A Fortnite player sparked a debate about video game griefing after breaking the game's solo mode kills record by taking advantage of a group that had gathering to watch an in-game rocket launch.
Yesterday, Fortnite launched an in-game rocket - an event that occurred across all versions of the game on all platforms at the same time - and players across the world jumped into the battle royale phenomenon to watch it take flight.
Players holstered their guns and worked together to create ramps using Fortnite's building mechanic. These ramps joined together to hit the upper limit of the Fortnite map - and provided a perfect platform from which to view the rocket.
One player, however, destroyed this ramp tower, sending scores of unsuspecting players tumbling to their deaths.
The player, Elemental_Ray, set a new solo mode kills record of 48 - an incredible feat but one not without controversy. You can see the build-up to this moment - and the ensuing carnage - in the video, below.
Elemental_Ray's actions set off a vociferous debate within the Fortnite community over whether he griefed the other players or took them out within the spirit of the game. The solo mode in Fortnite battle royale is a strictly last player standing affair, those who defend Elemental_Ray point out. Others say the player ruined what was a clearly non-combat coming together to watch an in-game event that won't be repeated.
You can't make this stuff up...— OpTic CouRage (@CouRageJD) June 30, 2018
Kid with a .47 K/D in Fortnite now holds the Solos kill record because he shot 48 people off a ramp who were watching the rocket launch. I've seen it all LMAO
What's clear is Elemental_Ray - now an infamous Fortnite celeb - is not used to such success within the game. Their lifetime k/d ratio is 0.54 and they've never won a solo match.
But, Elemental_Ray is now top of the Fortnite single match kills leaderboard, ahead of Dutch player Finest, who managed 33 in one solo match.
And going by their Twitter account, Elemental_Ray is lapping up the attention. Their bio now reads: "Most hated man on Fortnite."
I WAS LITTERALLY ON APPLE NEWS AHHHH https://t.co/JKDuAzvVgR— Elemental Ray | #1 Record Holder â“¥ (@ElementaI_Ray) July 1, 2018
Of course, griefing has been a topic of debate within video games ever since competitive multiplayer began life. Back in 2016 we covered griefers in Elite Dangerous who were killing in a massive private group in which player versus player combat was forbidden.
As for the Fortnite rocket, after heading into the sky, a red laser was seen aimed at Tilted Towers. The rocket then looked like it would destroy the map's most famous area, but it bounced off an invisible shield before spiralling out of control. The rocket was then seen tearing a rip in the sky.