Pro player Damion "XXiF" Cook was disqualified from the upcoming $30 million Fortnite World Cup Finals after Epic Games ruled that he was cheating.
The game-maker announced in a blog post Friday that a group of players were found to have cheated in a Week 3 Fortnite World Cup Online Open competition on April 28 by colluding. All were ruled ineligible for that week's prizes and received a 14-day competitive ban.
A competitive ban against one unnamed player, including the forfeiture of a Fortnite World Cup Finals qualification spot, also was an announced. Multiple media outlets identified the player as XXiF.
XXiF was accused by other gamers of teaming with other players to give him easy kills that allowed him to accrue enough points to qualify for the Fortnite World Cup Finals, scheduled for July 26-28 in New York.
XXiF put out a statement on TwitLonger on Tuesday, denying that he cheated. He admitted knowing two of the other players involved in the controversy but added, "I'm innocent and will leave it up to Epic Games to review the situation."
Though he is a member of the Rise Nation team, XXiF had qualified for the World Cup Finals as an individual.
Rise Nation CEO Rodger Saffold, who is also an offensive lineman for the Tennessee Titans, initially reacted to the controversy Friday on Twitter.
Saffold tweeted: "... I don't listen to outsiders, I'd rather look at the situation and talk to my players to gain full understanding. That's how you develop trust and as a businessman you don't let public opinion push you to make decisions because the public could be wrong."
Later Friday, Rise Nation announced that it would be releasing XXiF and Ronaldotv from its Fortnite team.
We hear you. ✍🏼 pic.twitter.com/qCzoo6a6Lb
— RiseNation (@TheRiseNation) May 3, 2019
Epic Games added that it took action against 698 other players -- besides the one who was disqualified -- in response to rule violations.
--Field Level Media