Epic has banned an entire trio for bypassing an in-game mechanic.
Many players and viewers within the competitive Fortnite community are questioning Epic's decision to punish a European team for avoiding the shakedown mechanic. The situation played out mere moments after the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) third and final qualifier. An EU squad - Lzrxy, kelfy and Vortexers - stood tall as one of a few teams to secure their spot in the FNCS Semi-Finals. That would remain true until all three players loaded into Fortnite only to find a 14-day ban notification. Although warranted, Epic's handling of the punishment has sparked debate across the community.
Shakedown Avoid and Ensuing Ban
If you think it is bait pic.twitter.com/7KtT6UhF1Z
— Lzrxy (@Izrxy) February 28, 2021
During FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 5's third qualifier, one of these three players exited the game before an opponent could execute the shakedown mechanic. For those who aren't familiar, a successful shakedown reveals all of an entire team's location. Leaving the game before or during a shakedown nullifies its purpose. What transpired afterward is not clear, but Epic either reviewed the game footage or caught wind of the rule break. As a result, Lzrxy, kelfy and Vortexers each received a two-week ban, restricting them from competing in the rest of this season's FNCS.
The First Ban of its Kind
There's no doubt that one of the three players broke a standing rule in competitive Fortnite. No one could defend that fact, and Epic is entirely within their right to enforce those rules. However, we've seen cases in the past that have not resulted in a punishment.
Fortnite World Cup winner David "aqua" Wang broke this same rule during FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 4. While his trio was fighting MrSavage, benjyfishy and Letshe, aqua left the game mid-shakedown. Epic Games did issue a ban to aqua, but it had nothing to do with that rule break. Instead, the developers framed it on conduct outside of the game.
For all that are wondering what happened between kura, rojo and nyhrox this is the clip pic.twitter.com/WDWG5FD7Ll
— F/A Dambee 🇽🇰 (@Dambee__) February 20, 2021
A similar scenario occurred just one week ago when Fortnite World Cup runner-up Dave "Rojo" Jong abandoned his team in a crucial FNCS Qualifier match. The clip above shows that Rojo left during a shakedown, yet he has not received any punishment from Epic Games. Both aqua and Rojo broke the rule and escaped without the dreaded ban notification.
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More Transparency Needed
Anyone know how to get in contact with epic games how have we been banned for collusion / matchfixing when did we do that ?
— AOS Vortexers (@Vortexers) February 28, 2021
Unfortunately, the developers have put themselves in an unwinnable situation because discipline over the years has been unclear in competitive Fortnite. Proven cheaters Ronaldo and XXiF were infamously handed a 14-day ban for teaming during the Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers. Kreo, Bucke, Slackes and Keys received a 30-day ban for the Storm Surge scandal from Chapter 2 - Season 2. Epic is not doing itself any favors by not disclosing specific ban lengths and the precise reason. Now, this lesser-known European team has to sit on the sidelines while others who have broken the same rule can move forward.
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