A growing number of streamers are speculating that Epic removed skill-based matchmaking from Fortnite‘s Squads mode, offering teams of players the opportunity to engage with a wider variety of players. Skill-based matchmaking has been controversial since its arrival — while it’s a great thing for casual players who were discouraged by more skilled gamers, it has been heavily criticized other players who hate the intensity it brings.
Skill-based matchmaking is exactly what it sounds like — a feature in which the game matches players with other players who are of a similar skill level, eliminating the cases where more advanced players would quickly destroy less-skilled players. This issue had raised a number of complaints from casual players who reported that they were no longer interested in Fortnite because they were unable to compete with streamers and others who play for several hours a day.
Nothing is perfect, however, and many players — usually ones who are more advanced at the game — grew frustrated with SBMM and criticized it as simply replacing one problem with a different one. When paired with other players who are more advanced, every match becomes more difficult, forcing players to try their hardest. The lack of fun in the matches reduces the game’s appeal as a consequence.
Epic may have quietly addressed this issue, to a degree, by removing skill-based matchmaking from Fortnite‘s Squads mode. A number of streamers have reported the sudden presence of less-skilled players in the mode, ones who are easier to kill and who behave in ways that aren’t expected from more advanced players.
A number of streamers and other players have reported seeing these changes, though only in the Squads mode, indicating this change may have occurred but only in a limited way. Epic, of course, has not confirmed or even commented on this speculation, leaving players to guess what it is up to and whether things are indeed different.