The high-profile Fortnite World Cup got underway last weekend - and already Epic has banned thousands of participants for cheating.
The World Cup online open week one tournament saw a huge amount of interest - no surprise given Epic's putting up $1m each week for online open qualifiers.
In a blog post, Epic detailed over 1100 accounts were banned from competitive play for 14 days for circumventing region locks and playing in multiple regions through the course of the tournament. That number includes just shy of 200 prize winners who have had their prizes forfeited.
There's more: 48 accounts were banned for account sharing - a figure that includes nine prize winners. Eight accounts were banned for teaming (one winner will forfeit prizes for teaming). Teaming is when multiple players get into the same match and coordinate their efforts, for example working as a duo against a map packed with solo players.
One account was banned permanently from Fortnite for using cheat software during the semi-finals. (This account played for less than five minutes in the tournament before being banned, Epic said.)
And one account was given a 72-hour competitive ban for intentionally disconnecting to avoid giving points to another competitor.
The account permanently banned from Fortnite may have belonged to Jonathan "JonnyK" Kosmala, a Fortnite esports player who was booted from Team Kalibur this week after he was found to have cheated during the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers.
We have released Johnathan Kosmala from our Fortnite team.— Team Kaliber (@TeamKaliber) April 14, 2019
We are shocked to learn that he was cheating during the World Cup Qualifiers.
This violation is serious and we have ended our relationship with him. We apologize to our supporters for his lapse in judgement.
With so much money up for grabs (Epic's putting an incredible $100m into competitive Fortnite in 2019), tournaments will no doubt see desperate players do whatever they feel they can get away with in a bid to make money from the game.
"Our team continuously monitors competitive play in all regions and will take action against unfair play if necessary," warned Epic.
"After each tournament, all players (including the winners) are carefully vetted by multiple teams and analytical processes to verify fair play according to the rules of the tournament, the Fortnite Code of Conduct, and the Fortnite End User License Agreement."