Zayt made his stance clear following Epic’s controversial decision to exclude AussieAntics from the official broadcast.
The FNCS All-Star Showdown concluded Saturday, with GUILD “Tayson” coming out on top in Europe, making the Slovenian a three-time FNCS Champion and solidifying his case towards being the best player in the world.
Full All-Star Showdown results for each region can be found on our FNCS S17 Solo Finals leaderboards.
On the other side of the pond, it was prime Fortnite GOAT candidate “Zayt” that made a splash. Despite having since retired, Zayt qualified for All-Stars based on his performance in Season 5.
Just hours before the tournament was due to begin, fan favorite commentator "AussieAntics" revealed that he had been removed from the official broadcast for breaking guidelines on his personal stream. “I called a player a loser after they dropped on first place game 6 of the finals. I understand Epic’s decision. I did not mean to incite hate towards the player” he explained.
This is not the first time that Epic has cut ties with a popular caster over something that’s happened away from the broadcast. Last summer, Ballatw faced similar consequences after sharing a blog post discussing the pitfalls of the existing competitive landscape. Interestingly, six months later, many of the suggestions made in the guilty article had come to fruition, and remain in place today.
It is worth noting, that while Balla is yet to return to the broadcast, this doesn’t mean that AussieAntics’ punishment will be as severe. With that said, he has chosen not to apologize and stands by what he did, making a reconciliation seem less possible.
The community quickly rallied around Aussie, with the hashtag #FREEAUSSIE spreading far and wide on Twitter. At one point, the Australian caster’s All-Star Showdown viewing party had more people watching than the official Fortnite Twitch channel.
Zayt visibly echoed this sentiment, dropping into Game 1 sporting AussieAntics’ go-to skin combo and changing his in-game name to “JUSTICE4AUSSIE”. Even with thousands of dollars up for grabs, he opted to land in the ocean and not move, he did not play any of the remaining five matches.
Zayt is a living goat pic.twitter.com/dpF70nz1lr— CLG symetrical (@symetrical) June 26, 2021
In response, Epic Games set Zayt’s IGN to display as a default “USER-1EB778” and he was completely removed from the leaderboards shortly after. He was likely disqualified for violating rules pertaining to “playing within the spirit of the game”.
It’s obvious that Zayt isn’t worried about tarnishing his relationship with Epic or missing out on the $1,000 minimum prize for taking part in All-Stars. However, I’m sure that none of the parties involved in this ‘drama’ would want to take away from what was otherwise a fantastic event, and the amazing accomplishments of players like “PaMstou”, who pulled out all the stops to become the NAE Champion.
This situation has turned into another typical “Epic vs The People” type debate, though in many ways, the focus should really be on mitigating griefing. The idea of gradually eliminating last place/low point teams throughout a tournament has been trialed somewhat successfully in third party events and could definitely work in FNCS Finals lobbies. It keeps everyone playing to the best of their ability and avoids players with no chance of doing well giving up and landing on a potential winner.