Cheating in the professional scene isn’t unheard of, especially when there is a large prize pool. Competitors are all at a high level of skill, where even a slight advantage can turn into a big boost. The Fortnite World Cup features a $40 million prize pool for both online and offline events. Thousands of players compete per region and there are only so many spots to qualify for. It doesn’t seem far fetched to think that a professional player may have thoughts about using external tools to cheat.
Professional Fortnite player Jonathan “JonnyK” Kosmala of Team Kaliber was exposed in a YouTube video for installing cheats. He was signed to the professional esports organization in August 2018 and previously competed in Season 1 of Fortnite Pro League with his teammates. However, the team did not manage to win with a roster consisting of Frankie ”Frankie” Parra, Jonathan “JonnyK” Kosmala, Yohan, and Thomas “Tantric.”
A video released by The Fortnite Guy on YouTube goes through JonnyK’s conversation with the supposed cheat seller. The dialogue shows him trying to purchase ESP cheats, a cheat overlay that lets a player see the locations of all enemy opponents, even if there are walls or terrain in the way.
Later, the video showcases the payment transactions between JonnyK and the supposed hacker. Throughout the video, screenshots and recording of the cheat setup being screen-shared are shown as proof. JonnyK was ultimately banned by the Fortnite anti-cheat while trying to install the cheats.
We have released Johnathan Kosmala from our Fortnite team.
We are shocked to learn that he was cheating during the World Cup Qualifiers.
This violation is serious and we have ended our relationship with him. We apologize to our supporters for his lapse in judgement.
— Team Kaliber (@TeamKaliber) April 14, 2019
Team Kaliber issued a statement shortly after about the suspension of Jonathan “JonnyK” Kosmala from their Fortnite team. JonnyK has since deactivated his social media accounts and has not come forth with a public statement about the Fortnite World Cup situation.
Cheating is prevalent in many multiplayer games, where game companies try to ban cheaters only for more advanced versions to pop up the following day. The most notable recent esports cheating scandal with OpTic India CSGO player Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat, or Chinese Taipei’s abuse of the delayed broadcast to cheat during Hearthstone’s Global Games, goes to show that there is no easy fix.
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Follower of tech startups and finance. I write about esports in my free time.