Fortnite Champion Series’ (FNCS) return has been marred by yet another claim of cheating, with the top two Duos in NA-East banned over allegations of teaming during the finals.
Nate ‘Kreo’ Kou, Logan ‘Bucke’ Eschenburg, ‘Keys’, and ‘Slackes’ were all suspended by Epic over reports the four players had colluded during the finals of Week 1 of the FNCS Duos tournament on March 22.
Claims started circulating after the duos both dominated the field to take home the top two spots in Week 1. Twitter user ‘Droxide’ highlighted the two duos allegedly colluding with tagging each other to save themselves from storm surge.
lil free storm surge lmao pic.twitter.com/tCZP4mYAHC
— nick (@DROXlDE) March 23, 2020
The pairs had been doing so during the FNCS warmup last week and the official games this week, further fuelling suspicions that it wasn’t an innocent once-off.
Epic were inclined to agree that the four players were teaming, which is a bannable offense in FNCS. The two duos were banned for 60 days, making them ineligible for the rest of FNCS Chapter 2 Season 2 Duos, as well as possibly the next season.
Under section 8.2.2 of the FNCS Chapter 2 Season 2 Official Rules, “players may not work together to deceive or otherwise cheat other players during any match…[including] working together during the match while on opposing teams.”
The four players have issued statements defending themselves publicly. The duos claim that they often scrim together and know each other’s paths very well, and this is why they have constantly engaged in the same area.
“Wish we at least had the opportunity to explain ourselves without everyone hopping on the bandwagon,” said Kreo after news of the ban became public. “Also wish Fortnite did some sort of investigation [and] asked us questions.”
“We know where people land due to maps that are made by third parties,” added Bucke. “Our loot route directs us to that one truck with the chest at it.
“By the time that they are done with their loot route, they end up at the slurp truck and we end up shooting each other since we cross paths.”
Wish we atleast had the opportunity to explain/defend ourselves without everyone hopping on the bandwagon.
Also wish Fortnite did some sort of an investigation/asked us questions
— Kreo (@KreoFN) March 23, 2020
— bucke (@BuckeFPS) March 23, 2020
The ban has divided the Fortnite pro community, with some players saying the suspension is deserved, while others have come out defending the duos and claimed Epic made the call to ban them too early.
“I don’t feel like Epic should’ve acted this fast,” said Cody ‘Clix’ Conrad. “I feel like they didn't have a chance to even defend themselves.
"This 60-day ban is life-changing for all of them. None of them are gonna be signed again, and they’re missing a whole FNCS.”
I don't feel like epic should've acted this fast, I feel like they didn't have a chance to even defend themselves. This 60 day ban is life changing for all of them. None of them are gonna be signed again, and there missing a whole FNCS. 60 day ban was not necessary whatsoever.
— Clix (@ClixHimself) March 23, 2020
People are hating on me, I'm not the one who cheated, the video was already on twitter before I reposted. I had nothing wrong with kreo/bucke keys/slackes in the past but they cheated and got caught. They're both good duos and could of done fine without colluding for Storm Surge.
— Bizzle (@FaZeBizzle) March 23, 2020
Tim ‘Bizzle’ Miller disagreed, saying Epic did the right thing by other players to take the duos down. “Two-month ban surprisingly good by Epic,” he stated.
“I had nothing wrong with [the players] in the past, but they cheated and got caught.”
Epic are yet to comment publicly on the suspensions. We will update you when more information is available.