Fortnite Player, Zenon, has been banned for 'breaching competitive rules' in Fortnite, with the nine-year-old being underage.
The hashtag #FreeZenon has gone viral after Epic Games banned a nine-year-old player for 1,500 days for simply playing competitive Fortnite. The Brazilian youngster, who has 130,000 subscribers on YouTube and is attributed to Detona Gaming, has now been banned from playing any mode of Fortnite until the 13th June 2024, one of the longest bans Fortnite has dished out which isn’t permanent.
Zenon was banned live on stream for breaching Fortnite’s rules regarding competitive rules, which has sparked outrage throughout the community, with players like Ninja leaping to his defence. The breaching of the rules regards his age, as Fortnite state, you must be 13 years old to play in competitive matches.
“You must be at least 13 years old to participate in any Fortnite competitive event” – Official Competitive Fortnite Rules
A distraught Zenon broke down on his stream after the ban appeared on his screen, banning him from the game completely, not even just the arena mode.
Fortnite have included the Arena mode as a competitive mode, even though there are no cash rewards for progression, it is simply a mode where you can try and achieve the best rank that you can. The ban came through whilst Zenon was playing Arena, however, he has competed in Cash Cups, which would be a direct violation of the rules, and may be where his ban has originated from, as retrospective action against that. He often posts highlight reels of his Cash Cups on his YouTube Channel, distinctly not keeping his rule-breaching discrete.
However, thousands of Twitter users posted the hashtag #FreeZenon in an attempt to let him be allowed to continue to play the game, and have his ban lifted/modified. The majority of fans felt that the ban was too severe for his breach and should have been banned from competitions and arena mode, and have his public lobbies ban reduced. Professional players such as Ninja and FaZe Banks leapt to the young streamers defence, saying that the game is aimed for kids, and until money is introduced for Arena mode, there should be no reason why Zenon shouldn’t be allowed to play Arena
The colossal ban comes nearly a year after FaZe H1ghSky1 was banned for competing underage. In June 2019, H1ghSky1 was banned for lying about his age, after competing for FaZe in multiple Fortnite tournaments. The then 12-year-old was banned from competing in Epic Games’ Fortnite tournaments until he turned thirteen but was not banned from casual public lobbies.
There is a huge inconsistency within Fortnite’s bans, and Zenon appears to have been on the harsher end of Epic’s roulette wheel. Even players who have been found physically cheating in cash competitions have been let off much lighter, most recently the duos 'Kreo' & 'Bucke' and 'Keys' & 'Slacks'. Competing in the Duos Fortnite Championship Series, both duos were found colluding together on their routes in order to work around the 'Storm Surge' complex which is designed to eliminate campers and low-engagement players by having a damage threshold that needs to be achieved. Whilst landing on similar routes near Slurpy Swamps, a place where shields are infinitely gathered, the teams would trade damage without getting kills to work around the damage threshold and then went on to finish 2nd and 1st respectively FNCS NA Region Week 1. Both players were then banned for 60 days of competitive Fortnite. This seems significantly less punishment for a more severe breach of TOS', which doesn't seem to justify Zenon's four-year ban from all Fortnite.
Fortnite has been notorious in enforcing their bans in the past, for example in the case of FaZe Jarvis, who was banned for life for using aimbot in a public lobby as a one-off. It will come as a great surprise if Zenon will have his ban overturned.
For more Fortnite news and leaks, stay tuned here at GGRecon.
Image via Twitter | @Of_Zenon