​Epic Games recently hosted their first online qualifier tournament, the Fortnite Winter Royale. The total prize pool for this tournament totals $1 million, and anyone above the age of 16 was eligible for a chance to compete.

The ​Winter Royale qualifiers used the same mechanical systems implemented through the Scavenger Pop-Up Cup. This meant there was a material cap of 500 for each respective building resource. Eliminations also granted players an additional 50 heath or shields. Resource gathering was increased as well in order to reduce the amount of early game farming.     

In the past, Epic Games has hosted their ​Fortnite tournaments using the current patch during that time. Not only is this their first online exclusive tournament, it's using a completely different in game rule set. The top 200 players from both North America and Europe have moved on to the semi-finals. The feedback has been fairly mixed, but has had an overall positive outcome. This tournament was an extremely high pressured. Not only were well know professionals playing, players who haven't had a chance to go to LAN's like Twitch Con and Pax West got their chance.

Placing in the top 200 for each region was not as easy task, as expected. Since there was a limited time, players would scramble to get as many games in as possible before the next rounds would start. Even though the tournament format was simple enough, there were some controversial complications which appeared. Fortnite has done a fairly good job of keeping hackers and exploiters out of the game, as they are not too prevalent. The Winter Royale opened the flood gates for these hackers and many of them were obtaining high placements.   

Even though these hackers would have eventually been banned through the various reports made by players, that wasn't the big issue at hand. It's the fact that the hackers would send players back to the lobby and force them to lose out on potential points. Not only that, players who had high points already had a long queue time, which was detrimental because every minute counted. Having this issue would lead some players who were just on the cusp of having enough points to not qualify.

One other pressing issue were the players leaving before they got eliminated. This problem would occur during the end of the storm circles when one player would get low, but leave before the other one could get the elimination. More potential points were lost by people doing so. In the future, Epic Games should put a penalty on these people so they can't grief other contestants.

The Winter Royale qualifiers were by no means perfect in any way, but did provide a good amount of people an opportunity to make a name for themselves. If Epic can find a solution to these issues, Fortnite would have an excellent future in online based tournaments. The foundations of the Winter Royale will help improve the quality in not only online tournaments, but ones at Lan as well. 

Cover photo courtesy of Epic Games and ​Tfue