After the unfortunate instances of cheating and unsportsmanlike coordinating in the Fortnite Champion Series, Fortnite has recently released a Competitive Integrity Update intended to address these issues.
The need for Competitive Integrity in Fortnite
It shouldn’t be hard to see why competitive integrity is something that needs to be enforced. If the means used to achieve victory are called into question, then winning becomes hollow and meaningless. Even if the first place winner was able to earn their position without cheating, unless that can be known beyond a fact then there is almost no point in celebrating the win.
That is why competitive events and sports go to such great lengths to enforce their rules. It’s why Olympic athletes have to have their blood tested before a race, and why abnormalities around the air pressure in a ball can become heated controversies.
After what was supposed to be the most prestigious Fortnite tournament of the year was mired in controversy, Epic has finally addressed the issue in a new update. In the statement, Epic said:
“Recently there’s been an uptick in community conversations around cheating and bad actors within the Fortnite Competitive ecosystem. We wanted to address some of these concerns by restating our goals, providing some insight into recent events, sharing some of our future plans, and asking for your help.
Our goal is to maintain the highest level of competitive integrity possible, while operating at a massive scale. Hosting fair and open tournaments in a free-to-play game is a huge undertaking, and we’re always working to improve. Ensuring a positive experience for players means catching bad actors and taking action swiftly”
Epic detected cheaters in the Fortnite Champion Series
According to Epic’s statement, they were apparently aware of players in the FNCS using cheat devices and programs, but an error in their automatic detection systems caused the penalties to be delayed, which is why they were not banned until long after they were detected.
Additionally, Epic has created a new way to report suspicious activity.
Lastly, Epic took a moment to address the communal vigilantism regarding suspected cheaters by stating “Bullying is never acceptable and a violation of our Community Rules. Use the in-game reporting tools - in live games or in replays - or the new submission form here to report issues. These are the best ways to get eyes on potential bad actors quickly.”
What Epic failed to address
It can’t be known if these changes will help curb the rise in cheats in Fortnite, both among competitive and casual players. However, there is one glaring issue that Epic seemingly failed to address, that that is the problem of professional coordination.
When pro Fortnite players achieve a certain degree of success, their names become known in professional circles, and because these circles tend to be tight-knit, it’s fairly easy for these players to end up coordinating during competitive events, whether they mean to or not.
Failing to take a stance on this coordination seems like a fairly large gap in something intended to address “competitive integrity,” but hopefully Epic has come up with other ways to handle such issues.