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Fortnite: Cheating controversy looms over ongoing FNCS

(Image Credit: Epic Games)
(Image Credit: Epic Games)
Modified 05 Aug 2020, 02:42 IST

The ongoing Fortnite Champion Series has allowed some of the best Fortnite players to make a name for themselves. However, many players and fans are calling into question the competitive integrity of the event and accusing multiple players of cheating.

The Fortnite Champion Series and possible cheaters

With in person events cancelled as a result of the global pandemic the Fortnite Champion Series is one of the last remaining competitive outlets for the Fortnite community to enjoy. However, with the first weekend of qualifiers completed, some are suggesting that many participants are cheating, either by communicating with enemy players or by using a “soft aim” hack.

Many are asking Epic to launch an investigation into these accusations in order to protect the integrity of the game. Whether the number of cheaters is overblown or not, unless Epic can say with validity that these people aren’t cheating, or that they will take action to stop cheating, players will have a hard time knowing if the top Fortnite players really earned their spots.

Teaming and communicating in the Fortnite Champion Series


One of the simpler accusations has been that some players are cooperating against the rules (or at least the spirit) of the game. This accusation was levied even against Benjy, the European server’s second PC qualifier winner.

Although there is a high degree of uncertainty with regards to Benjy, other accusations against other players are much more credible, especially when videos surface showing two players next to each other refusing to fight.

This kind of activity takes away a lot from the competitive community, especially when some jump to defend it, because it shows that the community is picking its winners and losers rather than everyone having to fight for themselves. It would be hard to call someone the best Fortnite player if, for instance, they were supported by multiple others.

Soft aim hacks in Fortnite

This one is much more obvious in how it’s cheating. Soft aim hacks work by adjusting a player's aim sensitivity in order to guide their cursor over an enemy. What makes this particularly problematic is that, although most external programs like aim hacks are easily detected by anti-cheat software, the current soft aim hacks seem to be undetectable for some reason.

The other issue is that the soft aim hacks are often very hard to distinguish to the untrained eye. A player who can seemingly track an opponent long enough to score three consecutive hits would not appear to be doing anything too exceptional. Likewise, someone who can flick their aim rapidly and score a headshot wouldn’t stand out in a crowd of Counterstrike players.

Whether players are actually using this kind of cheat software or not, Epic needs to at least be able to with confidence one way or the other.

The ultimate problem with these kinds of cheats


Both of these cheats have one similar trait. Although one uses software to explicitly change the game’s functionality and the other is about as complex as calling your friend, both are difficult to detect and prove without a doubt.

In the video which suggests that Benjy had called for backup, it is very difficult to look at the replay and prove it one way or the other. A player who ended up losing from a random sequence of plays might be comforted by suggesting someone else’s misdeeds caused their failure. But, in circumstances where an accusation can neither be proved or disproved it is usually appropriate to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused party, in this case Benjy.

Until more information is revealed, there is little else that can be said.

Published 05 Aug 2020, 02:42 IST
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