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Fortnite just accidentally gave away its rarest item to hundreds of players

Fortnite Axe of Champions
(Image credit: Epic Games)

Oops! Fortnite just somehow managed to accidentally give a bunch of its players the rarest item in the game, before quietly snatching them back a short while later.

The Axe of Champions is a super-special golden pickaxe that was introduced last year as a reward for winners of the Fortnite Champion Series. As a tournament to determine only the best battle royalers, it makes sense to reward the winners with a special prize (thanks, Kotaku).

With seven winning trios emerging victorious across all regions, that's a mere 21 Axe of Champions in existence amongst hundreds of millions of players. The axes are passed down from champions to champions too, meaning there's only ever those 21 in circulation at all times. If it wasn't obvious, having the opportunity to wield one is a pretty big deal.

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For a brief period of time on November 10 however, the Axe of Champions stopped being a badge of honour. The game had somehow sent one out to every player who's qualified for this year's Champion Series and possibly even accidentally revoking them from the current reigning champions.

It's not quite clear how it happened, but Epic addressed the hiccup on the Fortnite Competitive Twitter account, tweeting "Oops, we'll be revoking the Axe of Champions from all Grand Royale qualified players and granting it back to just the FNCS seasonal winners from this year until Grand Royale has finished."

While the qualified players may have had a taste of the ultimate in-game flex, only one trio from each region will be able to obtain the Axe of Champions for real. The Grand Royale kicks off this week with the Middle East Grand Royale Qualifiers before the finals take place on November 20 and 21.

Mollie Taylor

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.