Fortnite Pro Guide

The Fortnite Pro Guide

What is the difference between Contender and Champion?

The difference between Contender and Champion in Fortnite, is that one has the ability to be great and the other proved that they are great. One of the main reasons these guides are written in parts is because the road to success is more like a staircase, there are many steps and some of them are harder to step on than others, but most of them are made easier to climb when there is more depth of knowledge about the next step. This isn’t to say that we can overcome some of the outlier limiting factors such as age and its relation to response times, our available internet connection, and our financial circumstances keeping us from maximizing our potential with an all around better gaming setup. I had to play League of Legends on an HP Mini for a year with a Walmart mouse and no headset, I’ve been there. So let's get over that next step together, how do we break into the Champion ranks and even challenge the online qualifiers for your region.

What do I need to make that final push?

We should start outside of the game, because a lot of people don’t realize how much your life outside of the game impacts your ability to play the game. When you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t matter what the requirement is to become good at it, you put in the work without even realizing it half the time, and the other half you realize just how exhausting it is to put in that work. Some of us may want to go pro, while some of us are content with just being acknowledged as one of the best. Whatever your goal is, you have to dedicate the time and effort it takes to get there, and sometimes, that may just not be enough.

As it is with any other competition, there comes a time where we just aren’t as good as we used to be, or we just have other responsibilities that get in the way. There is a handful of reasons Bugha won the World Cup solos tournament, he was allowed a lot more time to play than other 16 year olds, he is extremely talented, and a lot of younger guys are faster on the draw than those of us that are already considered retirement age for Esports. 

I’m not trying to take anything away from anybody, especially not Bugha, but in all fairness I wasn’t allowed to play games if I didn’t have a 3.5 GPA and finish my extracurriculars, and I’m sure a lot of kids nowadays are in a similar boat. I also wasn’t as dedicated or talented at any games as Bugha is at Fortnite.

We are better on any given day just as we are worse on any given day, the only thing separating us from consistency is the consistency of how much we practice and learn about the game.  If we deliberately sat down for two hours of dedicated warm ups, six hours of Arena Mode games, and then did another two hours of review, we already put in ten hours of our day into a video game which is still considered taboo. That’s just the beginning of what it takes to reach that level of prowess in the Esports scene.

Pro players easily put in more time than that with as little as one day off of that schedule. That kind of schedule just simply isn’t feasible for a lot of us, and is one of the reasons we didn’t even play in the qualifiers for Worlds, we already knew we weren’t good enough.If we want to be that good, then it really comes down to doing just that, it may be more difficult for those of us who missed the curve by eight years, but it is still doable with the right amount of dedication. The trick is knowing how to reach that level of skill, and that after all, is why you’re here.

I always put in my pro guides an expectation limiter. Is it a pro guide? Yes, but some of us just realistically aren’t going to be able to consistently put in the time it takes to achieve that top ranking spot, and then keep it after the fact. Which is why I try to address the people that are talented and want to maybe set a placeholder goal until they’re able to put in the time required. We can all get there, that's what competition is about in the first place.

Don’t feel demoralized, or accept your fate for what it is, we can all squeeze in the occasional session, just make sure you go about it the right way. Warm up and practice first, then play the ranked mode, then either go back into your local recording and study what you could have improved on, or study a player that is currently top ranked and their VODs.

The system still works, one hour of practice with two hours of competitive ending with one hour of review is only four hours, and on the days where our responsibilities are minimal, grind away.

What else affects my gameplay?

Whether we are playing 16 or 2 hours a day, at the point where we are confident and consistent enough in our ability to play that we can get the top placements with a couple of kills consistently, we can grind efficiently. Although if we let what's going on outside the game affect us in game we will see worse results and start seeing ourselves tilt more while we play. We can’t always avoid tilt but we can lessen its effects on us in a multitude of ways. 

When we have a bad day, sometimes playing games helps us get to our happy place and move on to better things, but sometimes it's enough to make us unfocused and miss hsots we wouldn’t have normally, or lose fights we know we should have won. It can be hard to pass up on a session especially on our worst days, but if you feel the need to practice anyway then limit it to just that.

Letting ourselves que up with our Trio or que into Solos when we are having a bad day can be the difference between dropping a rank and gaining some much needed Hype.

Kicking some bad habits tend to make the potato feelings go away, being even just a little healthier makes it easier to sit there for extended periods of time staring at the computer screen. Making sure we have proper posture and have taken the correct precautions to ensure the longevity of our play time can also increase our overall performance just by allowing ourselves to be more comfortable for the duration we play.

Of course some of this comes back to the fact that not all of us have access to everything we may need to assist us with that. Making the attempt helps all the same even if it's just a margin. The most important thing is the practice it takes to get to where we want to be, but all of these things can help us get there. Try your best to play when you’re in a positive mindset, and when you have a negative mindset try to limit how much you allow yourself to play Arena Mode. If you are one of those people playing ten or more hours a day, try taking an extra day off on the days you know you aren’t feeling your best whether it be mentally or physically.

What are the next level strats in Fortnite?

Now that we are looking to get into the highest tiers we can we need to take everything just a bit more seriously. We need to take the time to learn every individual nook and cranny of the map so we know where we are and where we are going at any given point in the game. Looking at the minimap constantly to check your position is going to limit your reaction time, not always, but it will increase the odds you get ticked down at an inopportune time. 

Get into the habit of learning a specific rotation after you drop. Choose a few places to more frequently land at and then practice a route over and over again. Memorization is key at this level of play. Knowing where you’re going next before you need to go there makes it easier to focus on your surroundings. This increases your response time and makes it so you’re able to act before an enemy when the situation presents itself.

Sometimes we won't be able to run our routes and we have to make a move somewhere we aren’t as comfortable. Just try to make a connection to a route you would normally run and try to merge it with where you are in the game at the time.

Make sure you’re as maxed on Mats as you can be if you don’t have to fight. The building gets crazy at the end of the match and while you can win with no Mats, the odds are not in your favor. We aren’t always going to get the perfect loadout, but that's why we need to know how and when to use everything the game has to offer. If you get stuck with a bunch of healing and a Gray Pistol, being able to make something happen with that is the difference between gaining Hype and losing Hype.

The Strategy changes from a more open choice based one like, dropping hot or not, to a more focused and chiseled Meta where movement is everything and your mobility and flexibility are the key to victory. Yes, sometimes you just get dropped randomly, but that happens to everyone and it is far more important to just shake it off and go next than wonder how you got eliminated. This all of course is easier said than done. Try focusing on completing routes that you like and playing for the Zone when you’re practicing. The ability to read the Zone and know your next move gives you the one up on somebody that may be mechanically better than you.

Fortnite is a heavily decision based game, and the more we get put into tough situations, the more we come out on top in those tough situations. Practice outside of the Arena Mode and take it seriously. No matter if you win or lose you’re gaining experience.

Try to keep forcing yourself to use a limited kit, make the challenge an even harder challenge, this is the best way to become a better player and really separates the Ninjas from the nobodies. If you’re in Solos then it is a strict playing field where one mistake can cost you your rank. If it’s Trios there is a little more room for failure, but the key in Trios is to have an open line of communication and to let people talk you out of or into something. If you’re all on the same page, even if things go South you’ll come back stronger in the next match.

Solos really relies on optimal planning and decision making. Going in blind every game isn’t going to get you very far. Proper preparation is planning where you’re going to drop and knowing where you’re going to go after the fact, the key in BRs is to eliminate as much RNG as possible.

Trios is more about communication and planning. Chemistry is a big factor as well but that falls into place if you practice enough before a session. Don’t step on your teammates toes and don’t let them get under your skin. Nobody likes to lose, and it makes it a worse experience when we go at each other's throats instead of the enemies. 

Both require game sense and a little bit of luck. Game sense is a skill we have to embed in ourselves over the course of our climb. The more we know, the more we will figure out and see during the most intense fights. Use the 15 inventory slots strategically as well if you’re playing Trios. I can’t stress enough how convenient it is that you can split pack mule duty and have something for every scenario you may run into.

Rotation is another term for the routes we plan out and practice in advance. Rotation in the game is something that became kind of a second nature to us and we had never really given any thought to it before, but now that we are learning some optimal strategization, we should mention some rotational pros and cons. At this level we need to be as aware of our surroundings as possible, when we hear a fight going on we need to know if it is one we can third party and capitalize on, or if we are wasting the rotation by moving closer to the Zone to maybe get one or two eliminations.

It is always important to think about the next step, is it worth it to wait in an area for any possible passersby or would we benefit more from moving to another area and possible having to take a fight when we get there or are on route there. These things we normally don’t give too much thought to, but we should be giving more thought to as we continue to climb the ladder.

Best loadouts at the Contender level?

Loadouts in the upper divisions become a little less important for the sole fact that us and everyone around us are more proficient with every weapon than a majority of players in Fortnite. This doesn’t mean we won’t do better with a specific loadout or our favorite weapons, it just means that we can get shafted on drop and still make do with a Green Pistol and Gray Sub, making us and all of our enemies on equal footing even when it may seem like we or they have an advantage. Focus more on having the correct Utilities to take into the late game and keeping up on Mats and Heals. 

The correct Utility may be a little different depending on who you ask, but because of what they are all capable of, it really just depends on what you can find when you’re looting. Because while the high ground is oh so strong a position to have, especially later in the game, is it worth it to have 3 Shadows when a box or edit fight is more likely to be a roadblock than a fight for the highground? It all just depends.

Grenades and Airstrikes are great, Stink Bombs are really powerful especially when in one on one situations. Airstrikes may be more useful in the later game but they are always a good enough Utility that if you find it, you may as well use it.

Stink Bombs are heavily coveted by some players while completely ignored by others. They are great counters to Campfires and when used effectively, can turn a box fight into and easy clap. Grenades are good for knocking down boxes and some smaller builds, and while they can output high damage numbers, they are way more useful towards the beginning of the game.

Try to look for what gets the most damage done early on in the game, when those jenky 1v1v1v1v1v1 drop fights happen. Later on in the game, whatever gets you out of danger is something that may be way more useful than stinks and grenades.

Shadow Bombs, Shockwave Grenades, and Storm Flips are some of the best all around items in the game that aren’t straight up damage dealers. Shadow Bombs offer the most movement advantages, keeping us safer than we normally would be while also offering us the chance to close the gap between us and our enemy.

Shockwave Grenades are similar to Shadow Bombs in their perks, but differ in their use cases. Often times you can Shockwave out of your build or off a cliff and you won’t take any fall damage when you land. These are the most effective for getting instant height advantages or for escaping a fight quickly. It may seem like in my guides I talk a lot about Storm Flips. I love Storm Flips I think they have the highest skill cap of any of the Utility items and offer great rewards to the players with a high enough IQ to use them efficiently. When the Storm chunks you for 5 hp a second, and you’ve only got 20hp, a few extra seconds to pop a Medkit gives you a giant advantage over all the suckers that are still struggling in the zone without a Storm Flip of their own. I will be very sad if that item gets vaulted.

Of course the stronger a gun is the better it is for us to pick up, but we all know what we enjoy using and what we don’t. At this point we are good enough to recognize that maybe we should just take the Scar over the Hunting Rifle, no matter how cool it feels to get those headshots from iron sights. Use what you find, but also love what you use. The strength at this level is all aim and strategy, doesn’t matter so much how much damage the Orange does more than the Purple.

Good luck, future Champion.

Fortnite is a rather inspiring game, it rose up in the ranks of Esports at an insane rate and holds that number one spot with defiance to all others. We should emulate that mentality, and when we que up with our squad, gun after that number one spot with ferocious intensity. Remember to regulate yourself when it is required, and that with enough time and effort any one of us can win the next big tournament, just start small and practice. Be hard on yourself, but take care of yourself too. Goodluck to you all, and see you in the Arena. Remember to check out our viewer guide if you have a hard time following the tournaments, and while this is the last Fortnite guide, it should be updated as weapons are added and removed, thanks for climbing with us.

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Cameron Carr

12 November 2019

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