Epic Games gave bans to more than 1,200 Fortnite accounts and revoked cash prizes that more than 200 players had won following Epic’s investigations of cheating in the first week of Fortnite’s World Cup Online Open. The crackdown caught cheaters who had played in multiple regions, shared accounts and teamed up, and one account was even permanently banned for using cheat software.
That cheater (whom Epic did not name) used the cheat software during the tournament’s semifinals. The account involved had played “for less than five minutes” before being discovered and banned, Epic said. The great majority of the other accounts sanctioned received two-week bans for their misconduct.
Of them, 196 players forfeited their winnings after they were caught circumventing region locks to play in several regions. Epic said that will change the prize payouts for others in the tournament, but their improved finishes won’t be reflected on Fortnite’s in-game leaderboard.
Nine prize winners lost their money for sharing accounts, and one winner’s earnings were vacated for teaming. Epic Games said it has added a “real-time teaming detection algorithm” to its competitive play. Teaming, in which players in a solo mode work cooperatively and create a competitive disadvantage for others, can get players banned even in competitive non-tournament play. Custom matches aren’t monitored for teaming.
After the first week of solo-play qualifiers ended, two players — including one who qualified for the World Cup — were accused of cheating. Epic Games appeared to reference this in its note to the community yesterday.
“We appreciate the community’s concern around the integrity of the competition,” the studio said, “but questioning the results of an individual participant without direct evidence unfairly tears apart what should be a crowning moment of achievement for an individual or team who earned their way there and performed when it counted.
“Our primary goal is to support competition that is fun, inclusive, and in line with the overall spirit of Fortnite,” it added. “Unsportsmanlike conduct from participants is not within that spirit, and will not be tolerated in Fortnite competition.”
The Fortnite World Cup Online Open tournament qualifiers got started April 13 and will continue for the next nine weeks. The second week of qualifiers will focus on Duos play. Winners cash in on a $1 million prize pool, and the best performers are tabbed for the World Cup of Fortnite, to be held July 26-28 in New York. This post has more about the tournament format.