Ninja, Dakotaz & more slam Fortnite ban of 9-year-old player Zenon - Dexerto
Fortnite

Ninja, Dakotaz & more slam Fortnite ban of 9-year-old player Zenon

Published: 5/May/2020 16:35 Updated: 5/May/2020 16:37

by Calum Patterson

Share


A young Brazilian Fortnite player, Zenon, burst into tears during a stream after his account was banned by Epic Games, supposedly because he is only nine years old, and therefore not allowed to compete in the in-game tournaments.

The young competitive player is part of Brazilian organization DETONA Gaming, but has been handed a 1500-day ban from Fortnite. He had been playing “Arena mode,” the competitive playlist in the game, which requires players to be at least 13 years old.

Zenon was handed the suspension due to his age, but it has caused uproar, especially in the Brazilian competitive scene, with the hashtag #FreeZenon trending on Twitter.

Fortnite player zenonThe young player had already started a blossoming esports career.

The clip of Zenon’s ban went viral on social media, as he burst into tears with his father watching on.

Even Tyler “Ninja” Blevins stepped in to defend the player, arguing that although rules are rules, the punishment is too harsh, and that Zenon shouldn’t be banned from playing regular modes in Fortnite.

Top esport players from Zenon’s home country also spoke out in his defense, including professional CS:GO players Fernando “fer” Alvarenga and Vito ‘kNgV’ Guiseppe.

kNgV wrote “no one should have the right to ban someone because of age, this is the esports revolution, there are more children with these dreams.”

Professional League of Legends player Leonardo ‘Robo’ Souza said, “It is totally wrong to prevent the development of a talent within esports. The boy is 100% accompanied and supported by his father. You can’t do that to a child! He just wants to have fun!”

Fortnite streamer Dakotaz spoke about the issue on Twitch, arguing “[Epic] shouldn’t have banned you like that! If you’re going to hand out a four-year ban, and they’re nine years old, they should have handled that a little differently in my opinion.”

Epic Games has not commented publicly on the player’s ban, but Zenon himself is determined to see it overturned.

Fortnite is one of the most lucrative esports if a player can make it to the professional level, with Fortnite World Cup 2019 winner Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf winning the biggest individual prize ever of $3 million.

Even just at the semi-professional level, players can earn money playing in-game, online tournaments, such as the Cash Cup. However, to compete, Epic enforces a strict 13+ minimum age, which they clearly take very seriously, given the severity of Zenon’s punishment.

Playing alongside his father, Zenon has a popular YouTube channel with over 130,000 subscribers.

Fortnite

Fortnite World Cup winner Aqua banned from FNCS by Epic Games

Published: 25/Oct/2020 14:44

by Theo Salaun

Share


Fortnite World Cup champion David ‘aqua’ Wang has been banned by Epic Games, following controversy over alleged stream sniping against FNCS opponents.

Aqua’s trio (with Rezon and Noahreyli) have been participating in FNCS Europe and, following the Week 3 semis, were accused of stream-sniping another popular trio: Benjy ‘Benjyfishy’ Fish, Martin ‘MrSavage’ Andersen, and Kevin ‘LeTsHe’ Fedjuschkin.

Although fans initially deemed aqua’s behavior suspicious, things quickly escalated. With Benjyfishy’s team unable to qualify for the Week 3 finals and the discovery that aqua was watching MrSavage’s stream during the competition, the controversy has spiraled.

mrsavage viewers aqua stream sniping
Twitch, @MrSavage
A screenshot of MrSavage’s Twitch stream showing that aqua was watching during the event.

Aqua banned by Epic Games

On October 25, aqua confirmed that his account had been banned from competitive, with Epic Games simply providing the reason as “other.”

Following condemnations of the World Cup winner’s team, rumors began circulating that aqua, Rezon, and Noahreyli had been banned by participating past the first match of the Finals. 

It was never officially legitimized and has since been made even more unclear by responses from some of the involved parties.

After the rumor mill buzzed with the reports that aqua’s team was banned from competing, he took to Twitter and gave a concise clarification denying those allegations: “We are not banned, we just don’t wanna play. It’s boring without early fighting Benjy.”

Given the difficulty inherent to confirming someone was in fact stream-sniping and didn’t coincidentally run into a fellow streamer, many believe it is unlikely that the World Cup winner has actually been exiled from the competition.

Additionally, some have noted that bans typically result in removal from the leaderboard, something that aqua’s team has not been hit with.

As for how the players are handling it, aqua and Benjyfishy simply joked about the incident.

 

At 17 years old, aqua represented his home country of Austria to the fullest by winning the 2019 Fortnite World Cup’s Duos event with Norway’s Emil ‘Nyhrox’ Bergquist. With a smooth $1.5 million earned from the World Cup, he’s since signed with Cooler Esport and continued to win competitions across Europe.

We will continue to update this article with more details as they become available.