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.

Fortnite: World Champ Bugha Receives Warning For Match Fixing/Colluding

Fortnite World Champion Bugha in a suit on stage accepting a trophy from the Game Awards
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One of Fortnite's top names received a serious warning.


Cheating and rule-bending in competitive Fortnite: Battle Royale has taken a life of its own over the past two seasons. In Chapter 2 - Season 2, pro players Bucke, Kreo, Slackes and Keys all received 30-day bans for colluding in the Fortnite Champion Series Warmup tournament. Since then, cheating allegations have escalated to an unthinkable level. FaZe Dubs followed shortly after late in Chapter 2 - Season 2. Epic Games found that both he and another pro player named Waffles colluded in a solo tournament. Both players received 30-day bans as a result of their infractions.

Earlier today, the story took yet another interesting turn, tossing Fortnite’s first-ever solo World Cup Champion into the fold. Although the details are somewhat unclear from the developer’s standpoint, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf noticed an unusual warning when he loaded into Fortnite.

Epic Games Issues a Warning

Bugha took to Twitter with his response to an unexpected notification after entering the Fortnite: Battle Royale lobby:

“Due to your recent actions, you have been issued a competitive warning for: Collusion/Match Fixing. Please refrain from repeat offenses or you may receive an account ban.”

The Fortnite World Cup Champion was notably distraught after seeing this warning. Epic Games did not provide any evidence into the allegations of match-fixing or colluding. Although Bugha undoubtedly understands where the warning roots from. The developers did not even offer context for the warning.

Potential Root Causes of the Warning

Twitter user 7marSP captured one instance that may have resulted in Bugha’s warning. During round two of the final FNCS Qualifier, NA East pro player Co1azo pushed Bugha and eliminated him. Bugha reacted in disbelief, and then seemingly advised fellow pro player OwlFN, stating “sh*t on this kid Owl.” Both Bugha and Owl were in a Discord call together during the FNCS tournament.

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The clip of Bugha and OwlFN soon went viral in the competitive Fortnite community. Some believed that Bugha and Owl were communicating during the high stakes solo tournament. This belief comes from how quickly Owl reacted to Bugha’s elimination at the hands of Co1azo.

Others reacted to the incident with more context. It appears that both Owl and Bugha fought several times in that same match. Yes, they were in the same Discord call. However, he and Owl did not communicate until after Co1azo already eliminated Bugha. Shortly after receiving the warning, Owl released a clip on Twitter, explaining the situation.

Owl’s Defense

Owl captured narration of the entire match in questioning leading up to when Co1azo eliminates Bugha. He explained that himself, Bugha and another pro player named nosh were all fighting each other early in the game. At one point in the video, Bugha dealt massive damage to OwlFN before launch padding toward the zone.

This all took place live on Bugha’s Twitch stream. Owl then stated that he knew Catty Corner loot was in play. He saw Co1azo eliminate Bugha and heard the former’s shield crack. Owl then pushed Co1azo with hopes of earning an elimination and the Catty Corner loot. Bugha did not communicate with Owl until he had already begun the process of attacking Co1azo.

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This situation is quite confusing, given all of the variables. Owl and Bugha both feel that the warning issued by Epic Games is unjust. The developers seemed to have issued the ban based solely on in-game footage, not taking the lack of Discord communication into account.

The FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 3 ruleset describes differents acts of collusion:

  • Teaming: Players working together during the match while on opposing teams.
  • Planned Movement: Agreement between 2 or more opposing players to land at specific locations or to move through the map in a planned way before the match begins.
  • Communication: Sending or receiving signals (both verbal and non-verbal) to communicate with opposing players.
  • Item Dumping: Intentionally dropping items for an opposing player to collect.
  • Feeding: Intentionally allowing oneself to be eliminated by an opposing player.

Teaming and communication seem to be the two rules in play here. However, Epic Games provided no context for the warning. This is nothing new. Epic did not provide Bucke, Kreo, Slackes, Keys or Dubs with proof of their discretion. Fortnite also does not have a definitive punishment in place, considering the varying length of bans we have seen in the past.

Epic Games will likely not acknowledge the warning without either Owl or Bugha opening a support case. Nonetheless, rule-breaking accusations and odd scenarios continue to run rampant in Fortnite.

Stay tuned to ESTNN for more Fortnite news and updates!

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