Nobody likes coming across a bug in a game. Sure, sometimes you can exploit them in your favor but most of the time bugs in anything – but especially bugs in esports – are a major annoyance and can seriously mess things up for pros.
Of course, for any game with a thriving esports scene, you’d rightfully expect there to be few if any bugs – and you’d be wrong. Bugs in esports happen as much as they do in other games. When things do go wrong, though, a lot of people are affected – and sometimes, entire tournaments can be ruined by glitches. Here are some of the worst!
Tournaments in Battle Royale game Fortnite had a slow and awkward start, but eventually, the game pulled itself together enough to become a "real" esport.
Well, mostly. Issues remained – bugs and tournament glitches weren’t uncommon. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, one of Fortnite’s best-known players, suffered a rather annoying one.
In an attempt to pick up his teammate’s respawn card, he found it to be underground and had to fend for himself. He still managed to come in third, but the bug essentially ousted his teammate Malachi "Reverse2k" Greiner.
Another bug happened in the Fortnite Winter Royale tournament – an unusual format that let players of all skill levels compete. In a rather frustrating tournament glitch, though, changing the play region reset a player’s skill points to zero, paving the way for high-skilled smurfs to ruin things for lower-ranked players.
During a Twitch Rivals tournament, one player – Rachell "Valkyrae" Hofstetter – found herself with a particularly useful skill – she was immune to the normally deadly storm. She could run freely within it, build and kill as she pleased. She won easily, of course, but had the good sportsmanship to disqualify herself afterward.
More so than Fortnite, PUBG had some growing pains during its start as an esport. Bugs were so common that tournament rule books included a note about it being against the rules for players to benefit from tournament glitches they encountered – and there were many. From being able to drive and see through solid walls to the physics engine glitching out, there were a number of problems.
One of the more annoying PUBG bugs in esports happened during the 2019 PUBG Global Championship – after most of the really game-breaking bugs were patched out. Alexander "CherryPoppins" Penner, a player in the competition, hit a building with his car while hunting down players. Instead of stopping or damaging the car, however, CherryPoppins' vehicle decided to take a detour – straight up.
The physics engine completely lost the plot and sent the car flying. Coming back down, it was totaled and exploded, knocking him out – and since other players had seen his skydiving adventure, they made quick work of him.
Apex Legends was quite hyped as an esport, however, it saw its own share of esports bugs early on. In the Apex Legends Global Series 2020, the game seemingly had it in for Team Liquid. While the game client had a reputation for crashing, Team Liquid suffered a whole series of tournament glitches.
In what had to be one of the most unfortunate streaks of bugs in esports, all of their matches except for one had at least one player disconnect – and in the final, two of the three team members disconnected, unsurprisingly bringing the team’s progress to a grinding halt.
Another player, Eric "Snip3down" Wrona, met his tournament glitch during the Preseason Invitational – in the first round in the losers bracket, his game crashed. He could have re-joined, normally, but the tournament rules themselves forbade it – his team had to fight without him, and unsurprisingly, lost.
What bugs have you encountered while playing? Have they ever cost you a win?