Although interest has waned in the past couple of years, Fortnite is still one of the biggest games in the world.
A lot of the casual streamers moved on to other games, which paved the way for the competitive scene to hit the main stage.
Now, most of the names at the top of the Fortnite Twitch directory are those who are placing in tournaments and treating Arena like old-school pub-stomping.
At the same time, the Fortnite pro scene is notoriously young. This has led to pros making mistakes with what they say and how they handle their growing audiences.
The lack of experience at a pro level also leads to players who don't entirely comprehend their value.
Reverse2K, one of the more seasoned pro Fortnite players in the scene, took to Twitter to call out small tournament organizers that are taking advantage of this lack of knowledge.
@Reverse2K on Twitter
In short, Reverse criticized tournament organizers who offer small prize pools and expect pro players to compete.
For most of these pros - who regularly pull in thousands upon thousands of concurrent viewers - the time commitment for these events isn't worth it.
The tournament organizers, themselves, benefit by gaining a ton of exposure with very little cost.
BallaTW, a Fortnite and Valorant commentator, gave his opinion in the replies, agreeing with Reverse but saying the blame should be spread around a bit more.
So many drones hating...— Ballatw (@Ballatw) July 26, 2021
Reverse is right. Though I'd argue its a combination of three faults, the players, the T/Os (tournament organizers) AND the game itself.
Think of viewership for some of these small tournaments... $1k prize with 100k viewers, how does that make sense?
Who's to blame?
Balla is spot-on with his analysis. The blame can't lie at the feet of the tournament hosts, alone.
After all, you can't blame a company for wanting to get their name out there with a low-priced Fortnite tournament.
You can't blame the players, either. A lot of them want to practice and compete at a top level. For them, a high-level tournament is stream content - regardless of the prize pool.
In my opinion, most of the blame should lie at the feet of Fortnite and Epic Games.
After all, it's Epic that outlawed Pro Scrims and Wagers in favor of their own sporadic and sub-optimal scrimmages.
For young Fortnite pros, these small tournaments are both content and practice.
Tournament organizers are filling a need, and you can't blame them too much for low-balling their prize pools. Why offer $10k for first if you'll get the same participation in a $1k tournament?
If you want something to change, it needs to come from the top. Epic Games is in the driver's seat, here.