Earlier today, a bunch of Fortnite players found themselves in possession of the Axe of Champions, one of the rarest items in the game, only to have it snatched away after a few minutes. Fortnite developer Epic Games says the whole thing was a big mistake.
“Oops,” reads Epic’s official response, accompanied by a sweating emoji. “We’ll be revoking the Axe of Champions from all Grand Royale qualified players and granting it back to just the FNCS seasonal winners from this year until Grand Royale has finished.”
We'll be revoking the Axe of Champions from all Grand Royale qualified players and granting it back to just the FNCS seasonal winners from this year until Grand Royale has finished.
— Fortnite Competitive (@FNCompetitive) November 10, 2021
Fortnite’s Axe of Champions was introduced last year as a special reward for the winners of the Fortnite Champion Series, the most prestigious event in the battle royale’s official competitive scene. Earning the gold-plated pickaxe is a matter of beating out everyone else in a region’s grand finals to become the season’s top team.
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the Axe of Champions changes hands every season, meaning only 21 players—the best three-player teams from each of Fortnite’s seven competitive regions—can have the item in their possession at any time. As such, the pickaxe comes with a ton of bragging rights; if you see someone using it in-game, they’re among the very best Fortnite players in the world.
When the Axe of Champions went out to every single Fortnite Grand Royale qualifier, however, that all changed. Instead of a select few players holding the trophy, thousands were now in possession of something that’s supposed to be in limited supply. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who last month won the NA East grand finals alongside teammates Muz and Mero (real names unknown), joked about what servers might look like with so many of the axes in the wild.
Fortnite may be happy to ruthlessly stripmine other properties with its various crossovers, but it’s not about to cheapen something like the Axe of Champions by doling it out to a bunch of people, no sir.