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Fortnite community responds to 4-year ban for 9-year-old prodigy

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The hashtag #FreeZenon went trending on Twitter for gaming in response to a 9-year-old Brazilian Fortnite prodigy receiving a four-year competitive and Arena ban.

Fortnite influencers, fans, and pro players took to twitter to support Zenon after a clip of his ban surfaced online. In the video, you can see him crying and hugging his father with the ban message on his screen.

The reason for the ban was Zenon’s age. You need to be 13 to compete in Fortnite, which is why Zenon was removed from competition for four years.

Zenon has competed in paid tournaments in the past, which is against the Fortnite Terms of Service. Just this weekend, he competed and placed in the FNCS Solos open qualifiers.

He received a competitive-only ban, which means that he can still play casual Fortnite modes – just not Arena or any paid competition.

FaZe H1ghSky1 received a similar punishment when it was revealed that he was actually 12 years old instead of 13. He was unable to compete in Fortnite tournaments for one year and was banned on Twitch.

As unfortunate as it is, you have to be at least 13 to compete in Fortnite tournaments. The Arena ban seems a bit harsh, but this is tied to the competitive mode. Banned players like Kreo can’t play Arena either.

Epic probably won’t remove the ban for Zenon. If they make one exception, they have to allow players of all ages to compete for money. He can create a new account and compete that way, but he won’t be able to stream any of his competitions.

It’s impossible not to feel for a kid who just had his dreams crushed, but the future is still bright. Zenon’s father runs his Twitch channel, which means that he already has a following before the minimum age of 13.

The future is bright for this young gamer. He’s competing at a high level at nine years old. Imagine where he’ll be when he turns 13 or 16. Epic won’t lift the ban, but this is a minor setback for a major comeback.

Esports

Epic announce a $20 million cross-platform FNCS prize pool for 2021

Epic Games have answered the call of many professional Fortnite players, announcing a $20 million FNCS prize pool across 2020.

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After several complaints from the competitive Fortnite community, Epic Games have once again dedicated themselves to rewarding esports with a $20 million prize pool in the FNCS, alone.

The competitive Fortnite community has been outspoken on the topic of prize pools for over a year now. The 2020 FNCS prizes seemed to be a far cry from those awarded in 2019, and many of the top players weren’t happy about it.

The real culprit in all of this could have been Epic Games’ communication. They still offered a substantial amount of prize money to players, but it was divided among PC, console, and mobile platforms, separately.

This all came to a head in the early days of 2021, after Epic announced the Season 5 FNCS and competitive schedule. With tournaments that award players with Twitter shout-outs and free skins, the competitive players base wasn’t too happy.

Cross-platform FNCS prize pools

On January 19, Epic Games released a blog post that directly addressed these concerns and announced some major changes. They pledged to offer $20,000,000 over the course of 2021 in FNCS-related competitions, alone.

This change was amplified by Epic’s decision to unify all platforms into one bracket. Instead of console players competing for the same amount of prize money as PC players in a separate tournament, all platforms will compete for more money, together.

This, alone, fixed one of the major problems that so many pro Fortnite players had with recent competitive Fortnite history. Their stance was: why should console players get the same amount of money as PC players when all of the pros are on PC? Fortnite doesn’t even broadcast the console tournaments as they do for the PC platform.

Epic also outlined their plans for competitive Fortnite for the next year. They plan to host four FNCS tournaments worth $3,000,000 each, split across all regions. At the end of the year, the top performers in each region will be invited to a new tournament series, worth $8,000,000.

Prize pool splits

The separation of the prize pool was another area of disagreement for a lot of professional Fortnite players. The NA-East region competes for more than double the NA-West region, for example.

In the blog, Epic explained that “The distribution across all regions for the $3,000,000 prize pool is currently based on the most recent competitive participation and regional game population.”

Epic admitted that they will “continue to monitor and evaluate data before each season to make any necessary adjustments,” when it comes to evenly dividing the prize pool amongst these seven regions.

Regardless of region, this is great news for all Fortnite players. Epic offered $17,000,000 in prize money in 2020, but that was further split in each region by platform, significantly reducing the amount of money pro players make.

Even more, console players now have a larger stage to prove themselves. Now, if a console player truly has what it takes to compete against tier-one pros, they have the opportunity to prove it by qualifying and placing in the cross-platform FNCS.

We’ll continue to cover the Season 5 FNCS and beyond, so stay tuned for everything else you need to know to watch or compete in all upcoming open Fortnite tournaments.

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FaZe Clan X Manchester City announce FaZe City Cup feat. Mongraal, Nate HIll & more

FaZe Clan, Manchester City, and Fortnite have teamed-up to bring us the FaZe City Cup and new soccer-themed cosmetics to the Item Shop.

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FaZe Clan Man City Fortnite

FaZe Clan and Manchester City have joined forces to bring players the FaZe City Cup, featuring new cosmetics and some of the biggest names in the game.

Popular esports organization, FaZe Clan, have announced a continuation of their partnership with the football club, Manchester City, to bring the Fortnite community a brand new tournament: the FaZe City Cup.

The tournament will kick-off on January 21, featuring some of the biggest names in Fortnite. Nate Hill and Mongraal are confirmed to be participating, and we can expect to see other FaZe Clan Fortnite players join them.

“The FaZe City Cup featuring Fortnite is an important illustration of our groundbreaking partnership with Manchester City,” says FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink. “Alongside Manchester City, we are thrilled to be a part of a competitive tournament in Fortnite. We look forward to building this tournament and producing more entertaining competitions in the future.”

The FaZe City Cup & in-game cosmetics

The tournament will feature a Duos playlist, with the top-50 (100 players) earning early access to some new Fortnite cosmetics for free. These include the upcoming “Kickoff Set,” which allows players to showcase their favorite football clubs in-game. Of course, this includes Manchester city.

Two new emotes will also be available, including the “Fancy Footwork” dribbling emote. These cosmetics will hit the Item Shop on January 23. As of now, 23 football clubs are participating in the event, giving players a ton of different customization options.

 “The FaZe City Cup featuring Fortnite is an exciting first for the club in one of the most popular gaming titles globally and we hope fans worldwide will get involved in the competition and wear their Manchester City outfits in-game with pride,” said Nuria Tarre, Chief Marketing Officer at City Football Group.

We’ll keep you posted as more details about the tournament become available. Until then, we can look forward to some high-level Fortnite competition and a new wave of fan-favorite soccer skins.

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Longtime NRG pro Zayt retires from competitive Fortnite

One of the original players in the competitive Fortnite community, Williams ‘Zayt’ Aubin, has announced his retirement from the game.

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One of the original competitive Fortnite greats, Zayt, has announced his retirement from competitive Fortnite.

In a landscape where Fortnite pros are outspoken about the dwindling tournament prize pools and lack of incentive to “grind” Fortnite, one of the most iconic pro player in the scene, Williams “Zayt” Aubin, has announced his retirement from competitive Fortnite.

“Before you guys freak out, I’m not leaving NRG, I’m staying in the Fortnite scene,” Zayt told his fans. “But … I’m gonna stop competing in Fortnite. I’m gonna stop playing tournaments, I’m gonna stop playing scrims.”

Zayt went on to say that he’ll be using his Fortnite knowledge to coach other players and analyze professional gameplay. He even used the phrase, “content creator,” which he has seemed to avoid in the past.

Zayt is one of the only players who has stuck with competitive Fortnite since the early days. He and Saf were one of the only Duos to make it through the World Cup era and remain together through all of the FNCS tournaments.

Saf commemorated the departure of his longtime duo partner with a collage on Twitter. “Gonna miss you, this one hits hard,” he wrote. “Thanks for everything. Love u bro @zayt.”

World Cup champion, Bugha, gave his thoughts on Zayt’s departure as well. The former related Zayt’s retirement to the current state of competitive Fortnite. Zayt retweeted the post, suggesting that he may agree with the sentiment.

“Seeing one of the best fortnite players quit the game is pretty weird,” Bugha wrote. “If changes aren’t made soon many others will most likely follow down the same path. Best of luck to your future @zayt.”

While we’re disappointed to see a monolith of competitive Fortnite leave the game, he isn’t leaving the scene. We’re excited to see what’s next for Zayt and which up-and-coming pros he’ll help lead to victory.

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