Why Nerfs, Boosts Can Make Or Break Even The Biggest Esports Titles

Published: Jan 9, 2019

There is no doubt Fortnite was one of the biggest successes of 2018. Epic Games‘ title was the biggest game of the year, raking in huge money for the developer and gaining a massive following in the casual player market. As a result, there has been plenty of noise about Fortnite as a top-level esport.

However, the recent news from Epic that a new weapon had been released into Fortnite has been met with a degree of dismay by esports devotees. That weapon (a boost, as it is known when a developer makes an “improvement” to a game aspect or character) is the Boom Box.

What is the Boom Box?

This new weapon allows players to turn up the volume and toss the weapon at an opposing player’s constructions. They will then be torn down by the new weapon, exposing the opponent and allowing the wielder a chance to eliminate them from the Battle Royale game.

One competitive Fortnite player, Dixon, revealed his frustration with the developers making such boosts and nerfs to the game at the last minute. He tweeted the following:

“I don’t think Epic realizes what they’re doing to the comp scene. You’re making everything SUPER unpredictable at this point. This is already an issue due to last minute events/not many going on as it is. Also adding some INSANE item last minute, you’re screwing over the players.”

Indeed, this is an issue that permeates esports writ large. There have been plenty of past instances when a developer has rolled out a patch that has nerfed certain characters or weapons and boosted others, and it’s provoked a tremendous negative response from casual and professional players alike.

Positive Aspects of Nerfing and Boosting

Let’s zoom out for a minute. There’s no doubt that when a company Nerfs or Boosts any aspect of a game it can have very positive effects. These include:

    • Overpowered characters or weapons, which can be used almost as an exploit by players, are necessarily limited;
    • By continually nerfing or boosting weapons and characters, the game takes on a new, fresh dynamic as players develop new tactics;
    • Characters and weapons that are underpowered can be boosted so they become more appealing;
    • New items (especially those with no charge) give players the feeling they are getting good value for their money.
Open a Thunderpick account and claim your bonus
1
logo_black-blue-background_esport-betting-600px-removebg-preview-copy
100% up to €/$600
On your first deposit
Premier Crypto Esports Betting Site
Extensive Pre-Match & Live Betting Markets
Popular & Niche Esports Markets

Negative Aspects of Nerfing and Boosting

However, not all attempts to improve a game work. Here are some pitfalls.

  • If a company makes a character, weapon, or item too strong or weak with a boost or nerf, tried and true strategies are rendered moot overnight. That’s frustrating. And when it comes to pros, it can damage their livelihood.
  • Often, there won’t be consensus on the efficacy of nerfs and boosts. Some may like it, others may not, and the seeds of discord are sewn in the gaming community.
  • The addition of extra items into a game, especially for a fee, is a contentious issue. While many players are happy to pay a little extra for a boosted item or character, others feel that it is not in the spirit of the game to reward players who pay extra while effectively penalising those who bought only the original game.

The upshot with esports

With regards to the esports industry, nerfing and boosting is a contentious issue. It can render strategies players or teams have developed over many years ineffective almost overnight. While the top teams and players will develop a number of strategies to mitigate such effects, it can still be hugely problematic. Teams may find themselves adjusting on the fly. After all, they don’t tweak the rules of football the week before games.

Along with upgrades to the software, nerfing and boosting will remain a contentious issue in esports gaming. It is very much a no-win situation often for the developers. Now, such changes are often necessary to preserve the integrity of the game and extend its life span. As the founders of Fortnite have just found out, this does not make these changes any less controversial.

Ian John

Since: August 10, 2015

Ian is a regular contributor to EsportsBets. Ian is well-versed in the world of esports betting and casino gaming and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

See all articles from this author

Related Articles

iem chengdu playoffs
April 11, 2024

Preview: Betting on the IEM Chengdu 2024 Playoffs

The IEM Chengdu 2024 playoffs are set to begin shortly, with six teams hoping to clinch the title…
betway exits japanese market
April 9, 2024

Betway exiting Japanese market, partners told

In an extraordinary announcement dated Apr. 8, 2024, online iGaming giant Betway, owned by Super Group Limited, informed…
copenhagen major betting insights ggbet escharts
April 4, 2024

GG.BET and Esports Charts reveal incredible insights from the Copenhagen Major

Esports analytics company Esports Charts has published some incredible insights and statistics about the PGL Copenhagen Major 2024…
iem chengdu group stage betting preview
April 4, 2024

IEM Chengdu Group Stage Preview: Format, Favorites & Opening Matches

Only one week after the PGL CS2 Copenhagen Major’s conclusion, the Counter-Strike circus is on the road again…
starladder returns with cs events starseries
April 2, 2024

StarLadder Makes its Return to Counter-Strike with New Events in 2025 and Beyond

Ukrainian esports tournament organizer and production company StarLadder is returning to Counter-Strike 2 events. The company announced it…
pgl announces cs2 tier 1 events roadmap for 2025-2026
April 2, 2024

PGL Unveils Roadmap for 11 Tournaments in 2025-2026

At the close of the Copenhagen Major 2024 on Sunday, March 31, tournament organizer PGL unveiled a host…
tpwc european qualifier series 1 preview
April 2, 2024

Best Teams in the Thunderpick World Championship European Series #1

The first European qualifier for the Thunderpick World Championship 2024 is underway, with only one of 32 teams…
thunderpick skins giveaway
April 1, 2024

Thunderpick Skins Giveaway: Bet with Thunderpick to Enter a Prize Draw

Do you want to play CS2 with a bit more style? Then check out this incredible giveaway from…