Professional Fortnite player for FaZe Clan, Soleil ‘EwOk’ Wheeler, has publicly criticized developers Epic Games over the current state of their immensely popular battle royale.
EwOk hit the headlines of the gaming world back in July, when she became the first-ever female member of FaZe Clan. She was already well known to much of the Fortnite community, having made waves on Twitch as a deaf competitive player.
On August 21 she lashed out at developers Epic Games, amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the BRUTE mechs in Fortnite. After being added at the start of Season 10, the BRUTEs have been widely condemned as overpowered. Epic, however, argue they allow lesser-skilled players to achieve victory royales; an essential part of their ‘Fortnite philosophy’.
EwOk hit out at the developers in a series of tweets, starting with a reply to fellow pro player ‘benjyfishy’. Benjy tweeted a video of him dying to a duo using a mech while in a solo tournament, another of the issues surrounding the game’s giant robots.
“@FortniteGame Please do something I haven’t been able to do since birth,” she said. “Listen.”
The Fortnite community backed EwOk’s tweet, with many applauding the young streamer for the strength of her criticism.
@FortniteGame Please do something I haven't been able to do since birth. Listen.— FaZe EwOk (@Ewok) August 21, 2019
EwOk wasn’t done there, however. She followed up her original comments with another tweet to clarify that she “loves” both Epic Games and Fortnite, but feels there is a significant disconnect between the developers, the community and the competitive scene.
Make no mistake I love @EpicGames and the @FortniteGame crew. Just that the gap between Epic Games and the Fortnite Community and the competitive scene - both need improvement. That's why I am doing this. 🤟— FaZe EwOk (@Ewok) August 21, 2019
Finally, the young streamer criticized Epic over the latest addition to the battle royale: Junk Rifts.
Added to the game with the v10.10 on August 20, Junk Rifts see a rift open up above where the item was called in, followed by a large item dropping from the sky, dealing damage and destroying objects in its path.
However, EwOk lamented the lack of audio cues that accompany Junk Rifts, arguing they don’t provide players with enough time to move. “I died to junk rift instantly without knowing it was happening,” she said. “No visual sounds. Actually anybody doesn’t stand a chance against it.”
I died to junk rift instantly without knowing it was happening. No visual sounds. Actually anybody doesn’t stand a chance against it. GGs.— FaZe EwOk (@Ewok) August 22, 2019
In the same thread, she also said: “The entire point of gaming is that everyone has a chance, be able to defend against anything, and hopefully get equal RNG. This way the game is decided by skill, not luck… you (Epic Games) took these elements away from the game by putting in mechs and junk rifts.”
EwOk joins a growing list of prominent community figures who are growing impatient with Epic - and frustrated with how unfair the mechs seem to be. On August 21 Jack ‘CouRage’ Dunlop refused to continue playing in the $400,000 ‘Twitch Rivals’ tournament, as a result of the mechs.
While Epic has previously stood firm on the matter, the backlash seems to be reaching a volume where they can no longer stick their fingers in their ears and hope for it to go away.
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