There’s been a lot of buzz around Fortnite’s burgeoning esports scene, partially thanks to the $100,000,000 prize pool and players walking away with big cash prizes. However, not all tournaments go so smoothly — especially smaller scale, third-party tournaments.
The Vanish Cup had drawn big names in the Fortnite community, and sold itself as one of the biggest online solo tournaments in North America. Online tournaments offer advantages over contests that require in-person attendance, most notably accessibility and ease of entry.
There are some drawbacks as well, however — three players, who were using unknown alternate accounts, had gathered together as a team to spam rockets and otherwise grief other competitors.
As a result, the tournament, which offered a $3,000 prize pool, was canceled in order to maintain competitive integrity. After the game was called to a halt, casters Arten “Ballatw” Esa and Shayan “ShyoWager” Shehryar explained the situation to viewers and announced the event would be canceled.
The casters confirmed that tournament organizers would be investigating the players, who had been invited from the North American eastern pro community, in an attempt to uncover their identities.
“We are working on rescheduling the first one, but it was just extremely upsetting as everyone was excited,” says the tournament organizer, who is involved under the handle “Impapamax,” in a statement to Polygon.
In an official statement, the official Vanish Cup account wrote:
The Vanish Cup was a success in the short amount of time it was live, although unfortunately, due to people cheating, it will have to be rescheduled to a later date with a larger prize pool. We would like to apologize to all the viewers excited for the event who were disappointed with the short show. We are also very dissatisfied with epics custom matchmaking services and treatment of third party tournaments. The Vanish Cup will be e [sic] better when it is re-announced! #VanishCup
“Either someone leaked the custom code, or three people in the event had gone on streamer mode and alternative accounts and done their best to grief the tournament,” said Impapamax.
While the Vanish Cup will eventually return, Impapamax still has concerns about the future of third-party tournaments, and their relationship to Fortnite developer Epic Games. “We pulled, it was like 35,000 or 40,000 viewers I believe, throughout all players streams... and you’re just like, that’s all exposure for the game itself. I think Epic just has zero regard for third-party tournaments and creating a system where we can create a custom event and invite all the players to remove these risks.”
Fans may hear more news about the Vanish Cup sooner rather than later, according to Impapamax. “We do have a date in mind along with the new system to figure out how we’re going to give out codes.”
Update (Nov. 12): The Vanish Cup has been rescheduled for Nov. 18 at 5PM EST. The tournament will have the same player list. Officials are “hoping for the best” with the second try of this online tournament.