Fortnite streamers caught cheating in Pop-Up Cup
The recent Fortnite Pop-Up-Cup has generated its fair share of controversy. The small in-game event has riled players up on multiple fronts. Most recently, two popular Fortnite streamers and aspiring competitive players have been caught collaborating in the cup. This is a clear breach of the Pop-Up Cup’s rules and behaviour that has previously lead to a ban.
This Pop-Up-Cup was a solo only event. These cups usually have some form of novelty or limitation to keep gameplay interesting. This time, you were limited to carrying 500 of each material rather than the usual 999. It’s not much of a limitation. However, it made some streamers so panicked that they were forced to break the rules. Duo-Pop-Up Cups are also quite common, which would have been the appropriate place for these two to team up together.
Despite this, streamers sealmatt and EpikWhale were caught collaborating in a stream while playing in the Solo Pop-Up Cup. Sealmatt is heard asking EpikWhale to give him a shield, which the other does. This bails the first player out of the bad situation he was in, the healing items gave sealmatt an edge on other competitors and an unfair second chance at the game.
This is a small amount of collaboration but it indicates that both players were in constant contact with each other during a solo game. This gives them a major advantage. As well as access to each other’s healing items, they also gained other advantages from the constant contact. Both made it to the final stages of the Battle Royale, having one less enemy to deal with is a serious advantage later in the game. They also had additional reconnaissance. With a second player’s eyes, they had greater vision over the map than any other player. There are plenty of opportunities for players to play Duos, why collaborate on a Solo Pop-Up Cup?
The cheating is a little more important than just teaming up during a normal stream match. Epic has been using these events as a way of selecting players for their upcoming invitational. Players who establish themselves in Epic’s invited roster will be in a good position to compete in Fortnite tournaments in the future. If Epic continues to farm out the selection of invitationals to these open events, then the possibilities for exploitation by players is going to cause problems.
Hello, I would just like to say that EpikWhale and I did not think anything of what we were doing as anything but messing around. And I know what's done is done, but I do apologize for not thinking clearly about what we were doing.
— Sealmatt (@ImSealmatt) January 29, 2019
One of the streamers defended himself, saying “I don’t know why they care so much. Like, OK dude, sorry I gave Seal 30 shield in a fucking Solo Pop-Up that’s worth nothing. Like, take a fucking joke“. He seems to have missed the point entirely but does possess a sophisticated sense of humour where giving another player a shield is a hilarious joke that goes over everyone’s head. Clearly, it’s an act with such impressive comedic value that to everyone else it just looks like playing Fortnite, but if you take it as a joke it is in fact really funny. More specifically, the suggestion that it’s irrelevant as it’s just a Pop-Up Cup doesn’t really hold weight when the tournament is being used as a selection process for a high-profile invitational.
Sadly, collaborating in solo matches is more common than it should be. Epic cannot police every game. If they are going to continue to use open events like Pop-Up Cups as qualifiers for their high-profile tournaments, they need to make sure the game is respected. People intentionally breaking rules to give themselves a boost in these situations invalidates the entire process.