Season 5 of the Fortnite Competitive Series hasn’t even started, but pro players – like Benjy ‘benjyfishy’ David Fish – are already calling out Epic Games over the lack of prize money that’s up for grabs in 2021.
The Fortnite Competitive Series (FNCS) wrapped up its Season 4 competition in November 2020, and players have been eagerly awaiting the start of FNCS in Season 5. On December 4, Epic Games announced their plans for the next series of Fortnite’s top competitive tournaments.
Epic later confirmed that Season 5 of FNCS would begin on February 4. Outside of FNCS tournaments, the developer also announced they would be “putting together a schedule featuring more weekly tournaments, unique tournaments, and Creator Cups.”
While this seemed to be a community-focused move, player opinion turned negative when Epic revealed details on the prize pools for some of the additional events. After seeing the news, pro player benjyfishy voiced concerns on the state of competitive Fortnite in 2021.
Benjyfishy tweeted out two separate threads regarding the competitive scene. He began by pointing out how 2021 features the “least amount of tournaments we have ever had with the least amount of money.” He added that on top of those problems, Fortnite’s fun-factor is also at an all-time low.
The pro then voiced concerns about Epic’s distribution of prize money. “Every time we see that they lower cash cup prize pool we think that they are gonna put it into FNCS or something but it literally never happens,” he said, speaking about the reduced prize pools across the board.
least amount of tournaments we have ever had with the least amount of money, with the game being the least fun as i can remember 😢
— benjyfishy (@benjyfishy) January 10, 2021
Benjyfishy started his second series of tweets by mentioning how these issues were handled much better in the past. He said that there is no longer a reason for him to “grind” the game like he did in the past due to a lack of enjoyment and the smaller financial incentives.
He also shared his thoughts on the current trajectory of the competitive Fortnite scene. Benjyfishy argued that if Epic continues reducing prize pools – and the incentive for new players and veterans to compete – “the comp scene will slowly start dying out.”
and with prize pools constantly getting less and less its gonna be even harder for unknown players to start making a living out of the game which will eventually make them want to stop playing and the comp scene will slowly start dying out if it carries on
— benjyfishy (@benjyfishy) January 10, 2021
And the NRG player is not the only big-name player to share concerns on the current state of FNCS and competitive Fortnite. Other prominent pros and content creators voiced their own concerns too.
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Fellow pro player Jaden ‘Wolfiez’ Ashman called out Epic for the large reductions in prize money. Referencing the announcement of “Friday Nite Bragging Rights” (where winners receive a mention from the competitive Fortnite Twitter account) Wolfiez joked that prize pools have been reduced to “shoutouts.”
Fortnite Competitive Prizepools2019: $30 million2020: $3 million2021: Shoutouts
— XL Wolfiez (@Wolfiez) January 6, 2021
Other well-known players like Ryan ‘Chap’ Chaplo and Leon ‘Khanada’ Khim shared their own concerns on the state of competitive play. Chap joked that the FNCS prize pool would be reduced to V-Bucks, while Khanada blasted Epic over their reductions in prize pool money.
600 for first r u fucking serious bro how does it go from 3k to 600
— Zenada (@Khanada) January 10, 2021
“600 for first are you f**king serious bro how does it go from 3k to 600,” the pro player asked, referencing an 80% reduction in prize money for some events. The responses from fans showed the community largely feels the same way, with many voicing their own disappointment in the smaller prize pools.
While most of the community has been critical of competitive play heading into 2021, some players are trying to find a silver lining. FaZe Clan’s Nate Hill chimed in on the subject, offering his criticism of the situation but also providing an idea for Epic to address the community’s feedback.
Hey @FortniteGame if you crowd funded a small % from every battle pass to the Prize pool, we could have real tourneys that people are interested in watching. No one cares who got first place in a vbucks tourney. Dota 2 – 34million. Fortnite – box of cupcakes.
— FaZe Nate Hill (@NateHillTV) January 10, 2021
Using money from Battle Pass sales could be an easy way for Epic to provide higher prize pools moving forward. With revenue from each pass adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars, giving some of that back to the community could go a long way in addressing the current concerns.
Epic has not released any new updates on competitive Fortnite since the Bragging Rights announcement on January 6. It remains to be seen whether the developer will respond to the community’s backlash or take any action to up the prize pools for tournaments moving forward.