Epic Games details Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 4's competitive schedule and rules.
Competitive Fortnite players around the world are ready to sink their teeth into another tournament season. Last season, Fortnite crowned seven solo champions and handed out millions of dollars in prize money. The same will continue into the latest Marvel Comics-themed season of Fortnite. Superheroes from the Marvel universe have invaded the Fortnite map and brought some unique and exciting abilities. In a world plagued by COVID-19, Epic Games continues to offer massive prize pools for online tournaments.
Today, the team behind competitive Fortnite released a lengthy blog post, outlining Chapter 2 – Season 4's competitions and some rule clarifications. Let's break down all of the information Epic Games released earlier today in their latest competitive update.
Competitive Chapter 2 – Season 4 Schedule
Similar to past competitive seasons, the Fortnite Competitive Team released a schedule of events that will take place in Chapter 2 – Season 4. Some notable tournaments include Trio Cash Cups, Solo Cash Cups, Wild Wednesdays and DreamHack's continued online series. Refer to the schedule below for a full list of events.
- Season 4 Hype Cup – September 6
- September Dreamhack Online Open (NA-West) – September 12 – September 13
- Hype Nite – September 13
- Paradox's Platform Solo Cash Cups: Every Monday from September 14 – September 21
- Castor's Contender Trios Cash Cups: Every Tuesday from September 15 – September 22
- Chopper's Champion Trios Cash Cups: Every Tuesday from September 15 – September 22
- Wild Wednesdays: Every Wednesday from September 16 – September 23
- Hype Nite: Every Sunday from September 20 – September 27
- September Dreamhack Online Open (NA-East) – September 17 – September 18
- September Dreamhack Online Open (Europe) – September 19 – September 20
- FNCS Warmup: September 25 – September 27
Hype Tournaments and FNCS
The season has already kicked off with new Trio Hype Cup tournaments, which allow teams to rank up quicker in Arena Mode. Wild Wednesdays is a new addition to the seasonal Fortnite tournament lineup. It will feature weekly rotating Limited Time Mode (LTM) tournaments for cash prizes. The Trios FNCS season will kick off with a warmup from September 25 to September 27.
Epic Games has also released the FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 4 schedule. Please refer to the schedule below.
- First Week: October 9 – October 11
- Second Week: October 16 – October 18
- Third Week: October 23 – October 25
- Fourth Week: October 29 – November 1
The developers are also tweaking the format a bit, according to the blog post. All 33 teams who qualify for the final round each week will participate in two days of competition. The Competitive Fortnite Team is also introducing a Wildcard Match, which will determine the Group Stage's last qualifying team into the Grand Finals.
The blog post also briefly touched upon the various in-game performance issues that have plagued competitive Fortnite for the past three seasons, stating, “We'll be keeping an eye on in-game performance and the impact of various new gameplay elements. We'll make sure to confirm which will be present in Competitive playlists before the FNCS season begins.” More FNCS details will be available in the coming weeks.
Competitive Rules Clarification
There's been no shortage of questions regarding what constitutes an actual rule break under the competitive Fortnite rule set. World Cup Champion Bugha experienced this firsthand last season, where he and another NA East pro received warnings for their in-game actions. Collusion is often the unclear rule, and Epic provided some insight into what they view as collusion versus what is not.
WHAT IS COLLUSION (NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST):
- Consistently working together with the same opponent. This includes fighting together or working together against a 3rd player or 3rd team who encroaches on a shared location or shared drop spot.
- With this clarification now in place, we're now taking a greater stand to action if conclusive evidence is found linking opponents to common goals together.
- Staged engagements among colluding teams to deceive event admins. As an example: Manipulating storm surge factors intentionally by trading damage with no intent of elimination.
- Pickaxe swinging (or other actions) used as a form of signaling to opponents.
- Sharing loot or leaving items with or for opponents for their gain.
- Intentionally feeding eliminations to another team.
The bullet points above serve as a refresher for those who aren't sure what qualifies as collusions. These rules have stayed in place since the signaling ban back in Chapter 2 – Season 1.
WHAT ISN'T COLLUSION (NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST):
- Consistently dropping in the same location each match.
- Announcing a drop spot on social media.
- If you believe you're good enough to stake your claim publicly on a spot, be prepared to defend it. Players contesting your claim is part of the game, and should be encouraged.
- Choosing to not engage in combat at certain times.
- Coaching using the in-game replay tools.
As usual, the gray area will always exist with a competitive Battle Royale game like Fortnite. Griefing is a term thrown around regularly in the professional scene. There is a clear distinction to make with Epic's rule clarification. Contesting drop spots and fighting off the spawn is entirely legal. When a player or team in last-place decides to contest the first-place team at their drop spot, there is an ethical issue. However, Epic made it clear that this is a part of competitive Fortnite.
Epic Games also seems to have referenced the situation mentioned above that transpired with Bugha last season.
“Outright competitive bans will be made when the collusion evidence is conclusive, without any official warnings. Warnings will be issued in situations when players are very close to the line of collusion, and we will administer these in cases that could swing either way. Continued actions after official warnings could then result in competitive bans.”
It's also worth noting that Epic will continue to enforce its 30-day ban policy that carries over to the following season's “pinnacle event.”
Smurfing is also no longer allowed in any competitive Fortnite tournaments. For those who are unsure, smurfing is the act of playing the same competition on two different accounts. Former pro player Tfue notably used smurf accounts in Cash Cups to continue playing in those tournaments. Epic clarified the rule, stating,
Traditional Smurfing: Playing on an alternate account that has a lower Arena Rank than your main account in order to illegally participate in tournaments or events that are only eligible for lower Arena Ranks. This type of smurfing will not be allowed in any official tournaments that are only open to those in lower Arena ranks.
Illegal Restarts: Playing on an alternate account AND a main account in the same tournament window. This type of smurfing will not be allowed in any official tournaments, unless otherwise indicated.
3rd Party Software/Soft-Aiming Prevention
Soft-aim hacks became a massive talking point last season, especially considering that an NA West player reached the finals of an FNCS Qualifier using cheats. Since then, Epic addressed the issue with their anti-cheat and is confident that cheaters will receive an immediate ban.
“3rd party aim assist software is never allowed. Players detected using this will be removed from Fortnite competitions and issued competitive.”
Cracking Down on Clout Farmers
It's admittedly strange to see the Fortnite Competitive Team refer to clout farming, but that is the year 2020 for you. In keeping up with the same soft-aiming situation last season, Epic Games will handle those falsely promoting themselves as banned players or cheaters with swift action.
The final point from Epic's lengthy blog post addresses server crashes in high stakes tournaments, like the Fortnite Champion Series. The Fortnite Competitive Team will examine server crashes more closely with custom lobbies i.e. the FNCS or any competition with 100 players queued into a match.
“This will give the Epic Competitive team more flexibility to make the best decision based on the factors at hand for any unfortunate scenarios (like a complete server crash) in single lobby events.”
This resolution at least offers some hope for those unfortunate server crashes that seldom take place in Fortnite tournaments. There's nothing more agonizing than for a team to lose out on points due to a server crash and not have the option to restart that match.
There's a lot of information to soak in after Epic Games' recent competitive update. It is refreshing to see continued communication between the Fortnite team and its player base. Hopefully, this contact will remain as the developers continue to offer multi-million dollar prize pools in the evolving and unpredictable online environment.
Stay tuned to ESTNN for more Fortnite news and updates!
Featured Image: Epic Games