The Fortnite ESL Katowice Royale event operated with plenty of controversy as player's encountered problem after problem in-game. However, one point that stuck out was the beef between Team SoloMid’s Anthony ‘ZexRow’ Colandro and Jeong ‘Aimhero_o’ Hyun-chul of OP Gaming over landing spots.
ZexRow, playing alongside his partner Vinny1x, led the Duos portion of the event after the first day and headed into day two with a hefty points lead.
However, the TSM pair, widely recognized as one of the best in the world, were immediately under fire from the Korean squad of AimHero and his partner Park ‘FaxFox’ Sung-Bin as they began heading to the same landing as the North American team, Viking Village, where they had been alone for the prior games.
After going back-and-forth for the majority of the second day over the spot, the TSM boys eventually lost their top spot and fell down the standings.
In since-deleted tweets, ZexRow accused the Korean team of ‘griefing’ for contesting his squad's main landing spot.
The Korean also received some hate from fans for continuing to test ZexRow and his partner Vinny.
He used Twitter to explain his team’s thinking, dropping at Viking Village because of how free the TSM pair had the area - not that they were griefing or any of the other accusations thrown their way.
I acted strategically, and I don't know why you upset, but we just admitted we lost and acted to win. If you have a problem with this and you really think so, I apologize.@TSM_ZexRow— AimHero_o(에임히어로) (@AimHero_o) March 3, 2019
In a further since-deleted tweet, ZexRow did step in to tell his fans to stop being ‘toxic’ towards Aimhero, while jokingly stating that he was the only one allowed to be 'toxic' with the situation.
After receiving further tweets about what had happened, Aimhero later stated that he had studied TSM while rising through the ranks of professional Fortnite, and had no intention to grief them.
ZexRow has since apologized for his outburst that had caused the Korean pro to receive an large amount of criticism from fans of the player and the organization he represents.
He tweeted: "Ok, so obviously I took it to far and got way too upset but you guys would understand if you were in my position.
"I just need to stop making impulsive tweets so don’t expect any more drama."
Ok so obviously I took it to far and got way too upset but you guys would understand if you were in my position... I just need to stop making impulsive tweets so don’t expect anymore drama 😃— ZexRow (@TSM_ZexRow) March 4, 2019
A number of pros also weighed in on the drama by speaking out about the idea of players ‘owning’ a certain landing spot.
Counter Logic Gaming’s Nick 'Marksman' Overtown tweeted that he had contested Team Liquid's Noah 'Vivid' Wright at Junk Junction in an earlier event, but apologized for doing so. However, his apology was in vain as Vivid explained that he, or anybody, doesn’t ‘own’ a landing spot because it’s a battle royale game.
Seeing some drama about "owning" landing spots— CLG Marksman (@Marksman) March 3, 2019
I felt bad contesting @VividFN at Junk in the SS and I apologized to him after the games. He told me to never apologize for landing with him or others. He doesn't own that spot. No one can.
Nothing is free in a BR.
Team Liquid’s Jake 'Poach' Brumleve replied to that tweet, stating: "There is no such thing as owning a spot. However, earning a spot is. Learning when to leave/try something new is important. Otherwise, you are just ruining each other's games."
There is no such thing as owning a spot. However earning a spot is, learning when to leave/ try something new is important. Otherwise you are just ruining each other's games.— POACH (@LiquidPoach) March 3, 2019
ZexRow may have since apologized to his fellow pro, but the battle over landing spots is sure to continue into the next Fortnite events - especially the highly lucrative World Cup.
Wheter or not Epic Games steps in to make a ruling on the early gameplay in competitive Fortnite remains to be seen. However, pros could always go the Call of Duty route and make gentlemen agreements on who will land where and whatnot.