Epic Games this week suspended four Fortnite players for 60 days each, the result of what the game-maker said was banned teaming during the Fortnite Champion Series last weekend.
According to multiple reports, Epic ruled that Nate “Kreo” Kou, Logan “Bucke” Eschenburg, Andrew “Keys” G., and “Slackes” teamed up during the opening weekend of Chapter 2, Season 2 — billed as the “Season of Duos” by Epic.
Teaming is when players intentionally inflict damage on one another without the intent of eliminating one another, instead looking to inflict enough damage to avoid Storm Surge. Storm Surge hands out damage to the players who have inflicted the least amount out of damage during the game.
The FNCS Season 2, Chapter 2 rules explicitly outlaw such behavior in Section 8.2.2:
“Players may not work together to deceive or otherwise cheat other players during any match (“Collusion”). Examples of Collusion include the following:
“Teaming: Players working together during the match while on opposing teams.”
The four players dominated play throughout the first weekend of competition. However, the 60-day ban ends their participation in Chapter 2, Season 2, of which the Champion Series Grand Finals are scheduled for April 19.
Per reports, the impetus for Epic’s investigation into the four players was a video posted to Twitter by user Droxide which included the caption, “lil free storm surge lmao” with a 2-minute, 10-second clip showing what appeared to be the accused players feigning battle and working hand in hand.
For their parts, the suspended players voiced their frustrations with Epic’s quick decision, which appeared to come down within hours of the end of competition.
“Wish we at least had the opportunity to explain/defend ourselves without everyone hopping on the bandwagon,” Kreo tweeted. “Also wish Fortnite did some sort of an investigation/asked us questions.”
Bucke added that teams often scrimmage against one another, leading them to understand their opponents’ habits and travel routes during the game.
“By the time that they are done with their loot route, they end up at the slurp truck and we end up shooting each other since we cross paths,” Bucke said on TwitLonger. “Even when other teams land at slurpy swamp, we bloom battle them because there’s unlimited shield.”
Professional Fortnite player Cody “Clix” Conrod tweeted, “I don’t feel like epic should’ve acted this fast, I feel like they didn’t have a chance to even defend themselves. This 60 day ban is life changing for all of them. None of them are gonna be signed again, and (they’re) missing a whole FNCS. 60 day ban was not necessary whatsoever.”
For their part, Epic Games had not commented officially on the suspensions, nor is there any indication of any punishment beyond the ban.
—Field Level Media