Fortnite takes a surprising stance against clout farming in its official competitive rules.

17:30, 18 Sep 2020

After the massive mess that was this year's Fortnite Competitive Series Qualifiers, Epic has decided to take a stance against cheating, one that many weren't expecting. From players like Kona making it through qualifiers by using obvious cheats, to genuine competitors getting banned because of unavoidable bugs in the game, FNCS this year put a lot of things into perspective for Epic.

This is why, weeks later, they have decided to further delve into their investigation of cheating players, penning a surprising new rule in the process.

Fortnite Jarvis Clout

On September 8, Epic wrote a new list of updates and rules for Chapter 2 Season 4's competitive scene. It detailed things that players would typically expect, such as upcoming events and FNCS dates. It also clarified and added some new rules, which includes a rule players weren't expecting Epic to take a stance on.

The rule reads as follows:

"This season, we will now be taking action against anyone who falsely promotes themselves as a banned or cheating player. This false information gets in the way of real investigations that action true bad actors. It also goes against the spirit of the game and Fortnite competition, which has no place within the competitive Fortnite community."

Epic defines this as 'clout farming', which, in the context of Fortnite means, to fish for attention from fans by making false claims about cheating or being banned.

A notable example of clout farming, and possibly the reason besides the FNCS that Epic Games decided to take such a firm stance against cheating, is FaZe Jarvis.

Jarvis was banned from Fortnite because he used an aimbot, uploading footage of his cheat to YouTube for all to see. It wasn't long before Epic Games took note, promptly banning the streamer from the game. Fans of Jarvis came to Epic in droves, begging the company to unban him. Epic stood firmly against Jarvis' cheating, which prompted Jarvis to make a teary-eyed apology video, begging for his immediate return for the game. This proved to fall upon deaf ears, and, to this day, Jarvis is still banned.

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They don’t want to see me win.

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On September 11, however, Jarvis decided to revive this old drama by stating that Fortnite had unbanned him after ten months. He began streaming Fortnite to celebrate this occasion, until Epic pulled his account, banning him once again.

The internet at large was confused - why would Epic give Jarvis his account back just to ban him again? Something didn't seem right, and it wasn't.

Jarvis eventually came forward with an over-the-top vlog chronicling the entire event, and revealing that it was just an elaborate prank. The account in question wasn't even his, it was a friend's. That same friend was the person playing in the stream, not Jarvis. In the video, Jarvis admits that the purpose of the prank was to trick the internet into thinking he could play again, rather than getting banned a second time.

This little stunt fell short after the update to Fortnite's competitive rules, which included clout farming, the very action that Jarvis had participated in to gain attention from fans. Whether it was to make himself relevant again, or test the waters on Fortnite's new rules, one thing is for certain - he and his friends faced serious consequences for the prank.

The entire Clout House, the nickname Jarvis and his FaZe friends gave their residence, was IP banned because of the stunt. Epic took this stance against these FaZe players because many of them were watching Jarvis' stream and encouraging him to pull off the stunt in the first place. Even the players that weren't in Jarvis' stream were banned, which is deserved since they helped to propagate the high-profile stunt.

Stunts like these, especially involving such popular figures in the esports scene, are exactly why Epic Games created this rule in the first place. Their inboxes get flooded by false leads, sent in by players that believe these kinds of stunts are real. The number of emails and private messages Epic Games received in response to Jarvis' prank was probably astronomical, which led to the quick removal of his dummy account.

Although actions like this might be easy for players to deem as a cheat, Epic Games doesn't have time to sort through every instance of clout farming, especially when actual cheaters are getting through in their competitive tournaments. These clout chasers take precious time away from investigations into real cheaters, hence their firm stance against the practice.

Over time, the Fortnite community at large will see what action Epic will take against cheaters amongst the competitive scene. The clarification to the rules was very vague, not specifying what sort of "action" would be taken against players that participated in clout farming. Until then, players only have Jarvis as an example, and it's clear he and his FaZe friends won't be unbanned any time soon.


Images via Epic Games

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