Epic Games has confirmed that in-game tournaments are coming to Fortnite with the release of the 6.1 update. The tournaments will be open to everyone, and will pit competitors on all platforms—and all types of control setups—against each other "as equals."
Beginning with a "completely clean slate" for each new tournament, players will compete to earn points "by either achieving high placements or eliminating multiple opponents." Achieving the tourney's target score will get you a pin, which for now sounds like a cosmetic item "celebrating your accomplishment." In the future, pins may also make players eligible for prizes, or be required to advance to the tournament's next round.
Interestingly, Fornite tournaments will use matchmaking to keep everyone on a more-or-less level playing field—and to ensure that players who are dominating the competition don't have too easy a time of it. "Matchmaking during a tournament session will pair players with similar point standings, so if you’re playing well within the session you’ll find yourself matched with stronger opponents," Epic said. "If you’re struggling then you should find an easier time the longer the session goes on."
There will also be no gating of platforms: Epic said that the performance of players using controllers in the Summer Skirmish, PAX West, and Fall Skirmish tournaments has "shown that controller players can be successful while competing against some of the best PC players in the world."
"Combining everyone into a single competition will allow for players to compete with their friends regardless of platforms and will allow us to place a single shining spotlight onto the world’s best players, increasing prize pools and player exposure from our competitions," Epic said. It did leave the door open to enabling platform or input device restrictions in the future, however.
The initial tournament schedule will be available in NA (East and West are combined), EU, BR, Asia, and OCE, with specific start times available in the Fortnite client:
Alpha Tournament (Solo)
- Dates: October 16 - October 21
- Description: Participate in the first in-game tournament, spanning across several days of daily competition!
Beta Tournament (Duo)
- Dates: October 23 - October 25
- Description: Grab a friend and take on the world - until you are the last two left.
Friday Night Fortnite (Squad)
- Dates: October 19 - November 30
- Description: Join your friends every Friday and kick off your weekend with some exciting Squad action.
Salty Springs Cup (Solo)
- Dates: October 27 - October 31
- Description: One week and three attempts to prove you're the saltiest that Salty Springs has to offer.
Tomato Temple Cup (Duo)
- Dates: October 28 - November 1
- 'Description: Become legends of the Tomato Temple Cup.
"Over the next few months, we’ll be continuing to develop the tournaments feature to allow for events to occur across multiple rounds, requiring players to have earned a pin to qualify for each subsequent round," Epic said. "We’re working toward establishing an exciting and varied schedule of tournaments for players of all talent levels, featuring new scoring formats and support for additional modes."
The studio also said that qualifiers for the 2019 Fortnite World Cup will be offered to eligible players through a "Showdown Royale" event that will be hosted via the in-game tournament system.