Fortnite: Malibuca Wins Solo Cash Cup Despite Russian Restrictions

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Fortnite: Malibuca Wins Solo Cash Cup Despite Russian Restrictions

Professional Fortnite player Malibuca won the Solo Cash Cup, and made a statement. Following recent news that Epic Games would prohibit Russian residents from winning cash in tournaments. 

Epic announced late last week that Russian residents could no longer win cash prizes beginning March 11. It was an instant gut punch to thousands of players who put countless hours into Fortnite. Despite the restriction, many Russian players competed in the latest Solo Cash Cup, and perhaps the country's best player took the top spot. 

Malibuca Wins the Solo Cash Cup

Russian competitor Malibuca of TT9 Esports made an impactful statement during the Solo Cash Cup purely through his gameplay. He not only qualified for the Finals but managed to secure first-place against many of Europe's top players. Across six matches, Malibuca compiled 117 points and 20 eliminations—the most of any finalist. 

The 16-year-old player went into the tournament knowing that he may not ultimately collect his winnings. While unfortunate, Epic's restrictions did not stop Malibuca. His presence in the Cash Cup indicates that Russians can still compete in tournaments, but what happens beyond that is unknown. 

Will Malibuca Collect his Prize?

It's certainly not surprising to see Malibuca win—he's been one of the best players throughout Chapter 3 Season 1. Still, likely, he might not see the $1K USD. Epic's blog post regarding Russia states as follows:

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“Effective as of March 11, Russia will be added to the list of countries where players are ineligible to win cash prizes in Fortnite Competitive tournaments.”

It seems Russian residents can compete in cash tournaments but won't collect their winnings. If that's the case, we must wonder how the prize distribution works. 

Would second-place finisher zAndy take the first-place prize? What happens to the money that Malibuca would have earned? These are questions that Epic Games did not outline in their blog post. 

A Victim of Circumstance

Malibuca's win marks his second Solo Cash Cup triumph of the season. He and Duo partner Merstach reached the Finals of every Duos Cash Cup Final in Chapter 3 Season 1. 

Unfortunately, Malibuca became a victim of circumstance due to his country's reckless decisions. Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine completely flipped the world on its head. Those within Russia's confines ultimately have to pay the price.

Many players have represented Ukraine's colors in-game as a sign of solidarity—Malibuca being one of them. He wished all fellow competitors good luck heading into the Cash Cup Finals while sporting blue and yellow. 

Malibuca is a certified Fortnite superstar. Hopefully, he can find a way to continue ascending despite his inability to collect tournament prizes. That might require him to establish residency in another country or wait until Epic lifts these sanctions. We'll have to see how this situation plays out for Malibuca down the line. 

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Avatar of Matt Pryor
Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.