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The second tournament of the Fornite Summer Skirmish is a two-day event, and iDropz_Bodies took first place for today’s bracket. iDropz_Bodies, a console player nonetheless, led the tournament with a significantly higher number of kills than other players. This week’s ruleset, dubbed “High Score,” challenges competitors to achieve the highest score after ten Solo matches. Winning a match earns a player five points, while each elimination earns an additional point. Furthermore, any players who earn 20 eliminations in a single match are awarded a bonus ten points as well as a $10,000 stipend. At the end of the bracket, the player with the most eliminations in a single match receives a pretty $50,000 prize. For today, that player was also iDropz_Bodies.

Today’s top ten players are as follows:

  1. iDropz_Bodies – 184 points
  2. Faze Cloak – 165 points
  3. Nickmercs – 159 points
  4. NRG Zayt – 149 points
  5. Reaverlol – 149 points
  6. Typical Gamer – 147 points
  7. Notvivid – 147 points
  8. Liquidchap – 147 points
  9. Twitch.blootea – 146 points
  10. TSM_Daequan – 145 points

However, the event continues tomorrow with a different roster of pros and streamers. The prizes remain the same and the leaderboards reset, so be sure to tune in. Until then, let’s dive in and assess today’s stream.

The first Fortnite Summer Skirmish was a disappointment
Image courtesy of Polygon

Identifying where Summer Skirmish Week 1 went wrong

First, let’s recap. In last week’s tournament, players were paired in Duos, and everyone competed in the same match. That means that Epic had to host matches for 100 high-profile players and streamers. The ultimate objective matched the standard game, meaning players were competing for the first place Victory Royale. There was only a small prize for whoever achieved the most kills.

Unsurprisingly, with so much prize money on the line, gameplay was extremely conservative. Competitors played slowly and resorted to “turtling,” which is when a player stays in their own structure and only peaks until they’re forced to move. Not only did this result in boring gameplay to watch, but it also placed an increased level of strain on Epic’s servers. As such, many players faced game-breaking levels of lag.

After just four matches, Epic called an early end to the event. Unimpressed, it didn’t take long for complaints and criticism to surface online. A few days later, Epic shared an apology on their blog and assured people that the tournament would adapt.

Fortunately, this second iteration of the Summer Skirmish fared far better than the first attempt. Whereas last week’s event was lampooned for poor commentary, crippling lag, and boring gameplay, today’s matches proved Fortnite is a capable and entertaining esports contender. Though not perfect, the revised format and presentation helped the experience all around. At the very least, at least today’s tournament finished as planned, rather than being canceled early again.

Skirmish Week 2 did what Fortnite does best: Building bigger, better things

The first improvement came from the commentators. On the official Fortnite Twitch channel, hosts Zeke “ZekimusPrime” and Team SoloMid player “Hamlinz” kept audiences interested with a continually engaging discussion. In fact, one of the highlights of the tournament was hearing Hamlinz’s input on how he would react if placed in the same situations shown on stream. This was particularly entertaining when other TSM players were on show. On numerous occasions, Hamlinz correctly predicted the plays made by his teammates, Myth and Daequan. Not only did this provide a professional player’s personal perspective, it helped fill gaps during quiet moments of gameplay.

Speaking of which, the handling of streams was much more effective this time around. The stream on display switched more regularly, making sure to focus on players engaged in exciting moments rather than watching people camp. Meanwhile, ZekimusPrime and Hamlinz made sure to minimize their own discussion when streamers spoke. While this may seem obvious, there was a lot of overlapping dialogue during last week’s event. This, combined with a series of highlight clips strategically interspersed throughout the stream, ensured the event flowed smoothly.

Of course, the format of the event itself is likely the largest contributor to its success. First and foremost, rather than placing emphasis on wins, players had a larger incentive to achieve eliminations. This resulted in fast-paced, flashy gameplay, allowing notable players such as Tfue a chance to show off. Interestingly, Epic did not host the matches for this week’s tournament. Instead, players queued into their own public lobbies. That means the majority of players involved in the tournament were casual players serving as cannon fodder for the pros. An interesting tactic that worked in this instance, but doesn’t reflect well on the longevity of Fortnite as a serious competitive title.

What’s next for the Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series

Today’s Summer Skirmish tournament was far and away a huge improvement over last week’s. Prioritizing eliminations led to many high-intensity displays of true mastery at the game. Highlights included 100T_Parallax’s first match, in which he deftly eliminated 20 players and achieved the elimination award, as well as NRG Zayt’s ninth match, in which he hunted the remaining ten players, eliminating them all along the way, in order to achieve his first 20-elimination match of the tournament.

However, the day’s events were not without fault. Having players queue into their own lobbies is hardly a final solution, as there’s no way to judge consistency across matches. Furthermore, the Fortnite Twitch comments erupted with people declaring glitches and hacks in individual matches, calling for a reset of specific players’ scores. Without Epic hosting the matches themselves, it’s much more difficult to control these conditions. As such, these variables lessen the title’s credibility as a long-term esport, and instead cast it as more of a streamer-friendly form of entertainment than a serious competition.

Hopefully, the upcoming weeks show Epic is willing to continue refining their tournament formula. Until then, enjoy tomorrow’s competition, and let us know of your favorite moments from today’s stream!