A couple of top players received warnings for “toxic behavior.”
Competitive Fortnite crowned seven new Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) winners after a long weekend of intense action. Two of the top NA East players - William “Zayt” Aubin and Liquid STRETCH - partook in the competition over the weekend. Both players and teammate Rocco “Saf” Morales put forth a strong effort on day two, which landed their team in fourth place. Several hours after the tournament, Zayt and STRETCH - who compete respectively for NRG Esports and Team Liquid - revealed that they received an in-game warning from Epic Games. It seems the developers caught wind of some “toxic behavior,” which led them to warn both players after what transpired over the weekend.
Zayt and STRETCH noticeably took issue with the warning and responded on Twitter. Both players often voice their opinions about competitive Fortnite, and maybe this could be Epic’s new way of policing the community.
Zayt and STRETCH See the In-Game Warning
WE CANT SHIT TALK ANYMORE HAHA YOU GOTTA LOVE 2020 HAHAHAHA pic.twitter.com/wtruVbKbKH
— NRG Zayt (@zayt) November 2, 2020
Zayt, a multiple-time Fortnite Champion, revealed this behavior warning on Twitter. Zayt is not only a top player; he runs NA East’s most significant practice channel, featuring the region’s best. He took to Twitter with a screenshot of the warning and his response.
“WE CANT SH*T TALK ANYMORE HAHA YOU GOTTA LOVE 2020 HAHAHAHA,” wrote Zayt in a fiery tweet. The warning itself is the first of its kind from what we’ve seen in the past. It reads:
“Due to your recent actions, you have been issued a competitive warning for: Toxicity (Verbal Toxicity / Code of Conduct violation) please refrain from repeat offenses or you may receive an account ban.”
This message did not sit well with Zayt, who is arguably the most outspoken professional Fortnite player. He openly criticizes the popular Battle Royale title regularly for its shortcomings, mocks the developers and even sparked a high-profile feud recently with FaZe Clan player Bizzle. Zayt never hides his opinion. He had some positive and negative tweets throughout the weekend as he and his teammates looked to claim the Chapter 2 - Season 4 Championship. This type of situation poses a genuine question, what exactly pushed Epic Games to the point of issuing the warning?
What Tweet Could Have Triggered Zayt’s Warning?
Might aswell enjoy why our servers are extremely laggy haha 🙂 pic.twitter.com/MXKyqSRXOT
— NRG Zayt (@zayt) November 1, 2020
The Canadian professional Fortnite player brings brutal honesty to the table regarding the game itself and his opponents. This was the case over the FNCS Grand Finals, where he called out both players and Epic Games for various reasons. Zayt’s most recent possible infraction took place after day one of the Grand Finals. He tweeted out a screenshot of himself watching FNCS from Fortnite’s Party Royale game mode, stating, “Might aswell enjoy why our servers are extremely laggy haha.” The NRG Esports player is one of many to address Epic for its unreliable servers.
The fact that bughas trio didnt win every Week of FNCS is crazy to me, they are fucking horrible
— NRG Zayt (@zayt) October 31, 2020
Earlier in the weekend, Zayt called out Fortnite World Cup Champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf for not winning the tournament outright. Bugha, Avery and Jamper landed uncontested at Stark Industries and could not pull out the victory, but instead finished in third place. Perhaps Epic could be warning Zayt for targeting other players with his trash talk? It’s hard to tell what the real reason is without Zayt contacting Epic directly. Zayt’s teammate, STRETCH, also endured quite the situation after some regrettable comments.
STRETCH Unleashes on Pro Player Heart
Throughout my entire career I haven't said one mean thing to you. I am just playing the game and having fun.
Yet I have to put up with daily and constant harassment from stretch and people who follow him, including other pros pic.twitter.com/r8zB16ISaM
— HEART (@heyimheartt) November 2, 2020
The formal warning for Team Liquid’s STRETCH might be a little more clear. Some would argue that STRETCH is Fortnite’s most significant critic. He and his trio teammates spent the better part of Chapter 2 - Season 2 fighting Bizzle or Heart at the Doom’s Domain point of interest (POI). After Bizzle conceded, Zayt, STRETCH and Saf had to battle pro trio Takened, Dxrant and Heart. Neither team would give up and instead decided to compete to win the location.
STRETCH’s trio finished the competition in fourth place, but that didn’t stop the Team Liquid player from unleashing on Heart. In a now-deleted tweet, STRETCH had some choice words for Heart.
“Go f*ck yourself @heyimheartt 0/6 FNCS horrible player you should just quit the game you moved to 0 ping to make $0,” wrote STRETCH in a Twitter tirade. This tweet prompted a response from Heart, calling for STRETCH to be a better role model.
“Embarrassing that T1 players can say things like this with no repercussions. This is why the fn comm has gone down hill, and other games don't even take us seriously
You are signed to an org, and have young fans that look up to you, targeted harassment isn't ok @Stretched.”
Heart then pointed out a rule within Fortnite’s set of regulations that may have resulted in the warning. Rule 8.1.3 states, “Players shall not engage in harassing or disrespectful conduct,” the in-game message did reference “Toxic Behavior,” as does the law in question. Stretch apologized to Heart after receiving the warning.
Apologies to heart regarding my tweet, i tweeted in a moment of frustration wont happen again. <3 ive been trying really hard to be less toxic to others and it was a lapse of judgement and hes completely right. @heyimheartt
— Liquid Stretch (@Stretched) November 2, 2020
“Apologies to heart regarding my tweet, i tweeted in a moment of frustration won't happen again. <3 ive been trying really hard to be less toxic to others and it was a lapse of judgement and hes completely right. @heyimheartt.”
Zayt and STRETCH received only warnings for their behavior. Repeated offenses will likely lead to a disciplinary ban, similar to that of COOLER aqua, who also received a ban for breaking Fortnite’s ruleset. Stretch and Zayt may need to hold their opinions and trash talk back; otherwise, they could miss out on some critical competitive tournaments.