Playground mode has returned to Fortnite and that means the window for a new type of competition has opened: a 1v1 tournament.
As we’ve already seen from the variety of tournaments that have been hosted so far, Fortnite is a game whose competitive space can look like almost anything. Whether it’s a lobby full of 100 professional players and streamers, 1 streamer and 99 random players or even Friday Fortnite’s two opposing duos playing in the same squad, there have been plenty of creative formats dreamed up for competitive tournaments. But, so far each relies on the standard 100 players, rather than just two.
In a 1v1 tournament, players would compete against one another head to head in whatever way they saw fit. Whether that’s a tense sniper duel from across the map or a massive build battle, the two would keep fighting until one has been eliminated. While these fights might not be exactly like the kind you see in matchmaking everyday, they would provide the perfect place for some of the best players in the world to put their skills to the test against equal competition.
Build battles are often the most impressive and exciting part of any game for most streamers, but for a pro to face a real challenge during their stream is pretty rare. Within a tournament format, viewers could be guaranteed two talented players in every match up. Meanwhile, making the tournament exclusively about the 1v1s, rather than placing 100 pros in the same lobby, means that we could avoid all of the overly passive play that has marked competitive play in Fortnite so far. The players would have no choice but to fight, rather than feeling like each fight was simply a punishing and unnecessary risk.
The idea of a 1v1 tournament isn’t a new idea. During the initial release of Playground mode, 1v1 build fights became a common pass-time for streamers and one of the pro community’s favorite activities. Their competitions in that original mode even helped prompt some of the changes that were brought out by Epic for Playground’s second release, such as specific teams — to prevent players from editing their opponents structures by mistake — and increased ammo spawns.
The game tournament organizers over at Players’ Lounge even managed to put together a 1v1 tournament near the end of last season in the last few days that Playground mode was available. The tournament was fun, but never quite got the attention it deserved from the community. In part, because they didn’t have time to secure all of the top streamers, but also because the tournament was simply organized, rather than produced with the high quality stream switching and broadcasting fans have started to expect from Fortnite tournaments.
Now that Playground mode has been improved, and there’s a little more time to organize, it’s finally time for someone to put on Fortnite’s first great 1v1 tournament. Whether it’s Keemstar and UMG (the team behind Friday Fortnite), Players’ Lounge giving the idea a second go around or even Epic themselves hosting an event as a part of the Summer Skirmish, sometime in the next couple of weeks hopefully we’ll get a competition to find out who Fortnite’s best builder truly is.