The Shockwave Launcher is ruining competitive Fortnite and players are speaking out
The competitive scene for Fortnite has taken a major hit since Chapter 2 - Season 3 launched last month. While the esports scene has been lacklustre since the World Cup last summer, recently it’s been even more of a disaster. Currently, the game’s meta is a mess and players are complaining about a lack of competitiveness during any given match.
These complaints are mostly directed at Epic Games, who haven’t paid close attention to the competitive scene as of late. Pair that with Season 3’s meta and you have a recipe for mayhem. How can Epic Games turn the tide and make the competitive side of Fortnite enjoyable again?
Epic Games and the current Fortnite meta
All of the negative energy with the new season really came to a head when FaZe Clan’s Timothy “Bizzle” Miller wrote a Twitlonger about his current situation. In the statement, Bizzle basically explains why he is splitting up from his former trio, which consisted of Cody “Clix” Conrod and Josh "Commandment" Roach. To summarise the statement, Bizzle and the two other players were having a difficult time with the new meta. After a particularly hard tournament, Bizzle made the decision to leave his former trio and join another former squad, which consists of fellow FaZe members Daniel "Dubs" Paul Walsh and Noam “Megga” Ackenine.
While the familiarity with the FaZe members likely had something to do with Bizzle’s decision, it ultimately came down to the Season 3 meta splitting up the trio with Commandment and Clix. In his Twitlonger, the former Ghost Gaming player complains heavily about the Shockwave Launcher ruining matches. Essentially, the launcher is so strong that it takes any height advantage away and turns competitive Fortnite matches into a game of “who can obtain the Shockwave Launcher”. Here’s what Bizzle had to say about the launchers:
“Before Season 3 we were dominating every single game and then when the new season came, the shockwave launcher disabled us from playing the way we were used to and crazy end game lag lead to a lot of thrown games.”
The Shockwave Launcher is a problem
If you haven’t played any Fortnite recently, then you might not understand how annoying the Shockwave Launcher can really be. In public matches, it’s not as big of a problem. However, in competitive, it eliminates any chance of survival if you happen to have a height advantage. The launcher can easily knock you off your builds and make you think twice about pushing enemies.
While the Shockwave Launcher is rare, with Mythic Weapon status, at least one team in every tournament match seems to have one. More often than not, that squad makes it pretty far in the match, as they have a unique advantage. Many players are calling for Mythic Weapons to be banned in competitive matches or for Epic Games to nerf how powerful it is.
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Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of options when it comes to a nerf. Decreasing the launcher’s magazine from 6 to 2-4 is a route that Epic Games could take. Although, beyond that, there’s not much to be done. The launcher fires Shockwave Grenades and the whole purpose of that item is to launch you or an enemy sky-high.
Epic Games really needs to look at the Shockwave Launcher and decide the best course of action to take. If not, they could have another B.R.U.T.E. situation on their hands. The Mech known as the B.R.U.T.E. ravaged Fortnite for the entirety of Season X and was gracefully vaulted when Chapter 2 came around. However, during Season X, it was a constant source of rage for casual and competitive players alike. It took any competitive integrity from the game and made matches about RNG and Mech fighting.
With the Shockwave Launcher, a similar situation is brewing. While you actually have to work to obtain a Shockwave Launcher, it still has no place in a competitive environment. Fortnite needs to be about skill, especially on the esports side of things, and with the Shockwave Launcher in the game, skill takes a backseat.
Images via Epic Games