Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow thinks that Fortnite Battle Royale’s future as a competitive esports title is questionable.
The three time Call of Duty World Champion discussed the immensely popular Epic Games title during a recent Twitch stream, saying that it is “the worst possible game to be an esports game”.
Despite the push from Epic to bring esports to Fortnite, the Canadian star seems to believe that there are too many obstacles stopping it from being truly competitive.
As an explanation for his opinion, Karma says that he doesn’t care what Epic Games does to try to shake things up and that Fortnite is the battle royale title that has the least chance of making it as a competitive esport:
“I don’t care what they do, I don’t think there’s any way that game ever becomes good competitively, there’s no way,
“Unless they make it so everyone starts killing each other, but I don’t think people are gonna just start fighting. Hello no,
“Of all the BRs, I think that is by far the worst one”
Fortnite is one of the most popular games in history and Epic Games has made a pledge to invest over $100 million into the esports side of it in the 2018-2019 season.
Competitions like Friday Fortnite and Epic’s Summer Skirmish tournaments have already drawn in millions of viewers, but Karma isn’t the only person to believe that the nature of the game doesn’t lend itself to a truly competitive environment.
One of the biggest criticisms of any battle royale title trying to become an esport is the random nature of the game, from loot spawns to the closing of the storm/circle. With Fortnite specifically, people are concerned that the building mechanics will mean that players simply create a fort and hide until the end of a game in order to get a good placement.
A post from a former MLG admin on Reddit commented on the various problem, using PUBG’s esports scene as an example of the issues that Fortnite will need to overcome if it is to join the likes of League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2 as a top esport:
“Let’s face it. Battle Royal games were not designed with eSports in mind. There is lots of RNG at play, and thanks to the battle royal genre, CAMPING.
We saw this with PUBGs decent into the competitive scene; which lead to almost all teams holding out till the end and avoiding fights. With Fortnite’s building mechanics, this strategy is amplified x1000. PUBG at least had teams fighting over the best cover in the field (rocks, trees, hills etc) whereas in Fortnite no need to do that just build your own metal base all the way in the final circle.
An eSport game exists because there is a community of fans willing to watch it. No one wants to watch a bunch of pencil warriors hiding behind their preset edited walls and winning by quadruple campfire on top of a 50ft metal sky base while bandaging.”