Pros and streamers alike have called for a separate loot pool for competitive Fortnite tournaments or games. Since the beginning of competitive play, the weapons and items have remained the same as in standard games. The loot pool is the range of objects that is available during games. This includes weapons, mobility items, consumables, throwables, and vehicles. The loot pool has constantly changed along with the updates from Epic Games, but it has not stopped professional players from calling for a separation between competitive and public games.
Weeks 5 and 6 of the Fortnite World Cup disabled vehicles in the game. The change came from a bug and Epic Games wanted to stay ahead of the problems. These were arguably two of the most competitive and entertaining weeks. Throughout the World Cup, Ballers have been a staple of games. Unfortunately, the Ballers provide a free shield and mobility to players. Epic Games nerfed the Ballers to 200 health and then to 150 health in order to combat the effectiveness of the vehicles. The Ballers saw a decrease in use but never disappeared. The ability to use the vehicle to move around and as a shield continues to be useful for all players.
Initially, players thought that the Ballers were introduced to reduce the number of builds during the end of games in competitive play. Therefore, more players in Ballers would help the lag due to reduced inputs from players. This was proven false after Weeks 5 and 6 of the Fortnite World Cup. The games did not have any more lag or instability than in previous weeks.
— 100T Ceice (@Ceice) May 12, 2019
fortnite esports at its best is duos with vehicles/ballers disabled, it should be the competitive standard
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) May 19, 2019
Players and fans alike were ecstatic to see the game played without vehicles. It requires more skill and strategy to move from zone to zone without the protection of vehicles. Though the players did not want the vehicles enabled, Epic Games restored vehicles once they fixed the bug that kept vehicles out of Weeks 5 and 6. Week 7 quickly showed that all players will take advantage of the vehicles if available. One of the best players in the world, Timothy “Bizzle” Miller, used vehicles to advance to Sunday’s competition without weapons in Week 5. He rightfully proved his point that vehicles are overpowered and do not deserve to be in the competitive games.
Some of the rules are already changed for Arena and World Cup games. Should the weapons and items change too?
Randomness affects professional players and competitors during games. Everything from the battle bus route to weapons, chest and zone locations, and vehicles are based on random algorithms. The chance and random number generation (RNG) are part of what makes Fortnite unique. The RNG does change the competitive play. The best players minimize their risk by landing in optimal locations. Hypothetically, the places on the map with the most chests should have the best loot. More often than not, this is not the case. Finding the best weapons and mobility items comes down to chance.
I think now more than ever there needs to be separation of loot pools for casual and competitive play. Some items are never used in competitive play and are clogging up the loot pool for very important items, mostly shield and shotguns, these are necessities while others are not.
— POACH (@LiquidPoach) May 27, 2019
Certain items and weapons do not belong in competitions. Players are too good to lose games because their drop spot did not have a weapon, yet their opponent found a shotgun and Drum Gun. The most competitive games of Fortnite only see a limited number of weapons in use. The weapons of choice are typically assault rifles, submachine guns, and shotguns. Players with the most luck receive explosives or heavy sniper rifles. The games should not come down to which player had the best luck when opening chests.
Fortnite and chance go hand in hand. The game is built around RNG. Each stage of the game is affected by certain random elements. In order to be a long-term competitive esport, Fortnite must adapt to lessen the chance-based interactions to attract the top talent. This comes down to changing the loot pool for competitive games. There are a few weapons, such as pistols, semi-auto sniper rifle, and hunting rifle, which are not used during competitive play. Ultimately, these should be removed to allow the skill of players to overcome chance. Additionally, the reduction of RNG would only help competitors. Creating a loot pool in which all weapons would have benefits and actual uses in competitive games can only improve the level of competition.
Do you think Fortnite would be improved with separate loot pools for competitive and public matches? What items or weapons do you want to see removed?
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Taylor Yates is a gamer, sports lover, and content creator. He has been an avid gamer since the days of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Halo 3. Taylor now plays Fortnite under the name ‘sombodysgun’ and loves to share his gameplay. A recent NC State grad, Taylor loves to support his Wolfpack and other sports teams.