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Arena erupts after former Fortnite cheater is eliminated in World Cup match

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A cold reception in NYC

Fortnite - guy lying in field with coins and treasure chest Epic Games

Earlier this year, professional Fortnite player Damion “XXiF” Cook was found guilty of cheating by Epic Games during the qualifiers for the Fortnite World Cup, and was consequently banned from competing for 14 days. Despite this setback, Cook ended up qualifying for the big tournament a month later, much to fans’ displeasure. Today, Cook participated in the duos portion of the $30M competition, but the reception in the arena was cold.

The first thing that viewers noticed was that fans in the arena seemed to be protesting a number of things, such as Epic Games’ decision to limit options for field of vision in competitive play. One attendee in the crowd was wearing a “Lock XIFF up” shirt. Cook’s username is misspelled here, but there’s no question about who is being referenced.

Reddit via u/mrax1

It seems that the crowd at large felt similarly here, because there are many reports from attendees at the tournament who say that fans actually booed when XXiF was broadcasted to the main feed. (Ronaldo refers to another player who also got caught cheating by Epic.)

Later, when XXiF was killed on broadcast by one of the top players on the leaderboard, the arena had a short burst of excitement:

Apparently, both the cheering and the booing happened more than once, as the tournament requires competing in multiple matches to accrue points.

“XXiF is currently the public enemy number 1, according to the NY audience and probably all of us,” said a viewer on Twitter, likely referencing the fact that XXiF is currently trending in some parts of the country.

When XXiF was punished, Epic Games found him guilty of teaming up with others to get easy kills in-game, a practice which is prohibited by the official rules.

As Kotaku notes, Ronaldo, one of the players who was booed in the arena over cheating, said that the experience was “rough.” In a Twitlonger, Ronaldo thanked supporters who cheered him on despite the ongoing hate.

“I know the crowd and a lot of people still aren’t with us,” he wrote. “But I really appreciate everyone that has been with me since the beginning. Things will only get brighter and I will continue to improve‬. Thank you so much to all you real ones.”

Earlier this month, XXiF announced that he would be flying out a 13-year-old streamer to the World Cup. The teenager was reportedly raising money for his father, who was diagnosed with cancer.

XXiF and Ronaldo played together as a duo and came in 28th place, meaning that the pair earned $100K for their performance.

Update (July 28): Added comment by Ronaldo.