As the circle closed in on match four of the $1.5 million Fortnite Summer Skirmish finals at PAX West, something strange, and likely unplanned for, happened. Unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know that a massive purple cube appeared in Fortnite a while back, and that it's been rolling all over the map, printing runes into the ground that leave behind low-gravity fields.
It was near one of these very fields where one of the final circles randomly happened to close in match four, and so chaos was expected. Typically, the field keeps the gravity low at a constant state, but as almost two dozen players were forced into the dome, gravity started behaving erratically, shooting everyone high into the air repeatedly in an awkward, rhythmic dance for kills.
I asked several players in the crowd and attendees watching whether that had ever happened before, and it was new to them all. I've been keeping a close eye on the cube myself, and have never seen it behave in such a manner. It would have been a novel moment if so much money wasn't on the line, but whether this is a bug or a feature, it's certainly a sign that Epic's live in-game events and competitive play should be kept safe and separate. Too much rapid iteration doesn't allow for enough play-testing, it seems, leading to disastrous moments like this.
At the conclusion of the match, Epic confirmed that the haywire gravity was in fact a bug, not a feature: Anti-gravity fields will be disabled for the remaining matches, and a makeup match has been added.
LMAO EVERYONE'S FLYING @FortniteGame #SummerSkirmish pic.twitter.com/MMJf5bIkYUSeptember 3, 2018
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James is stuck in an endless loop, playing the Dark Souls games on repeat until Elden Ring and Silksong set him free. He's a truffle pig for indie horror and weird FPS games too, seeking out games that actively hurt to play. Otherwise he's wandering Austin, identifying mushrooms and doodling grackles.