×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ninja breaks his silence on heavy Fortnite ban

Fortnite has just handed out a heavy ban to a young gamer, and people don't seem to know how to take it. According to reports, 9 year old Brazilian streamer Zenon was playing Fortnite with his father's supervision when he decided to join ranked Arena Mode matches. Although there was no cash on the line in this match, Zenon was shocked when his account was suspended and a notice appeared on his screen. It read that he had been banned from playing for a whopping 1,459 days. In other words, he's been kicked off the game for four years, unable to return to Fortnite until he's 13 years old.

In a clip that has since gone viral, the young gamer can be seen crying in disbelief as his screen tells him that he has been banned. His father sits to the side and attempts to console him. It's hard to watch, because Zenon is clearly devastated by the ban.

The response to Epic's move has been almost immediate. A lot of people were apparently watching the stream when the ban occurred, and Zenon's fans have helped boost the signal using the hashtag "#FreeZenon." One of the most high-profile gamers to respond to this situation was Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, who seemed none too pleased with Epic's decision.

Ninja pointed out that the ban seems unfair because there was no money on the line in this instance. He did point out that the situation is difficult because of Zenon's age, but made it seem he's in favor of letting the kid play again before he's 13.

"Unless Arenas start offering money for placements there is no reason for [Zenon] to be banned from them until he turns 13," Ninja tweeted. "That being said the age requirement to compete in Fortnite is 13 and he is 9. He shouldn't be banned from any other aspect of Fortnite 100%."

Pro Fortnite player Looter seemed to disagree somewhat with Ninja's stance, writing, "I honestly think people under 13 should be able to compete but not claim money there is so many good players [under the age of 13]." Ninja then responded that it was "a legal thing 100%," referring to the kind of trouble Epic Games could land in if the company decided to start allowing underage players in competitive matches.

For his own part, Ninja has been openly critical of Epic's inconsistency when it comes to the length and severity of bans. Back in March, a group of professional gamers were accused of cheating during the Fortnite Champion Series. When it became clear that the two teams were colluding with one another during competitive play, Epic disqualified them from the Champion Series and issued 60-day bans for all four of them. He even unfavorably compared the scandal to the ban handed to FaZe Jarvis, who was banned from Fortnite for life after using an aimbot.

At the time, Ninja threw a hefty bit of shade on Epic's handling of the two situations. As he said on stream, "Jarvis cheats in a, uh, online, regular game for no money and gets a full-time ban. Players get caught cheating in a tournament for money and they get banned for 60 days."

This situation with Zenon is just the latest in a line of blemishes on the game in the eyes of fans. Just last month, the hashtag "RIPFortnite" was trending. Players were using this hashtag to publicly air their grievances with the game, which some feel has a ton of issues being left unaddressed by Epic Games.

Ninja wasn't the only professional gamer to have weighed in on the controversy. The list also includes Kory Arruda, the Fortnite manager of Team Liquid, who wrote, "Just woke up and reading all the news about Zenon.. I think Epic needs to take a different approach when banning players from competing. They should NOT also ban them from just playing the game they love especially when they're aspiring to be your future competitors #FreeZenon."

It appears as though Epic has yet to issue a statement regarding the ban or the resulting hashtag. However, it should be noted that Zenon has participated in a few cash tournaments in the past without receiving a lengthy ban, according to some fans. There's a possibility that Epic Games is trying to head off that kind of behavior off until Zenon is old enough to participate and just chose this opportunity to do so. Still, fans seem to be mostly upset about the timing of the ban, which occurred during a match that wouldn't have earned him money.