The highly-anticipated launch of Fortnite Season 11 has been delayed by its developer.
Epic Games decided to extend the current season by one week as it warned players about the recent surge in "smurfing" - slang for when a highly skilled gamer uses a fake profile to play against lower-level players - that has risen as a result of a new matchmaking system within the game.
In an effort to address the vast range of skill levels across the "Battle Royale" game, the update pitted players of similar abilities against each other through the introduction of improved matchmaking logic.
The update proved controversial among some players, with Tyler "Ninja" Blevins claiming on a recent Fortnite live stream that "good players don't want to always play against good players".
"Our goal with the new matchmaking system is to create fairer matches for all of our players," Epic wrote in a blog post.
"On the topic of smurfing, we've seen discussion around players smurfing as a way to have easier matches. Smurfing is a bannable offence."
At least one player has already been banned as a result of smurfing, with professional gamer and streamer Aydan removed from the game after killing 41 people in a single match.
The company also revealed more details about the introduction of bots for Season 11, which will see artificial intelligence players added to the battlefield to help "provide a better path for players to grow in skill".
Unlike human players, bots will not be able to use vehicles in Fortnite and will also not feature in the game's Creative mode.
Human players will also not be able to partner up with bots when playing team matches, though Epic said it was still developing the technology in order to add new capabilities in the future.
Season 11 is expected to be one of the biggest updates in the game's history, with various leaks suggesting the game will completely redesign the map for the start of the new season.
A comet that has been hovering over the island since the start of Season 10 is expected to crash into the ground and initiate a major overhaul of the game's geography.
New place locations discovered within the game's underlying game files reveal 12 new areas, including Camp Cod, Dirty Docks and Weeping Woods.
The extension of Season 10 means the launch of the next season will likely come at some point between 14 and 17 October.
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