Epic Games have temporarily banned a number of Fortnite Battle Royale players after concluding that they had been cheating, with one achieving Fortnite World Cup Qualification as a result, but some members of the competitive community believe their sanctions aren't good enough.
The game developer revealed the news via an official announcement on May 3, where they claimed that a group of players had intentionally attempted to undermine the Week 3 Fortnite World Cup Online Open competition on April 28.
Each of the players involved has been hit with a 14-day competitive ban from the game and won't be able to access any prizes from Week 3, due to the results of Epic's internal investigation - the results of which can be found below.
With a $30 million prize pool up for grabs at the Fortnite World Cup event, Epic have had to act fast to ensure that the players involved weren't able to benefit from the games in which they had cheated.
The Rise Nation's XXiF was one of those who were banned by the developer, after fellow competitive player RBK HighSky showcased a video of the gamer in question teaming, or colluding, during the qualifier match. He tweeted the following clip on April 29, just a day after the match took place.
— RBK HighSky (@ItsHighsky) April 29, 2019
Despite the ban, other members of the game's competitive community - such as Ali 'SypherPK' Hassan from Luminosity Gaming - have identified a potential future issue with the short-term ban the players have received.
With the players banned for just 14 days, they could potentially return for Week 6's Online Opens - which is set to take place between May 18-19 - and qualify for the competition a second time.
In a post to Twitter, the popular streamer echoed his concerns about the cheaters potentially coming back and doing the same thing to qualify for the World Cup after the ban has been lifted.
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
Sypher is not the only professional player to have weighed in on the situation, though, as esports consultant Rod Breslau also branded it a "weak" response from the developer, considering they could potentially still qualify for such a lucrative event.
FaZe Clan's Nate Hill - who was banned by Epic Games for cheating in the 2018 Fortnite Fall Skirmish - was pressing for this group of cheaters to be prevented from playing competitive Fortnite even before the bans were announced.
"Now there’s a guy (Xxif) and friends who have blatantly colluded, stole thousands of dollars, lied about it, ruined any integrity in online quals and encouraged others to team and cheat," Hill tweeted on May 2.
Now there’s a guy (Xxif) and friends who have blatantly colluded, stole thousands of dollars, lied about it, ruined any integrity in online quals and encouraged others to team and cheat. EPIC have yet to say a single word about it for a week now. Set your example on real cheats
— Nate Hill (@NateHillTV) May 2, 2019
Whether or not the cheating players will be able to qualify for the Fortnite World Cup in a few weeks time remains to be seen, but Epic Games' announcement has certainly caused some ambiguity among the competitive community.