April 13th marked the beginning of Epic Games’ Fortnite World Cup, a series of weekly challenge events leading up to the tournament finals at the end of June. The prize pool for the World Cup Finals is listed at a whooping $30 million dollars, though with the money Epic makes off Fortnite, this barely puts a dent in the company’s finances. Even so, Epic still takes cheating in the tournament seriously, and it apparently caught a significant number of Fortnite World Cup players cheating.
Epic Games has confirmed it caught over 1,200 Fortnite players cheating during the first week of the Fortnite World Cup. There are a number of ways a player is considered to be “cheating,” according to tournament guidelines, and Epic has laid out how many accounts have been caught, and in what ways.
The majority of players (1,163 to be exact) have been banned from Fortnite for two weeks due to exploiting the game’s region locking. By bypassing the region lock, players are able to earn more tournament points due to being able to play longer than their respective region’s three-hour window. Of the 1,163 players caught in this case, 196 prize winners have been forced to relinquish their earnings. At this time, Epic Games hasn’t confirmed how it will distribute the forfeited funds.
Playing in multiple regions may be the main culprit here, but there are a number of players who’ve found more creative ways to try and get a competitive edge. Other means of cheating Epic discovered included account sharing, teaming up with others during solo play, intentionally disconnecting so other players are not able to receive any points, and the use of cheat software to highlight the location of other players, which led to one player’s account being permanently banned.
This is a strong move by Epic to make sure it’s able to address the biggest issues for those who want to compete in the World Cup event. By upping its ability to manually detect cheaters quickly and punish harshly early on, it sends a message to those who may be thinking about finding their own loopholes to jump up the leaderboards during the event’s weekly qualifying rounds on Saturdays and Sundays.
The lead up to the Fortnite World Cup has seen a couple of issues surface following an update a couple of months ago that eliminated siphoning, which added health and materials every time a player received a kill. The dissatisfaction from the community has been loud and frequent, and has even led to one individual hacking the official Fortnite Twitter account, while others have begun signing petitions demanding the changes be reversed.
While that update hasn’t sat well with players, they’ll have more to look forward to by the end of this week outside of competitive play. After multiple leaks, another Epic Games and Marvel crossover has been confirmed. The event will start on April 25th, just in time for the theatrical release of Avengers: Endgame.
Fortnite is available on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.