Does The Fortnite Community Need A Time Out?
It seems like every week, a different Fortnite pro is banned for something immature or just plain stupid they said on social media or did in-game. Every gaming community has its bad eggs, but these toxic individuals seem abnormally prevalent in the Fortnite community.
So what’s the problem? Why is the Fortnite community coming across as so immature? Let’s look at some of these incidents case by case and determine the factors behind the Fortnite community’s behavioural issues.
CLIX’S CHILDISH TWEET
Cody “Clix” Conrod is one of the biggest names in Fortnite. The young pro has a following of 2.3 million on Twitch with career earnings of over $275,000. However, his popularity did not save him from the long arm of the law.
In mid-May, Clix sent out a very questionable tweet. Epic found this extremely inappropriate and revoked Clix’s Creator Code as a result. This was a huge blow to the young superstar, costing him tens of thousands of dollars a month in Creator code revenue. Furthermore, Epic Games has removed Clix’s name from all Fortnite Creative Mode maps. It appears Epic Games is trying their best to distance themselves from the rising Fortnite star.
Clix claims that the tweet was a joke, and he expected others to take it the same way. Whether a joke or not, the message was in bad taste. Epic Games does not mess around with this sort of behaviour. Clix has since apologised and claimed he’d learned his lesson, but the consequences remain the same. One small lapse in judgment has cost Clix a ton of income and recognition.
The drama is not isolated to just the North American region. Russian Fortnite pro “97Default" got him and his team into some serious trouble when he sent out a toxic tweet directed at another squad.
The two teams found themselves fighting off spawn during the Fortnite Championship Series (FNCS) Finals. As one would imagine, this created a heated rivalry. Frustrated by the situation, 97Default tweeted a nasty message at his competitors. The message was quickly deleted, and 97Default apologised, but that didn’t stop Epic Games from dishing out a fitting punishment. 97Default and his squad were disqualified from the Chapter 2 - Season 6 FNCS Finals.
While 97Default got the punishment he deserved, it’s unfortunate that his teammates had to go down with him. David "Freemok" Drobchak Mikolayovich took the news particularly bad, claiming to have smashed his hand in anger upon receiving the news.
This high level of immaturity in the Fortnite pro scene hurts more than just the culprits themselves. The innocent bystanders around them can get dragged down in their path of destruction.
THREATENING YOUR PEERS
A similar situation to the one above took place in the Semi-Finals of the NA East region’s FNCS. Long-time pro player “paper” got seriously tilted when another squad contested his team’s drop spot. In retaliation, paper lashed out at the opposing team on Twitch and Twitter. In a fit of rage, paper threatened to physically assault the rival squad’s players.
Epic Games did not take kindly to this type of threat on its game’s participants. Like the other misguided offenders before him, paper and his team were banned from the FNCS. But paper’s punishment did not end here. The Fortnite pro was also banned on Twitch as a result of his actions.
TEAMING IN TOURNAMENTS
Over the line trash talk is not the only behaviour issue plaguing the Fortnite community. There have been multiple cases of Fortnite pros receiving suspensions or bans for cheating during competition.
The most common form of cheating in professional play is collusion. Individual players or teams will work together and agree on a ceasefire. In the worst cases, the two groups will team up to defeat other players or abuse mechanics such as Storm Surge.
Fortnite pros are no stranger to collusion. Nate "Kreo" Kou and Logan "Bucke" Eschenburg, along with “Keys” and “Slacke” were found colluding in the Chapter 2 - Season 2 Duos FNCS, Damion "XXiF" Cook and “ronaldo” colluded with their friends during the World Cup Qualifiers, and Daniel "FaZe Dubs” Paul Walsh was caught teaming in one of Fortnite’s Solo Cash Cups. As you can see, collusion is not a rare occurrence in the Fortnite pro scene.
AIMBOTTING IN 4K
One of the most infamous cases of bad decision making in Fortnite history came at the hands of Jarvis “FaZe Jarvis” Kaye. Jarvis thought it would be a cool idea to download an aimbot and make a YouTube video of him using it in Fortnite public matches. As it turns out, Epic Games was not too fond of Jarvis’s plan.
As one would expect, Jarvis was banned for this foolish stunt. And it wasn’t a light ban either. Jarvis was banned for life. Who would have thought that blatantly cheating and publishing it on YouTube for the world to witness was not the brightest idea?
WHY DOES THE FORTNITE COMMUNITY LACK MATURITY?
A significant portion of the pro Fortnite community struggles to behave on social media and in-game. Most people would attribute this to the average age of the community.
The majority of Fortnite pros are extremely young, some just entering their teenage years. At this point in one’s life, your brain and your emotions are not fully developed and under control. Therefore, individuals in this adolescent age range tend to lash out and make regrettable decisions.
Some of this disgusting behaviour has no excuse, but at least there’s an explanation for it. A lot of Fortnite pros simply lack the necessary emotional maturity. Becoming a pro gamer and winning bundles of cash is every young kid’s dream. The pressure to perform at a high level is massive on these juvenile teenagers. Competition can bring out the worst in people, and not everyone can handle the spotlight.
Images via Epic Games