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Epic hopes to give Fortnite pros more time to adjust to big changes in 2019

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For all its massive, $2.4 billion success, Fortnite has stumbled a bit on the esports scene, partly because it's not ready for prime time but also because of Epic's habit of capricious rule changes and updates that catch pros by surprise. The addition of the Infinity Blade in December, for instance, was lots of fun for players in general, but didn't go over nearly so well in the competitive scene.   

In the first of three planned updates on competitive Fortnite's state of development, Epic said that 2018 was "an invaluable learning experience," and that it will take steps to make competitive play a little less unpredictable this year.

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"We value the ability of players to adapt to the game changing over time. We also believe these changes keep Fortnite fresh for everyone including players, competitors and spectators," it wrote. "However, we want to provide reasonable time for you to adjust strategies following large gameplay impacting changes, for example prior to official Fortnite competitions. This time window could range from a few days to a week of a release." 

The upcoming Australian Open, which will run January 26-27, will be played with "core Battle Royale modes," and Epic "will continue to take into account" the need for stability on the pro scene through the balance of the year. It did not commit to anything more specific than that, however.  

"Fortnite will continue to update every week," Epic wrote. "However for major, official Fortnite competitions we may adjust for competitive needs." 

Fortnite Season 8 is expected to arrive sometime in mid-February. Read all about it.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.