in the tournament. He is undoubtedly an outstanding player, but reaching 270 points over only six matches is a cause for concern. The ELO exploit seems to be a real concern for open tournaments. We have seen as much in past competitions like the Winter Royale back in December of last year. Flawless happens to be the most prominent considering the official Fortnite stream keyed in on his point of view.

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How to Fix This Mess?

Resolution #1 – Lower Aim Assist Strength

After the legacy settings removal a few months back, many people thought that the aim assist would not remain as powerful. However, that is not that case. Linear settings provide controller players with an inability to miss close-range shots. Epic Games should turn down the aim assist strength altogether until they can find a happy medium. Although it's a necessity for controller players, it is far too powerful.

Resolution #2 – Lower Elimination Points and Offer Live-Scoring

Epic Games has already solved their problems with the scoring system after readjusting the Cash Cup format. Lowering elimination points down to two per elimination would mean players could focus more on placement instead of w-keying. This fix is the easiest of all and would make for a more entertaining product. Accurate live-scoring is also a must to keep players informed of their progress as each match comes to an end.

Resolution #3 – Remove ELO?

The ELO exploit is a bit more challenging to resolve than the others. Custom lobbies for each match could be a solution, but the Open Qualifying format is the real issue. With matchmaking being the only option for opens, players will always have the ability to start late and abuse the system. Players could underperform on day one, start late on day two and queue into lower ELO lobbies. It is a problem, but one resolution could be to remove ELO from the game's tournament system.

Epic Games has a lot of work to do with the current state of competitive Fortnite despite recent improvements.

Stay tuned to ESTNN for continued Fortnite news and updates!

Featured Image: Epic Games

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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.