This article is part of our Fortnite series.
Hey, Epic. It's time we have a talk. Let's just sit down and have a quick chat.
I heard from my good friend Ben "DrLupo" Lupo that you might have some, uh, restrictions in place when it comes to the casting of your Summer Skirmish Series. Let's hear from the man himself.
There's one line in there that is quite illuminating. "Wish people saw the tools, or lack of tools, that were given. Wish people knew the vibe that we were told to portray." While we don't know the specifics of this "vibe" or anything, the implication is clear.
You see, DrLupo was taking a lot of flack for his style of casting this past weekend as many felt that he was trying to be too funny and was making far too many jokes during the broadcasts. I, too, thought he went a bit overboard at times, but it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone made it out to be. After seeing this comment on Reddit, though, it all fell into place. The entire casting desk, including the ever guffawing Zeke, can be seen in a new light after this.
In short, this is how Epic wants these tournaments to be casted. They want the silliness. They want the constant hysterical laughter. They want all the jokes. They want to keep this fun. Whether we like it or not (I, for the record, don't), this is their goal for the Summer Skirmish Series.
I think that with the $8 million prize pool, we all kind of put a lot of expectations on this tournament series. It was one of the highest prize pools in the history of esports. So we naturally expected top-notch production values and professionalism. That was certainly a logical expectation, but it was one that set us all up for disappointment.
The Summer Skirmish Series, about to head into Week 7 of the eight-week series, is nothing more than one gigantic beta. Epic is just trying to see what formats work and enticed all the top pros and content creators with the also gigantic prize pool. As such, they clearly wanted to try and keep the vibe as light as possible, for better or worse.
My hope is that while this has been the vibe for the Summer Skirmish, Epic will get back to a more formal style for the World Cup events later this year. We know from the Pro-AM that casting and production value for these events can be top notch. As long as they get back to that in the future, I suppose I can stomach the Summer Skirmish.
What I can't stomach, though, are the other issues besides the casting that have plagued, and still continue to plague the Summer Skirmish Series.
I feel like I'm a broken record at this point, but I just have to say it once more. WHERE IS THE DAMN SPECTATOR MODE????? Last week, we got a few glimpses of it, which gave some hope that it might be finished and usable soon. But then it disappeared this week. What gives, Epic? Not only will having the spectator mode make it easier to follow the action from a general standpoint, it will also save us from the god awful stretched resolution that these players are still rocking. Save us, Epic, you're our only hope.
Another thing that I have been harping on for weeks got a bit more murky this week, too. Since the first couple weeks of the Summer Skirmish, players have been getting disconnected from the server and causing them to miss out on key rounds. I always wondered why they could never just restart rounds. Maybe it wasn't possible from a technical sense? Maybe it was due to time constraints? They were all plausible, if not still very frustrating, explanations for the issues here. Except for one thing. EPIC RESTARTED GAMES MULTIPLE TIMES LAST WEEKEND. Sorry for the caps, I couldn't help myself.
Seriously, though, why did they never restart any of the games when played disconnected right at the start of a match? I realized they hit the restart in this instance due to some incredible lag, but shouldn't multiple players (including a team that was in striking distance of a tournament win a few weeks back) be just as important of a situation in which to restart as lag? I just don't get it. I understand the slight "you snooze, you lose" aspect of not restarting due to disconnects, but, as I've now said about a million times, with this much money on the line, stuff like that just shouldn't be an issue.
At this point in time, I strongly feel that these production issues are the biggest impediments to the growth of Fortnite esports. You can put up all the money in the world to get players to come, but if the viewing experience sucks, people won't watch. The game is still so popular at this point that Epic doesn't have to worry about people leaving in droves just yet. But once the World Cup starts and the biggest prize pools are in play, these issues could very well kill this scene or, at the very least, making it the laughing stock of the esports scene.