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The Real Reason Fortnite Is Cracking Down On Top Pros

Epic Games appears to be making a push to shut down Fortnite wager matches, which are competitive, money-on-the-line games that many pros use to keep their skills sharp between tournaments. While a crackdown on wager matches could affect all Fortnite players, Epic has contacted at least one well-known pro, threatening them with a ban if they continue participating in any gambling-related activities.

News of Epic Games' new focus on eliminating wager matches, or at least punishing players who participate in them, comes from Fortnite pro Clix, who posted a warning on his Twitter. Clix said, "Won't be playing or having anything to do with wagers anymore, just got personally messaged by epic and was told to stop or will result in a ban. Recommend others to stop as well, tweeting this so people are aware." Fans had mixed reactions to Clix's announcement, but at least one other professional Fortnite player, Chronic Shxn, confirmed that they had backed away from wager matches as well.

While Epic Games has yet to release an official statement on any new policies regarding wager matches, the company expressly prohibits gambling in its terms of service. As is implied in the name, wager matches are essentially custom matches between players who have bet money on themselves. However, wager matches have become a draw for streamers hoping to increase viewership by increasing the stakes on a game. These matches have become so widespread that dedicated websites have emerged to facilitate the practice among midlevel players.

Although fan reactions to Clix's Twitter announcement have been mixed, the wider Fortnite community took the news a bit harder. #RIPFortnite began trending once again, and not just because so many pros are ditching the game. Fans and pros have pointed to the potential wager matches crackdown as a leading cause of player unhappiness. Even Fortnite pro SypherPK has weighed in on the controversy, tackling #RIPFortnite head-on.

While Fortnite players may be upset with this development, the player base has been aware of the risks associated with wager matches, both for Epic Games and individuals, for some time. Regardless of the medium, gambling is a highly regulated activity, and while rules vary from region to region, underage gambling is almost universally restricted. Fortnite's younger player base makes it more likely that underage individuals could participate in the activity. This would make wager matches even more of a liability for Epic Games and Fortnite, as fans have noted on Reddit. As his Twitter bio points out, Clix is only 16 years old, which may have been why he received a direct warning from Epic Games to stop participating in wager matches.

As such, it may be best for anyone hoping to keep their Fortnite account in good standing to avoid participating in wager matches, at least until Epic makes an official statement on the matter.