Epic Games suspended pro player Aydan Conrad’s new Fortnite account for 24 hours last night for “exploiting,” the streamer showed during a livestream.
He used that account to abuse the game’s recent skill-based matchmaking system to crush new players and win games with a high elimination count in Arena Trios. This is also known as smurfing, which is a bannable offense in games like Fortnite since it’s a way of cheating the game’s matchmaking system so seasoned players can do exactly what Aydan did.
Smurfing might turn into a problem for Fortnite streamers from now on. Before skill-based matchmaking was introduced in the v10.40 update in season X, players were matched seemingly at random with players on the same platform. Now, cross-play matchmaking is enabled to favor matches where all players have about the same skill level regardless of their platform.
When someone creates a fresh account, Fortnite considers them new to the game and they’re preferably paired with new accounts, too. That way, skilled players like Aydan can abuse the matchmaking system to demolish noobs while the game detects that they’re far more skilled than a someone new to the game.
Aydan didn’t seem to take the suspension too seriously and laughed when he saw it. Since it was a secondary account where he had no premium items, he didn’t lose anything valuable and the ban length was short.
But many people in the Fortnite community found nothing funny about it and instead criticized Aydan’s behavior. In a Reddit post, players were asking Epic to take action against smurfing while using the pro as a bad example. Some fans replied by saying the community has to fight the “bullshit behavior that smurfing is,” while others were glad the company was quick to suspend Aydan’s smurf account.
Aydan has yet to comment on his suspension and on the negative feedback from the Fortnite community.