Bugha Cheating – Are Epic Going Easy on Big Name Players?
Bugha is known as one of the best Fortnite players after his performance at the Fortnite World Cup last year. The player has recently become embroiled in cheating allegations though which have lead to a formal warning from Epic games. Bugha cheating has raised some further questions with Epic’s handling of things though. They seem to have broken with their normal convention for dealing with cheating, is Epic refusing to enforce their own rules when it comes to their biggest players?
— Bugha (@bugha) August 12, 2020
How Do Players Cheat in Fortnite?
Cheating in Fortnite works a bit differently than other games. Being a Battle Royale, there are more opportunities for the sneakier players to gain an unfair advantage. You have the standard FPS cheating like using an aimbot. On top of that though, you can manipulate the game just by the actions of players within the rules. ‘Teaming’ is a big problem in higher-level Fortnite.
Teaming is where players who aren’t on the same team collaborate in-game. This can be as blatant as meeting up with another player in a Solos game and acting like a Duo. It can also be rotating in a certain way that avoids the rotation and drop spots of friendly players. Epic has banned players in the past for blatant instances of teaming.
Usually, Epic handles bans in a specific way. They give a short ban to a player and increase the length as they repeatedly offend. This leads to pros missing out on qualifying for big events sometimes. Which can be frustrating if you’re trying to bet on Fortnite. Not the best for the players, but at least there are consequences for cheating. In the case of Bugha cheating, things have been handled a bit differently.
Was Bugha Cheating?
The accusations against Bugha come from one very specific instance. One of the drawbacks of being one of the biggest Fortnite players is your every action gets watched on stream. During a recent Solo tournament, Bugha was talking over a chat outside of the game with Owl. The two players happened to be in the same actual game and were discussing it outside of the game in a Solos match. Bugha is eliminated, then asks Owl to take out the player that got him. After this, he was hit with a message telling him he was getting a warning for teaming. This is about all there is to Bugha cheating, but does it break the rules?
It’s difficult to say. Few would probably argue that a top-level player should be discussing a game with another, while they’re both in the same game on separate teams. They might not have actually collaborated to get ahead, but it is a bit shady. If Bugha had given more information to Owl or agreed to go after someone together while they were both alive, things would be clearer.
As it stands, Bugha violated the spirit of anti-teaming rules, but probably didn’t actually violate the integrity of a competitive match.
Did Epic Go Easier on Bugha for Cheating?
Whether Bugha was cheating or not is hard to define because Epic isn’t clear on what constitutes cheating. Their official rules give them scope to punish pretty much any action. They can ban you for crouching too many times and call it teaming. So it’s difficult to say if Bugha broke the rules or not. Epic’s reaction does seem a bit off though.
Their normal response to cheating in cash tournaments is a short ban. In this case, it would have locked Bugha out of the FNCS and the big competitive events for the rest of the season. Is it possible that Epic deliberately gave out a warning rather than their normal short ban to avoid this? Probably.
It’s unclear if Bugha actually cheated, but Epic’s mixed messages about rules don’t help. It also doesn’t particularly look good when they’re cutting big-name players breaks that they don’t give to anyone else. Players have been banned for less. Streamers and high-level pros bring in viewers, hype, and cash to the game. Does that mean they should get special treatment? This is a minor case with just a warning, but it looks like a double standard.
If Epic wants players to compete in cash tournaments in-game, they need to at least offer the guarantee that everyone will be punished the same for cheating. Given the number of high-profile bans in recent weeks, taking it easy on some players feels like favoritism which will harm their competitive scene in the long term.