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SypherPK points the finger at Epic Games for FNCS cheating

Ali ‘SypherPK’ Hassan has one of the more interesting takes on the Fortnite Champion Series cheating scandal, pointing the finger at Epic Games.

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Ali ‘SypherPK’ Hassan has one of the more interesting takes on the Fortnite Champion Series cheating scandal, pointing the finger at Epic Games.

Most Fortnite fans know all about the FNCS cheating scandal, by now. In short, the top two duo teams in NA-East landed in Slurpy Swamp and used the free shields to trade Storm Surge tags without following up for the elimination.

The clips of the teams doing this were the opposite of subtle. They tagged one another for Storm Surge in nearly all of the FNCS warmup games and again in FNCS week 1.

As Chap put it, they were indirectly teaming up as a squad to kill another team. They got free Storm Surge tags, meaning another duo was going to die to storm surge.

Most of the biggest names in Fortnite weighed in on the topic. Ninja gave his opinion on the young pro scene in regards to cheating, Tfue spoke up, and xQc sub-tweeted Fortnite pros who were defending the dous in question.

Most of the responses to the scandal were similar. Friends of the players involved leaned towards defending them, while the rest of the community agreed with a 60-day ban.

Streamer SypherPK had one of the most unique and insightful takes on the whole situation, however. He agreed that these players should have been banned for what they did, but added that the problem goes deeper than a couple of teams colluding in Slurpy Swamp.

Sypher went in on the current state of competitive Fortnite, and the fact that this kind of thing happens all of the time. These players are constantly playing scrimmages against one another. They know where other teams land and often agree to split landing spots with opposing teams.

He also said that, while this example is egregious, these Storm Surge tags happen constantly. Players know that it’s not a good idea to take an early-game fight, but they also know it’s smart to get a few tags for Storm Surge.

“So many pro teams share drop spots,” Sypher told his chat. “Naturally, if both teams play extremely smart, they’re going to come to an agreement without even speaking to each other … ‘hey, it might not be a bad idea for both of us to tag up each other,’ especially in Slurpy Swamp.”

Sypher admitted that the players involved in this controversy probably had an off-stream conversation about splitting Slurpy and tagging one another for Stor Surge. His point was that this happens all of the time, even when the teams don’t coordinate off-stream.

The problem, in his opinion, is a result of the Storm Surge mechanic. “The mechanic itself is dumb. It’s only in the game because the servers can’t handle that many people, so it’s already a band-aid fix to a problem.”

Sypher agreed that the players made their coordination too obvious and that they desired to be punished, but stated that this kind of thing happens without this level of collusion.

“Let’s say there’s two teams that land Slurpy Swamp all the time,” Sypher explained. “One team takes the north side, one team takes the south side every time. Both teams know each other, both teams respect each other and they don’t fight each other because they know it’s not smart to take that fight.

“I feel like that’s already messed up from a competitive perspective.” Sypher then went on to explain what happens when a third team enters the mix. Someone new to the area would often be focused by the other two teams if they encroached on the already-split drop spot.

“It’s stupid to think that those teams haven’t already agreed beforehand that they’re not gonna fight,” Sypher told his chat. “And if a third team shows up, they’re gonna … stick out like a sore thumb and both teams will probably team up on that third team because it’s not part of the system that they have in place.”

Epic Games

Sypher’s take on this whole situation might be the most insightful one yet. He agrees that these teams should be punished, but pointed the finger at Epic for their flawed competitive system. There is inherent collusion for Storm Surge and drop spots in Fortnite. These players just took it to another level.

If Epic really wants to eradicate this kind of behavior, they probably need to increase the elimination incentive in their games. If kills were worth more than placements, spawn fights would be far more common.

Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen. We may have to deal with the Storm Surge tag meta and split drop spots for the duration of competitive Fortnite.

Editorial

Opinion: Ninja Battles is what we thought professional Fortnite would be

Ninja Battles has shown us that there’s a massive opportunity in invitational Fortnite tournaments.

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When competitive Fortnite was first announced, fans imagined Team Liquid going up against TSM and FaZe. Tfue and Cloakzy were battling Chap and 72hrs for the win. TSM boasted Myth, Daequan, and Hamlinz – three of the best players in the world at the time.

Those were the old days of competitive Fortnite, and they are way behind us. There’s been a massive changing of the guard, partially due to the open qualifiers for major tournaments.

These qualifiers were fantastic for unknown Fortnite players who have since grown their brand. Would people like UnknownxArmy or even Bugha have been invited to the World Cup if it was an invitational? We’re not sure.

IMG: Fortnite Twitter

From a viewership perspective, however, it can be difficult to keep track of the constant turnover in the competitive scene. The leaderboard might be filled with names you’ve never heard of in any given tournament. It’s a double-edged sword that leaves some longtime Fortnite viewers behind.

Now, we have Ninja Battles: an invitation-only tournament that also features some of the biggest names in the competitive scene. Sure, there were a few content creators thrown into the mix, but winning the tournament was no small feat. Many of the household names in competitive Fortnite took part in the event, and the prize pool was a large one for an online tournament.

Ninja Battles Week 1 was an unquestioned success. The best news coming out of the event is that we have five more weeks of competition. After one week, it’s already shown us the version of competitive Fortnite we expected to see, all along.

Of course, there was some controversy during the tournament. ZaxRow has been banned after his cuss-filled post-game interview, and Clix issued an apology after leaving early. On top of that, the lack of Arena Mode caused each game to end in a heal-off.

These pros have seen the error of their ways, however, and Ninja Battles will take place in Arena Mode going forward. Ninja stated that the tournament gave him “old competitive Fornite” vibes, and he was dead-on. This was what many of us wanted competitive Fortnite to be.

The participants, largely, loved their experience as well. Nearly every competitor praised the tournament on Twitter. There were no complaints, no in-game controversies, no accusations of teaming – nothing that’s been plaguing the mainstream competitive scene for over a year.

We have several more weeks of Ninja Battles to look forward to, but hopefully, it doesn’t end there. Ninja Battles has shown us that invitational tournaments might be the best format for Fortnite – at least from a viewership perspective.

The FNCS and all other Fortnite tournaments will have their place, but the true ceiling of competitive success may lie in private, invitational tournaments.

Let’s hope that organizers, teams, and companies take note of this success and support this version of the competitive scene going forward. If we get more of what we had last night, then competitive Fortnite has some massive potential.

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Clix apologizes for leaving Ninja Battles for a Fortnite Cash Cup

Clix apologizes for choosing the Fortnite Cash Cup over the in-progress Ninja Battles tournament.

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Ninja Battles showed us that invitational Fortnite tournaments might be more entertaining to watch than those with open qualifiers. It also proved that they can be just as toxic.

The professional Fortnite community is notoriously young, with the densest number of competitors in their teens. After Ninja Battles Week 1, we saw two high-profile pros issue apologies for their actions during the tournament.

The first to apologize was ZexRow, who has since been banned from future events due to his cuss-filled rant on Ninja’s stream. You can read more about that situation in our full article here.

Clix followed with an apology of his own. Was it for calling Ninja – the tournament organizer who put up his own money to host an event – “literally f**king dogs**t”? Not exactly.

Clix issued an apology for leaving the event early and leaving his teammates, BrookeAB and Furious, high and dry. He stated that he talked to the duo before the tournament and warned them that he’d be leaving. In his apology, Clix admitted that he “could’ve handled things better.”

Clix, whose team finished in 17th place, left before his final match to play the Duo Cash Cup with FaZe Sway. The pro made it seem like a no-brainer as to why he was leaving.

Clix released this apology a few hours after the event concluded, but it remains to be seen if he’ll receive an invite in the future. BrookeAB was the one who was invited from the squad, so Ninja could very well tell her not to invite him again.

There’s a lot of drama in the competitive Fortnite scene, even in a wholesome event like Ninja Battles. One thing’s for sure: this was one of the most entertaining Fortnite tournaments in recent memory.

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Patch Notes

Epic nerf Fortnite aim assist on PC yet again

Epic Games have released another Fortnite aim assist nerf for PC players.

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Here we go again – another reported nerf to controller aim assist on PC in Fortnite. Will this one be enough to satisfy the keyboard and mouse (KBM) community? Will it be the final iteration of aim assist? Probably not, but let’s get into it.

This update flew under the radar for most players, as Epic didn’t officially announce this change to the public. Data miners reported on the change with the updated files, and pros began to test it out.

According to Hypex, the new values are as follows:

  • PullInnerStrengthHip -> from 0.6 to 0.45
  • PullOuterStrengthHip -> from 0.5 to 0.38
  • PullInnerStrengthAds -> from 0.7 to 0.52
  • PullOuterStrengthAds -> from 0.4 to 0.3

This seems to be a relatively substantial nerf, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when controller players get their hands on the updated values. According to early reports, console players should be unaffected.

At some point, it seems like Epic are going to nerf aim assist on PC to the point where it will be more beneficial to use a console. This is a bit hyperbolic but could be a legitimate outcome.

We’ll keep you posted if and when professional controller players speak out on the aim assist topic. For now, not much has happened on that front – suggesting that little has changed.

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