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Epic Games Clarifies Shakedown, Region Lock, Key Remapping & Other Rules Ahead Of FNCS Season 6

ESTNN analyzes some critical rule clarifications that Epic Games provided in a recent blog post.

Competitive Fortnite is on the brink of its eighth major tournament since Season X. The Fortnite Champion Series, commonly referred to as the FNCS, exists as the measuring stick for the world’s best players. While millions of dollars are up for grabs in these seasonal tournaments, controversy often rears its ugly head. The competitive scene has witnessed unclear rule enforcements, bans, cheaters and temporary suspensions since the FNCS began in Season X.

Epic Games has recently paid much more attention to some gray areas, striving for fairness across the board. With FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 6 mere days away, the developers released a blog post, addressing some specific rules and showing transparency to competitors.

Rule Clarification Blog Post

Epic Games promoted their most recent blog post update on Fortnite’s official website. It included many answers to unclear rules and friendly reminders to those who plan on competing in this season’s $3M USD competition. Let’s take a look at the more crucial details as players prepare for the Fortnite Champion Series.

Intentional Disconnect (Shakedown)

The shakedown mechanic in Fortnite has stirred up controversy on more than one occasion since its introduction in Chapter 2 – Season 2. Apart from players not being able to dedicate a key bind to the shakedown, some quickly discovered how to avoid the mechanic’s primary use. Which rendered it pointless. The mechanic allows players to interrogate downed opponents, revealing their teammates’ location.

Competitors soon realized that exiting the game during a shakedown prevents the “shaker” from obtaining the information. We’ve seen such exploits result in everything from competitive warnings to complete suspensions from tournaments and Arena Mode. Epic addressed this ongoing issue in the blog post.

“Intentionally disconnecting from a match in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage goes against the spirit of Fortnite competition. Accordingly, all players must be sure not to disconnect from the game while in a knocked down, “Down-But-Not-Out” (DBNO) state. Note that this does not apply to players who intentionally disconnect while not in a DBNO state.”

Players who leave a match while downed will be subject to discipline. This information is worth noting for competitors who would rather not receive a punishment for poor decision-making.

Illegal Restart

Tournaments such as Cash Cups have remained a staple in competitive Fortnite for quite some time. Occasionally, Cash Cup participants would start poorly and could restart with different teammates or under an alternate account. Epic recently stopped this and informed players that anyone who reset would receive discipline as a result. The blog post reiterated their enforcement of this policy.

“In December, we amended our rules to specify that players can only have one entry (using one Epic account) into a tournament for a given session. This means that once you start a tournament as part of a team, you are locked with that team for the entire tournament session. We established this rule to prevent players from restarting a tournament with a separate account or with a new team after a poor start.”

The gist of this clarification is that you cannot restart a tournament with different teammates. You also can’t do so with an alternate Epic Games account.

Region Lock

Epic Games has flip-flopped on region-locked tournaments over the last few seasons. Some players in one season who crossed to a different server were met with a warning or account suspension. More recently, Epic has lifted this restriction, allowing competitors to participate in the same tournament in other regions. The developers referenced this ever-changing rule.

“Some of our tournaments are restricted to only one regional entry via a Region Lock, while other tournaments are open for full cross-regional participation. To make it easier to determine when a tournament has a Region Lock restriction, we’ve added the following bolded language to the existing Rule 3.7.4 for all such tournaments.”

Here are the two rule clarifications that will appear in all competitive rulesets moving forward, which clears up any confusion:

  • Cash Cups are NOT currently region locked. You may compete in the same Monday Cash Cup on the EU, NAE and NAW server regions.
  • FNCS IS currently region locked. You may only participate in a single region. Also, you will be locked to the first region that you select in your first Qualifier of that particular Season’s FNCS.

Competitive Warning/Ban

The reason behind punishments in competitive Fortnite has been shrouded in mystery for many seasons. Some players have received bans, while others merely see a warning screen upon loading into Fortnite. Epic Games does not release public statements regarding discipline, so they spoke to various possibilities when competitors break the rules.

“Depending on the nature of the infraction, disciplinary actions can include, but not be limited to, a public warning, loss of session points, loss of prizes, or a DQ from a current or future tournament. Repeated or excessive rules infractions may result in increasing disciplinary action, up to and including permanent DQ from all future competitive play of Fortnite.”

Epic also noted that if one player on a team breaks preset rules, the entire team will suffer the consequences. A situation occurred in Chapter 2 – Season 4, when European player David “aqua” Wang violated a conduct rule, which affected his teammates Noahreyli and Rezon.

The developers rounded out this section with a reminder that conduct outside of Fortnite can result in punishment.

“Disciplinary action can also be imposed for certain player behavior outside of the game, including, but not limited to, harassment, toxic behavior, or promoting oneself as a banned or cheating player.”

Key Remapping

Another topic raised over the last few months revolved around key remapping keyboards, which allowed players to emulate “controller movement”. For those who aren’t aware, movement on a controller and keyboards differ significantly. Controller players have ready access to double-movement, where they can run sideways without having to stop. Keyboard and mouse players had access to this ability previously, but Epic stripped that option two seasons ago.

This change resulted in players purchasing keyboards that granted double-movement and installing third-party software that fulfill that same need. The blog post addressed key remapping and the double-movement crowd in particular.

“… key remappers are permitted within Fortnite. Players rely on these tools and certain hardware that apply the same effect in order to play the game. The spirit of our rules allow for players to reconfigure keybinds in a way that wouldn’t be possible inside the game, including double-movement on keyboards. Using these tools to automate multiple actions (e.g., mapping a single button to place multiple building structures), however, is not permitted.”

Epic elaborated that while the rules allow key remapping, macroing is against those same rules.

Wager Match Reminder

The last shoe to drop in this update was a reminder that Epic Games prohibits wager matches as they violate Fortnite’s Terms of Service. We recently covered this news after Epic directly contacted Clix and informed him of the repercussions should he continue promoting wagers.

Featured Image: Epic Games

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