Epic said it was exploring a Fortnite respawn system in their AMA last week, though it sounded like a feature in the earliest stages of testing. But some eagle-eyed players have spotted a peculiar van around the map since Season 8 hit, and it could point to a respawn system coming much sooner than we thought.
To see one of the mysterious vans for yourself, pop into a playground match and spawn over Retail Row. It'll be sitting on the south side of The Block, though it despawns if you get too close. I was able to hop into replay mode and use the drone camera to get my own image.
While word of the van spread, Fortnite leaker FortTory dug through the game files looking for anything that might hint at its purpose. They discovered that within the associated mesh files, the vehicle is referred to as a 'Second Chance Van'. Sounds like a respawn point to me.
Second Chance Van....Respawn coming to FORTNITE?! pic.twitter.com/qtoSpT0VyKFebruary 28, 2019
Some of the other files offer a few clues as to how the system might work, too. Another mesh refers to a card players pick up, possibly after a teammate has been eliminated. I'd wager they take that card to a Second Chance Van to bring their squadmate back, not unlike—OK, exactly like Apex Legends respawn system.
In tandem with the skeleton of a ping system, Fortnite isn't so subtly borrowing ideas from its biggest competitor, assuming the Second Chance Van is what we suspect. Personally, I'm all for better comms and respawns in Fortnite. Losing one squadmate is essentially a death sentence, especially now that players get a hefty health kick for every player they take out. It'd be nice for changing the pace of matches too. A little elasticity to allow for dramatic comebacks against terrible odds would do well to keep my spirits up against the legions of soccer skin buildmasters.
All of this is still conjecture, so don't take this as a confirmation that respawning is nigh. The van could be related to something else despite the evidence stacked against it, and it's also possible that the feature won't work out in testing. But I know a lot of people looking to give Fortnite its own second chance, and a feature that makes Fortnite's steep learning curve a little easier to climb would do well to reinvigorate the playerbase.