A Fortnite player recently banned for cheating has qualified for the game’s biggest tournament.
Damion “Xxif” Cook was slapped with a 14-day suspension in early May after Epic Games found him guilty of using friends to get easy eliminations in competitive matches.
The lenient punishment allowed Xxif and teammate Ronaldo to come back and secure World Cup qualification — and a minimum of $50,000 in prize money.
Epic has previously taken an incredibly strict stance against cheating. One professional player was previously suspended from an entire tournament for watching an official stream and relaying information to a teammate who was still playing.
Epic has even filed lawsuits against persistent cheaters, which makes its handling of the Xxif situation even more bemusing to other Fortnite fans.
Xxif was accused of cheating in week three of the World Cup qualifiers. Other players noticed that he was securing easy kills in one match and suspected that he had enlisted friends to hop into the same games just so that he could eliminate them for free points.
Epic investigated the concerns and found Xxif guilty, then handed him and teammate Ronaldo with a 14-day suspension. They were also made ineligible to receive any prizes from week three of the qualifiers, and dropped by pro esports team Rise Nation.
Many complained that the suspension was too lenient — and it seems they were right to have concerns. Xxif and Ronaldo returned to the World Cup qualifiers once their ban was up and managed to secure a spot in the biggest tournament in esports history.
They’ll earn at least $50,000
Xxif and Ronaldo will earn at least $50,000 in prize money just for qualifying. They’ll take home an even larger share of the $30 million prize pool the further they progress in the competition.
A cheater qualifying for a $30,000,000 tournament is a kick in the junk to the integrity of the Fortnite competitive community. Love or hate the game, this should be unanimously agreed upon.
— DrLupo (@DrLupo) June 2, 2019
Other participants and Fortnite fans are understandably upset — not just because Xxif and Ronaldo will earn a handsome payday after cheating, but because they’re taking up two spots in the World Cup that could have gone to a more deserving duo.
Lets go XXIF! Good stuff Epic games! Love a good redemption story! Remember kids, if you break the law or cheat just wait two weeks and you’ll get $50,000!
— Nate Hill (@NateHillTV) June 2, 2019
One Reddit user is worried this sets a horrible precedent for the future of Fortnite tournaments. “There will be cheaters in every single tournament from now on,” wrote mcbaggins. “The risk-reward means it’s worth it to try now.”
Epic is yet to comment on the situation. It seems to be ignoring questions from the press and other members of the community. It is unlikely the company will backtrack now, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.