Zone Wars: The future of competitive Fortnite?

Fortnite Zone Wars

The release of the latest Fortnite patch saw the inclusion of “Zone Wars”, an LTM that has been around since the addition of Creative. The community-created game mode mimics the endgame gameplay seen in competitive Fortnite matches.

With its fast-paced combat and 5-round matches, it’s proving to be extremely popular, with many considering it more competitively balanced and enjoyable to watch than the Battle Royale mode that made the game famous.

So could we see competitive Fortnite adopt the Zone Wars LTM as its default game mode? It’s certainly what a growing number of the player base want.

So what would competitive Zone Wars look like? And could it take Fortnite esports to even greater heights?

What is Zone Wars?

Zone Wars LTM
There are a number of unique Zone Wars items to be unlocked.

Zone Wars is Fortnite’s brand new LTM. It is derived from a community created game mode designed to replicate the chaotic end-game seen in competitive Fortnite, and is used by many pros to hone their skills in what is regarded as the most difficult part of the game.

Unlike within the Battle Royale mode, just 16 solo players spawn rather than glide into the four new Zone Wars maps. Each player is given a random load-out including traps and 500 of each material. There’s no farming or looting, although you can pick up downed opponents gun and items.

Zone Wars are played across 5 rounds with points award for placement and eliminations, with an overall winner declared at the end. The individual games are quicker than the traditional mode due to the map size and storm speed, taking around 5 minutes to complete. Each round sees a reset of the map and load-outs with no cumulative effect for winning the round.

What would competitive Zone Wars look like?

Competitive Zone Wars has the potential to take everything good about high-level Fortnite; the best players, the insane builds, edits and ingenious use of items, while at the same time getting rid of the less noteworthy aspects – the boring early game of farming and looting, the RNG that makes it uncompetitive, and the time it takes to rotate until the game “really starts.”

The current tournament format means you can only play between 5-8 games in one day, which alongside the inherent RNG element makes winning these tournaments very luck-based. Zone Wars is played across 5 matches but in a tournament setting you could increase that to 10 or 15 games, thus making the sport more competitive.

With this increased focus, we would see the best players in Fortnite battle it out in a fair and balanced game – no meta-breaking items, no RNG, just more of the high-octane action that made Fortnite the biggest game in the world.

How can competitive Zone Wars be improved?

Fortnite FaZe Competitive Zone Wars LTM
Competitive Zone Wars would be the best way to showcase the best players in Fortnite.

Anyone that has played Zone Wars can see its obvious potential as an esport, but it’s far from the finished product.

Currently, the only mode is 16 solo players – but this is exactly the kind of game mode that needs to be opened up to duos, trios, and squads. Seeing the best of TSM, Team Liquid and FaZe etc all battle it out as duos – up to, say, 32 players, is a mouth-watering prospect.

As it stands each of the 16 players is given a unique randomly generated loadout, but for competitive play, it would be better for all the players to receive the same randomly generated loadout – meaning players have to adapt and play with what they have. This might seem too restrictive to some, with the potential for play to become stale – so to reward players doing well and to keep it fresh there are two options. Have players drop a new randomly generated loadout on death, or give players rewards based on their performance in the previous round.

There is also no ranked mode, and crucially no penalty when players leave before finishing the 5 rounds. An introduction of a ranked mode plus a cooldown period for any quitters would be a welcome addition.

So what do you think of Zone Wars? Could it become the standard competitive Fortnite mode? Let us know your thoughts via Dart Frog’s TwitterInstagram, or Facebook.