Two professional Fortnite Battle Royale players have managed to qualify for the Fortnite World Cup after they were reinstated from the ban they'd received earlier in the qualification phase.
Pro players Damion 'XXiF' C. and Ronald 'Ronaldo' Mach finished with 91 points in the NA East region of Week 8 of the World Cup Qualifiers, good enough for third place in the region and a cool $6,500.
This means that the pair have booked a trip to the duos tournament of the $30 million World Cup in July, as the top three teams in NA East all automatically qualify.
However, what's most interesting about these players qualifying is that they had been banned in the early weeks of the qualifying stage for having been found cheating.
They were handed a 14-day competitive ban after the third week, meaning that they were first eligible to compete again in Week 6, and have now managed to clinch qualification in Week 8.
Considering that both players have a history of being caught cheating, however, it's likely that Epic Games and fellow pros will take a very close look at all of their qualification matches, just to make sure they didn't resort to their previous foul ways.
Why were XXiF and Ronaldo banned?
XXiF and Ronaldo were initially suspended from competing after a clip went viral showing XXiF clearly teaming with other players during the Week 3 solos qualifier.
Epic Games issued their official competitive ruling on May 1, stating that "a group of players attempted to undermine the competition by colluding across several matches."
XXiF, who had qualified for the solos tournament during that third week, was forced to give up his qualification spot, and he and Ronaldo were subsequently dropped from Rise Nation's pro Fortnite BR roster after the competitive ruling was announced.
Community reacts to XXiF and Ronaldo qualifying
When Epic first announced their competitive ruling, many in the Fortnite BR community were stunned that XXiF and Ronaldo had only been issued 14-day suspensions, considering that they had been caught outright cheating.
Now, as expected, many have taken to Twitter to react to the fact that the very same players have managed to qualify, and here are some of the best reaction tweets.
You just let cheater into your biggest tournament. Can't wait for you to explain their story line to a young audience. Should BE REAL INTERESTING :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing::rolling_on_the_floor_laughing::rolling_on_the_floor_laughing::rolling_on_the_floor_laughing::rolling_on_the_floor_laughing::rolling_on_the_floor_laughing::rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:
— Vivid (@VividFN) June 2, 2019
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! :grinning:
— Nate Hill (@NateHillTV) June 2, 2019
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
The bottom line - I feel for everyone who grinds their butts off to work on their gameplay, only to get pushed out of qualification for NYC by that duo.
— DrLupo (@DrLupo) June 2, 2019
XXiF & Ronaldo have qualified for New York. Yikes. What a stain on what is to be the highest paying Esports event of all time.
— cbass (@FaZeCBass) June 2, 2019
Xxif and Ronaldo are at 1st place 91 points right now after getting banned for cheating before LMFAO
— FN CODE: TTHumpBTW (@TSM_THump) June 2, 2019
XXIF finna' spend 50k minimum just on security in NY :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing: pic.twitter.com/Bczkt0cXXP
— Liquid Strafe (@Strafesh0t_) June 2, 2019
Ronaldo and XXiF got 1st. Timeline is about to be COMEDY
— WizKay (@WizKayTV) June 2, 2019
Of course, let's not forget SypherPK predicting this identical scenario way back when the suspension was first announced.
Fortnite Commentator: “Here’s Rise XXIF and his team mate Ronaldo showing up big in today’s competition. Definitely an amazing come back after they were banned in week 3 for literally cheating. Glad to see them secure a duo spot in week 8 of the qualifiers.”
— LG SypherPK (@SypherPK) May 3, 2019
All that said, XXiF and Ronaldo qualifying for the World Cup won't be set in stone until Epic Games themselves confirm it, so it will be worth monitoring the situation in the coming hours and days.
As always, we will continue to bring you the latest on this ongoing story, as more information becomes available.