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The real reason Ninja is furious with Warzone

Ninja is best known for playing Fortnite these days, but Epic's battle royale shooter isn't the only game the popular streamer enjoys booting up. Lately he's taken a liking to Call of Duty: Warzone, another free-to-play battle royale title. As is the case with Fortnite, though, Ninja isn't shy about offering feedback or putting Warzone on blast if he feels something is amiss.

Case in point: Ninja thinks he encountered a cheater in a recent solo match.

"I'm not kidding," Ninja began, "7/8 solo games after Warzone Wednesday, I had a hacker kill me at the airport; and chase me across the map after I won a gulag and kill me again."

Ninja then dropped a bombshell, stating, "Thank God Valorant beta goes live tomorrow." This seems to imply that Ninja might leave Warzone behind in favor of Valorant, the new competitive shooter from League of Legends developer Riot Games.

Jack "CouRage" Dunlop, a former Call of Duty caster, agreed.

"It's such a shame," CouRage wrote in a reply to Ninja. "I feel the exact same way. [...] Skill based matchmaking combined with hackers every game ruins it. Such a shame."

While we're not sure Call of Duty is in danger of losing its massive player base due to one Ninja tweet, the game also has a lot to gain by having big-time streamers consider it a viable alternative to Fortnite. Warzone streams are essentially free advertising, but if those watching are only seeing cheaters win and their favorite content creators lose, that might push some toward a different title.

The presence of cheaters in Warzone is also concerning due to the game's cross-platform nature. Due to increased security and anti-tampering measures, console gamers aren't typically accustomed to dealing with people who cheat. That is, unfortunately, more common on the PC side of things. Because Warzone allows console and PC players to team up, however, there exists the very real possibility that console players could now be exposed to people using exploits on PC. That really hurts the game on a much larger scale.

As far as the skill-based matchmaking mentioned by CouRage, that's a topic more up for debate among those playing Call of Duty: Warzone. All sorts of online games use different matchmaking systems. Some used connection-based matchmaking, which matches you against other players based on how the connections are. Some used skill-based matchmaking, which tries to match you with other players close to your skill level.

There are pros and cons to each. For connection-based matchmaking, you get a match with less lag and networking nonsense, but there exists the possibility you'll face off against a bunch of absolute pros. For skill-based matchmaking, absolutely every game will feel competitive, but you could play some people with poor connections, which takes away from the experience.

Ninja doesn't seem as concerned with how the game is matching players, though. He's more fed up with the fact that Warzone isn't doing a good enough job catching cheaters. When your job is to play video games in front of a bunch of fans — and hopefully deliver those fans a few victories — that frustration is understandable.

It'll be interesting to see if Ninja truly decides to swap out Call of Duty: Warzone for Valorant. The beta for the latter comes online today, although it's not the easiest thing in the world to get into. According to Polygon, "Only select streamers are eligible to give out drops" — the drops being beta invites to Valorant. So if you want to play Riot's new shooter, you'll have to find a streamer who can shower their viewers with codes.

Valorant is being compared to the still-popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, though it also seems to borrow some hero elements from games like Overwatch or Apex Legends. In that regard, it seems to land right in the middle between the arcade action offered up by Fortnite and the realism of Warzone. Since Ninja is pretty good at both, he might have a good chance at competing in Valorant, too. But we'll have to wait and see.

We'll be keeping a close eye on Ninja's stream to see what he's playing in the days ahead. There's a lot of hype around Valorant. Will it manage to capture the streamer's heart? We'll also be looking out for any updates on Call of Duty: Warzone. Perhaps Activision will take a closer look at fixes for the game. There's no faster way to kill an online experience than to have cheaters running rampant, so hopefully some increased security becomes a priority very soon.