Fortnite cheats are the biggest problem in the World Cup

It is hard to have a major competitive event in Fortnite without having a bit of controversy over cheating. This is why it wasn’t all that surprising when Epic revealed that the first two rounds of the Fortnite World Cup have been absolutely riddled with it. This news has largely been overshadowed by the continued grudges of professional players against both the selection process for the tournament and the build of the game playable at the moment. It has contributed to making the Fortnite World Cup a static watching experience. These rounds haven’t featured the high-level of play that normally comes from these events, and part of this is down to Epic’s continued failure to deal with cheating.

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© Epic Games

This epidemic has now spread to pro players. Last week Team Kosmala had to eject release Johnathan Kosmala from both the tournament and their organisation. This drastic action came after the maker of a cheating program publically outed him as a user. Clearly, the maker of this software has a little more respect for the competition than the players. While it was disappointing to see even pro players engaging in this behaviour, this is typical of why that the tournament is being run. When legitimately talented players are relying on cheating devices to level the playing field, there is a problem with the organisation and running of an event.

The software that this player used is widely available and widely used. There are many different people selling cheating software for Fortnite, too many for Epic to realistically keep on top of. Because of this, cheaters in the game are a tide that they have struggled to hold back. Epic has confirmed that they’ve already reprimanded over 1,200 players for cheating and at least 200 prize winners. However, the punishments varied. Among the prize winners, some were just warned and others were banned from the game. This is a half-hearted approach to policing the game. When players use aim-assist bots while playing, it negatively affects genuinely skilled players. For fans, it makes for a pretty boring experience. The Fortnite World Cup has already featured some of the safest and dullest gameplay seen in a major event so far, with this cheating epidemic the quality of matches isn’t exactly rising.

Cheating makes for boring viewing

The main topic of complaint among competitive Fortnite players is still the recent changes to the game and the way the World Cup qualification is being handled. This overshadows the real problem, the rampant cheating making it difficult for skilled players to actually qualify. Fortnite is a game in a constant state of flux and while it doesn’t make for the easiest competitive experience it is part of the Fortnite experience. The game is much more interesting to observers when competitive players are evolving along with the meta over the course of events. It is really not enjoyable to anyone when a bunch of bots roam around a map.

Epic has to do better. They’ve claimed to have ramped up their detection software and even started handing out bans, but it isn’t enough. The internet is still filled with prize winners demonstrating how they cheated their way to large sums of Epic’s cash.

Many of these people recorded themselves in the act for the sake of online exposure rather than the prize money itself. This shows it is a major problem in the game, especially when they’re handing out such a big prize pool.

The level play in the Fortnite World Cup has been pretty disappointing. It is beginning to look like it might have been more enjoyable for everyone if the World Cup had been an invitational, or followed a more traditional model for qualification. If Epic can resolve these problems in the next few rounds, hopefully, the tournament can live up to its potential.