There are only two more rounds to go in the Fortnite World Cup qualifying round, with entry to the $30m July finals up for grabs.
Tensions are getting high for some well-known players, such as the hugely popular Tfue, who is looking unlikely to qualify for duos. If competitive Fortnite remains a mystery to you, this beginner’s guide might help you jump in and enjoy the final qualifying rounds.
Qualifying is split into two groups — solo for single players and duos for teams of two. Players must be at least level 15 to enter, but there are no other restrictions — everyone, worldwide, is open to compete. Players earn points for winning royale, a placing finish and for kills. There are ten qualifying rounds overall, with qualifying points cumulative across all rounds.
Once all 100 players have landed on the island at the start of a game, they rush to gather materials and weapons to stock up for the fight ahead. Soon after, a storm descends on the island, slowly shrinking the playing space, pushing players closer and closer together, where they will fight until only one person or team is left.
Fortnite is a delicate combination of shooting, building, and escaping. Players actually spend far more of their time building four walls and a roof around them, to protect themselves and to facilitate climbing upwards (more on that shortly) than they do shooting.
In the early game, players will be gathering materials and weapons all across the island, but in the late game, Fortnite starts to resemble an architect’s nightmare. Players construct what look like tiny huts in rapid fashion around them, which then scale updwards and outwards as they build on that foundation. The purpose is to protect themselves and to gain the ‘high ground’.
No matter how fast you can build, it only takes a few rockets, grenades, or rifle fire to bring those walls tumbling down, leaving you exposed. The high ground: Players with the high ground can see the action below them and pick off other players much easier.
In theory they are much safer than being on the ground, especially as the storm begins to constrict and pushes everyone closer together. Hence, many people seek the high ground through building.
Some players prefer being in the thick of the action, marauding at the low levels and taking people on up close and personal. It can reward you with more kills and loot, but becomes very dangerous in the late game.
So, what happens when you get stuck in the middle of a bad situation? You hightail out of there. Rotations is the term used for how players escape or move quickly from the battle. Examples include rifting, which teleports players to the sky so they can parachute back in; shadow bombs, which allow players to become untouchable smoke for a limited period; and vehicles like Ballers, which speed around the map.
Top-level players make Fortnite seem like a high-speed puzzle that only they can solve. In competitive games, it is normal to see 20-30 players converge in the final minutes of the storm, creating something kaleidoscopic in nature. Imagine being caught in a giant Rubik’s Cube that you are building with 20 other players, on the fly, except they can shoot you through the gaps in the cube. That’s competitive Fortnite.
Some professional players feel that the open format doesn’t facilitate top-level play, because players who have already qualified or who aren’t very good can ruin another player’s game by giving up their own lives to disrupt play.
If you feel like watching Fortnite World Cup, then streaming platform Twitch is the place to go. You’ll find live presentations and commentary every weekend, with plenty of good tips and excellent camerawork that really shows the game in all its complexity.
The qualifying rounds finish on June 16, with the finals being held in New York on July 26-28. The incredible thing about this open format is that we might just see some unknown player rise up and win millions, changing their lives forever.