Another weekend of Fortnite World Cup qualifiers, another accusation of cheating.
Really it is to be expected when you are holding open online tournaments for a chance to be part of a tournament with $30 million in prizes.
People are going to get desperate and do something stupid. In the first week, Epic banned more than 1,200 accounts for cheating.
The majority of those accounts got in trouble for playing in a different region than they were supposed to. But some allegations went further, like teaming with other players and being fed kills.
That last offense is what has put Rise Nation’s XXiF in hot water. XXiF had placed top 60 in multiple high events like Secret Skirmish and Share the Love but didn’t have a top five finish to his name.
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Until last week’s NA-East qualifier where he finished second. That locked him up a chance to play in New York at the Fortnite World Cup, but it may be coming crashing down.
Raised by Kings’ pro player HighSky shared a video where you can see XXiF having a really easy time killing two other players.
These are just allegations at this point, but the video in question builds a strong case.
It is important to remember that those two other players are in the top 0.1% of all Fortnite players. Doing things like pickaxing a chest and landing on top of a battle already underway are definitely out of character for those players.
The community has rallied against XXiF quickly. His tweet celebrating his “accomplishment” has a host of replies calling him out for his alleged cheating.
The community has been wrong before, but not usually with this much proof. In the first rounds of qualifiers, a player named Dubs was accused of cheating after he qualified for a spot.
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While over 1,200 accounts got banned that week, his wasn’t one of them. That means he will be playing in New York, despite high-profile names like Tfue fueling the accusations.
At this point, it will come down to Epic Games making a ruling. We expect XXiF will be found guilty, but until that point, he is still a qualified player for the Fortnite World Cup.
Ballatw announces that he won’t be casting Season 4 FNCS
Ballatw has announced his departure from the Fortnite FNCS broadcast, leading fans speculate as to why.
Longtime competitive Fortnite fans know that Arten “Ballatw” Esa is one of the most authoritative voices within the community. He’s best known for his casting of competitive Fortnite events – both official FNCS competitions and third-party tournaments like Ninja Battles.
To many, Balla has been the voice of competitive Fortnite since he rose to popularity. Recently, he’s expanded by offering his insights in written form on his blog, Ballatw.com. So far, he’s tackled the topic of tournament structure and offered his opinion on why Solos shouldn’t be a featured competitive Fortnite mode.
Last Friday, following the official announcement of the Season 4 FNCS, Balla took to Twitter to inform his fans that he wouldn’t be commentating the event. Pros like BenjyFishy, EpikWhale, Emad, and others took to the replies to voice their disappointment over the news.
Although Balla won’t be a part of the official broadcast, he plans on hosting a viewing party and “launching a number of my own comp fn related individual projects that have taken a back burner, over the next month as FNCS starts.” He may even compete in the FNCS and see if his competitive knowledge will translate to a Finals qualification.
Balla handled his departure from the FNCS broadcast with the class you would expect from him, but he’s remaining tight-lipped as to why he’s leaving. It doesn’t seem like the decision was entirely his own, based on his announcement and the fact that he still plans on commentating third-party events.
ShyoWager, Balla’s longtime casting partner, appeared to be blind-sided by the news as well. “Pain is the word in my mind,” he wrote in one of his responses. “I’ll find that silver lining too, live up to the promises and be more accountable, be better, get my s*** together and work harder. Always.”
We reached out to Balla for additional comment on his departure. He told us that his Twitter statement was as much as he’s comfortable saying about the situation.
Popular speculation has it that Balla may have been too critical of Epic Games and competitive Fortnite for their liking. His recent blogs took direct aim at the company and gave his opinion on some mistakes that they’re making. They may want their official broadcasters to keep their opinions to themselves – something to which Balla probably wouldn’t agree.
It’s disappointing to see one of the most authoritative and knowledgeable voices in competitive Fortnite leave the official FNCS broadcast, but we haven’t seen the last of him. As Balla said, he’ll be using this opportunity to create independent Fortnite content and expand his horizons.
The people who really lost in all of this are the streamers who regularly pull tens of thousands of viewers hosting FNCS watch parties. There’s a new player in town, fresh off of his official casting contract.
Season 4 drop spot drama: Zayt & Bizzle clash at Doom’s Domain
The Season 4 drop spot drama is taking place at Doom’s Domain between Zayt, Saf, and Stretch & Bizzle, Dubs, and Megga.
There seems to be some high-profile drop spot drama every season of competitive Fortnite. Most of the time, Tfue is part of one of the teams who refuses to move from a certain location. He and Scoped battled with Chap and Av during Season 2 and took on Zayt & company during the early days of Season 3.
Unfortunately, Tfue has moved on from competitive Fortnite and passed his mantle to a younger group of players. This season, the battle of the drop spot is unfolding at Doom’s Domain – one of the better landing spots of Season 4. Not only does this location net you Vault Loot and mythic weapons, but it’s also the only place on the map where you can get an LMG.
The teams of Zayt, Saf, and Stretch have been battling it out for supremacy of Doom’s Domain against Bizzle, Megga, and Dubs. Naturally, this has led to some friction between the two teams. Zayt has always been one of the most outspoken pros in the scene, and his clash with Bizzle is no exception.
Over the weekend, Zayt released a thread of tweets directed at Bizzle and his trio, calling them out for contesting him. He sounded off on his former teammate, even going so far as to say that their friendship is ruined.
According to Zayt’s tweets, he even reached out to Dubs about the trio leaving and moving to their old spot in Misty Meadows. “His only argument is Bizzle and Megga don’t want to leave because they have egos,” he wrote.
Bizzle, for his part, hasn’t been too keen on responding to the situation. His only contribution has been some laughing emojis and, “I just don’t want to respond to all this, it’s so childish.” Megga, one of the players in the contesting trio. Tweeted a photo of himself in the Doom’s Domain vault with the loot, suggested that he and his team took out Zayt & company.
This type of feud happens every competitive Fortnite season as some of the top players decide to contest one another for powerful loot. Catty Corner and The Grotto got the same treatment in the last two seasons.
We understand why this drama could frustrate the players involved, but it’s always entertaining to watch. There’s a built-in storyline at the beginning of each match as long as these two teams continue to contest one another. Keep an eye on these two trios as the season progresses. Here’s to hoping that neither one of these teams back down.
Slasher claims Fortnite esports’ real problem isn’t the prize pool
Esports reporter, Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, claims that Fortnite’s main problem as an esport isn’t the dwindling prize pool.
With the recent announcement of the Fortnite Season 4 FNCS tournament, high-level competitive players have been calling out Epic Games for the lowering of their esports prize pool after their massive $100 million splash during the 2018-2019 season.
Top competitors like BenjyFishy, Zayt, and others have taken to social media to call out Epic for the seemingly drastic lowering of the prize pool over the course of the last year.
Players who place in the top three of the most popular regions in the game are seeing about half of what they won a year ago. The winner of the European region in the FNCS will earn almost $370,000 less in Chapter 2 Season 4 than they did during the same tournament in 2019.
To be fair to Epic Games, there are a few reasons for this. Most obviously, Epic are now providing daily and weekly Cash Cups to their player base. These events might not garner as much attention as the seasonal FNCS and DreamHack tournaments, but they do count towards the total prize money that Epic give away for Fortnite esports.
This might sound like Champaign problems to a lot of people reading this. Yes, we’re largely talking about young video game players who are competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the comfort of their own homes.
To the top players in the game, however, this isn’t all about the money. To them, it’s another sign that Epic don’t care about the competitive side of Fortnite. In their defense, they have years of evidence to back this up.
Esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau weighed in on this topic on Twitter, stating that the real problem with Fortnite esports has nothing to do with the prize money. “Fortnite esports doesn’t need $100 Million in prize money for (it) to be successful,” he wrote. “Fortnite needs Epic Games to truly care about its competitive player community with a long term plan for the pros instead of treating esports as a nonsense marketing exercise to promote the game.”
In a follow-up tweet, Slasher evoked the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple and how many of the pros in the community remain indifferent on the objectively positive stand that Epic are taking. This writer has heard one popular pro claim that he wanted Apple to “clean out” Epic while raging about the Fortnite server performance in the Season 3 FNCS Grand Finals.
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As unfortunate as it may be, Slasher is right. Epic are using Fortnite esports as a “marketing exercise to promote the game.” They always have. When did Kevin the Cube come to Fortnite? In the middle of a tournament. When did the Infinity Blade come to Fortnite? The night before a tournament.
Chapter 1 Season 7 began four days before a $1 million Winter Royale tournament. That means that all of the qualifiers took place on a different Fortnite season than the finals. In fact, the EU finals and the NA finals for the same tournament happened on two entirely different seasons.
In his final tweet in the thread, Slasher acknowledged that “Fortnite esports is still in an okay spot, but given the size and impact of the game to the gaming community at large or even mainstream culture.” Fortnite might be the biggest game of all time when it’s all said and done, but the esports side of things, “could be so much more,” as Slasher states.
Over the past year, in an interesting twist of fate, competitive Fortnite has become the number-one way to watch Fortnite on Twitch. Popular streamers like CouageJD, Ninja, DrLupo, and NickMercs have all left the game. Browsing the Fortnite category will primarily bring you streams of players like Clix, BenjyFishy, and Bugha broadcasting pro scrimmages.
At the same time, however, these pros are largely negative about the game that they all play. We all rage from time to time, but many of the Fortnite pros go out of their way to trash the game on other platforms – not just on-stream. It’s a problem for a game when its most popular players are constantly talking about how bad it is.
The worst part of this scenario might be that the game isn’t bad. It’s actually quite good. Casual players who don’t understand why these pros are complaining start to drift away from watching them. This was the primary cause of the philosophical divide that we’re now seeing between the casual and competitive Fortnite player bases.
There’s a way out of this for Epic Games, but we’re not too confident that they’re going to take it. Like Slasher said, Fortnite esports is in a good spot; despite all of the issues that it has. On a casual level, Fortnite has almost as many players as ever. Season 4 seems like a return to form for the core game.
As someone who was overwhelmingly excited for the future of Fortnite esports during the first Friday Fortnite tournament, though, I can’t help but feel disappointed. There was a ton of potential and it seems like we might already be past the peak. It could have been a lot more, but that’s not the route Epic are taking.
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