Aqua received a 14-day ban from competitive Fortnite.
More news broke early this morning regarding professional Fortnite player for COOLER Esport and duos Fortnite World Cup Champion David “aqua” Wang. This news came concerning a tiff between his trio of himself, Noahreyli and Rezon and rival trio Benjy “benjyfishy” Fish, Martin “MrSavage” Foss Andersen and Kevin “LeTsHe” Fedjuschkin. After some drama and cheating accusations came through yesterday, it seemed that Epic Games only removed aqua and his trio teammates Noahreyli and Rezon from the week three FNCS Qualifier Finals. However, aqua confirmed that Epic Games issued him a 14-day ban for an undisclosed reason. He will not be eligible for the FNCS Heats or the Grand Finals to round out this season.
Aqua’s Trio vs. Benjy’s Trio and Ensuing Accusations
In case you missed it, some intense drama developed between aqua’s trio and a rival European team comprised of benjyfishy, MrSavage and LeTsHe over the weekend. Both groups regularly land at the same point of interest (POI) – Doom’s Domain – and have been fighting each other relentlessly for the past few weeks. Yesterday’s controversy led to accusations of stream sniping and rule-breaking aimed at aqua. Although hard to prove, stream sniping runs rampant through multiple competitive games, but none more than Fortnite and other Battle Royale titles.
The rule break in question relates to aqua’s actions during one of his trio’s encounters with benjyfishy and company. After falling to his rival trio, aqua exited the game, claiming that his Fortnite application crashed. MrSavage and his teammates weren’t convinced, stating that aqua purposely left to avoid an in-game mechanic called a shakedown. This mechanic would have revealed the location of aqua’s teammates. Aqua, Noahreyli and Rezon advanced to the week three finals, playing only one game before the competitive world believed that Epic issues punishment. It appears that assumption has come to fruition.
Why Did Epic Ban Aqua?
Aqua’s ban notification does not lend much in the way of information. The message states that he received a ban from competitive play for “Other.” As usual, Epic did not divulge the exact reason. It’s difficult to surmise why the developers banned aqua for 14 days. However, we do know that, according to Fortnite’s ruleset, leaving the game intentionally for any reason can result in punishment. It’s safe to say that Epic has no proper way of detecting or punishing stream snipers unless there is hard evidence. The safe bet is that the developers acknowledged aqua’s rule break and acted accordingly.
What Does This Ban Mean for Aqua?
Due to his 14-day ban, aqua will not participate in FNCS Heats or the Grand Finals. Additionally, he cannot queue into any competitive tournaments, which would preclude him from any DreamHack events, Cash Cups, Wild Wednesday or any other third party tournament for the next two weeks. Aqua also will not have the option to play Arena Mode based on recent disciplinary cases.
Unclear Disciplinary System
It’s strange to see Epic Games enforce punishment because it seems that they are doing so only in highly publicized cases. Another notable case included pro players Bucke, Kreo, Slackes and Keys, who received a 30-day for trading storm surge tags a few seasons back. FaZe Dubs added himself to that list during the same season, where Epic issued punishment for an alleged collusion scenario. Even Fortnite World Cup Champion Bugha received a warning for collusion recently.
Twitter user FlyZBF makes a good point, stating that players leaving to avoid a shakedown happens all of the time. Is Epic going out of their way to ban relatively unknown players for the same cause? Professional Fortnite player and World Cup runner-up Dave “Rojo” Jong made a counterpoint to that in a tweet shortly following the news of aqua’s ban.
“You all cry about Epic not caring then they ban somebody for not following rules and you all cry again? I agree that Epic needs to punish everybody who breaks those same rules with enough evidence, but asking to get somebody unbanned when he broke the rules is not it guys.”
It’s something that Epic Games will need to address in the future because their punishment system seems inconsistent at best. Yes, aqua did allegedly break an explicit rule, but citing “Other” as the reason for his ban is unacceptable. Aqua will now have to sit on the sidelines for the next two weeks, while countless others compete for a piece of the $5 million FNCS prize pool.
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