The advent of games such as Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG), Fortnite, and, most recently, Apex Legends has brought the idea of Battle Royale esports into sharper focus.
However, even before any of these massively popular titles started to develop an esports following, there were people who felt BR games would not become as popular as other esports. That’s chiefly due to the reliance on luck at the beginning and end of these games.
Because of these perceived issues, several eminent esports figures have criticized BR esports. This week, two more added their names to this growing list.
First up, Twitch streamer Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek used his streaming platform on May 11 to explore his feelings about the current state of BR esports games. Grzesiek has played competitively in PUBG and Apex Legends.
“There’s no way tou get rid of the RNG at the beginning, of who gets what loot. That’ll stay, that’s what makes it kind of interesting.
“But progressively, what makes it less interesting is the mid-game. Because the mid-game, everyone is hiding and then the late game is a clusterf*ck.”
“There needs to be something there so that there’s not 40 people at the very end. Because then it’s not a matter of skill, it’s a matter of who gets luckiest to win the game. And it shouldn’t be [like] that.”
Shroud’s comments have been echoed by a number of other players and streamers in recent times. This includes xQc, a popular Twitch streamer, who has labeled the Fortnite esports scene a “complete failure.”
Here’s the rest:
“The [Fortnite] esports overall is f*cking trash. It is unwatchable, it has no substance, they don’t know how to spectate it or make it exciting.
“The storylines are non-existent, the broadcast is boring, the dialogue is normy, the integration of personalities is unbearable and their vision for production is trash.”
These sentiments were echoed by FaZe Clan’s Turner “Tfue” Tenney who revealed that, thanks to qualifying at an earlier date, he is glad that he does not have to qualify for this week’s Fortnite Battle Royale World Cup Qualifiers. He even went going so far as calling Battle Royale games “sh*t esports.”
Part of the issue Tfue has with Fortnite is the luck element. The number of players involved in the game at the end means winning is less about ability and more about luck. Then, in the game’s middle section, players tend to hide on the map to ensure they progress into the latter stages.
However, Tfue has also been critical of the way Epic Games has dealt with Fortnite World Cup issues. Controversially, Epic Games decided to remove the pump shotgun, a popular Fortnite weapon, during the World Cup qualifiers. This meant some top players were forced to completely change their strategies.
This was followed by an update on May 12. Players were climbing into vehicles but were then able to exit for the remainder of the tournament. Epic made the decision to disable all the vehicles for the remainder of the tournament.
After this latest issue broke, Tfue tweeted:
“I’m so glad I’m not playing this week.”
He has also revealed the World Cup will be his final competitive Fortnite event.
The Fortnite World Cup has been fraught with other problems, too. A number of players have been accused of cheating by teaming up secretly to improve their scores and eliminate players.
Is the criticism valid?
There is no doubt loot picked up by players at random at the start of the game can be difficult to overcome with skill alone. It is also true that players in these games do tend to play very defensively in the middle sections just to stay alive.
Now, it is unsurprising that top-level esports gamers want to eliminate luck as much as possible. The way they see it, the more luck involved, the less impact their otherworldly skill has.
However, not everybody is a top-level esports player. By introducing more of a luck element, the BR games are more fun for more people.
As with anything, there is a balancing act between the two. It remains to be seen whether PUBG, Apex, or Fortnite will work out such a balance.
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