Williams “Zayt” Aubin, who is considered by many as one of the all-time greats, has decided to retire from the competitive Fortnite scene. The announcements were made on Twitter. Though he is no longer competing in tournaments, Zayt’s loyalty for the game and for his organization remains. He is now pursuing a career as the head coach and content creator of NRG.
Today @zayt goes down as one of the Fortnite greats.
— NRG (@NRGgg) January 12, 2021
In NRG’s farewell video, they commemorated his highlights in the competitive scene as well as his fun moments with the organization. He has been a part of the organization since June 2018. During his stint as a professional player, Zayt accumulated a plethora of 1st place finishes in both duo and squad matches.
Though his retirement caused massive shockwaves among the community, it likewise shed some light about the scene. According to esports insider Rod “Slasher” Breslau, Epic’s decision to diminish their support to the game’s competitive scene has contributed to the massive exodus. Professional Fortnite players like Cody “Clix” Conrod and Benjy “benjyfishy” David Fish have expressed the same sentiments as well.
Zayt announces his retirement as a professional Fortnite player. between Epic reducing the 2021 prize money a substantial amount, orgs leaving because of it, and the general lackluster state of the Fortnite esports, Epic is truly dropping the ball right now
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 12, 2021
this is the start of the end
— Clix (@ClixHimself) January 12, 2021
and with prize pools constantly getting less and less its gonna be even harder for unknown players to start making a living out of the game which will eventually make them want to stop playing and the comp scene will slowly start dying out if it carries on
— benjyfishy (@benjyfishy) January 10, 2021
Seeing the exodus, Epic could potentially make amends to revitalize the competitive scene. However given the success that they’ve accumulated with their skin releases, it feels like the developers are more inclined to pursue ways in generating more content and social media hype. There has been a debate whether or not the game is dying or not. It’s popularity on Twitch would argue that the game’s fanbase remains dominant, but this could potentially change with the revelations from Zayt’s departure.