Upcoming limitations from service providers mean Epic Games will not be able to pay Fortnite players living in Russia.
It’s been a little over two weeks since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine. His actions have had severe effects across Europe, but also on the people of his home country.
Epic Games caused confusion in the Fortnite community on Thursday when they shared and then quickly deleted a Tweet about Russian players’ eligibility for future tournaments. Hours later they posted again, this time linking a blog post with further details.
The article states that, “As of March 11, Russia will be added to list of countries where players are ineligible to win cash prizes in Fortnite Competitive tournaments”.
Rather than being a political decision, it seems that Epic will be unable to make payments to players residing in Russia due to restrictions from their payment service provider. They added that any previous earnings must be claimed via the prize verification process by March 22.
Russian pros impacted by this news include Kiryache32, Malibuca, and Putrick. Kiryache won $100,000 last weekend following an inspirational FNCS performance with Ukrainian teammate Stormyrite, and now it’s unclear whether the money will be available to claim in time – if not it could potentially be frozen indefinitely.
Epic’s announcement also specifically mentioned that “Players residing in Russia will still be able to earn in-game cosmetic prizes”. However, we don’t know if they are still allowed to compete in tournaments with cash prizes, and if they are, how their placements impact the leaderboards and prize distribution.
Another question is whether Russian pros could theoretically bootcamp in different countries and claim winnings there instead.
The statement from Epic Games certainly left a lot unanswered, so hopefully we will get more clarification soon. One thing is for sure though, it would be a real blow to the competitive Fortnite scene to lose these players.