YouTuber's Lifetime Fortnite Ban Opens Conversation About Fair Punishments For Cheating

Photo: FaZe Jarvis

Jarvis Khattri, a YouTube content creator for the esports organisation FaZe Clan, received a lifetime ban from Fortnite earlier this week after releasing a video of him cheating in the mega-popular battle royale shooter. This has since given way to discussion about the severity of the punishment and whether content creators whose livelihoods depend on these games should be banned at all.

In the offending video, which has since been deleted but can still be viewed via third-party uploads, the 17-year-old Khattri demonstrated use of an aimbot, a hack that allows players to fire off quick headshots with pinpoint accuracy. These kinds of cheat programs have been prominent and controversial in online shooters for decades. Khattri wasn’t taking part in any kind of official tournament or competitive play and didn’t link viewers to where they could purchase the hack. He did, however, know enough about the risks of using the cheats to open a new account rather than use his main one, and he repeatedly tells viewers not to use aimbots and worries about being banned during the video. Still, shortly after the video was shared with his two million subscribers, Khattri was hit with a lifetime ban from Fortnite developer Epic.

Khattri took it upon himself to announce the ban to his subscribers in an apology video released on November 3. It’s a fairly standard apology, during which he tells his fans to pay attention to the game’s rules so that they don’t receive the same punishment. He begins to choke up when he gets to the part about not being able to play Fortnite again—at least not as a career. “I just wish I could have known how badly I was messing up, because I would never have ever thought of even making those kind of videos if I knew that this could have actually happened,” Khattri said before breaking down in tears.

“Jarvis is an entertainer and content creator who streams and makes YouTube videos for his fans,” an official FaZe Clan statement given to Kotaku reads. “He’s doesn’t play professionally. He’s a 17-year-old individual who made a poor decision while creating content and even warns several times during the video to never use the aimbot technology. He continues to reflect on the repercussions of his actions and the serious error in judgment. FaZe Clan continues to support Jarvis in all areas of his career and believes unequivocally that he is a well-intentioned young man and his actions though clearly wrong were not malicious in intent.”

Khattri has been absent from social media since the announcement and was not available for comment.

Most responses to Khattri’s punishment were unsympathetic, but some people think that a lifetime ban is excessive, especially given that he’s a content creator. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins shared his thoughts on the matter during a November 4 stream. In Blevins’ mind, Khattri should have been given a suspension of six months to a year by Epic because his career ostensibly depends on Fortnite. Sure, most of Khattri’s content revolves around this one game, but there must be other games a significant amount of his two million subscribers would be interested in, especially when he has the backing of the popular FaZe Clan brand. While third-party stat tracker Social Blade only has estimates of his earnings, his videos regularly get millions of views. The kid is probably gonna be fine.

“There are lines, man,” Blevins says in a series of clips collected by Daily Clips Central and first reported on by Green Man Gaming. “There’s a difference between a content creator who has millions of subscribers, hundreds of thousands of followers, that gets banned from what literally makes him money, and some kid who is just a piece of shit, has absolutely zero following, has zero money that comes from Fortnite. It’s different. The stakes are different.”

After being called out by his Fortnite teammates for the obvious favoritism this shows to players who happen to be popular, Blevins reiterated his belief that content creators and average gamers are part of separate, distinct classes that need to be treated differently when it comes to punishments. He also noted the disparity between Khattri’s lifetime ban from Epic and the arguable slap on the wrist Logan Paul received from YouTube for filming a dead body in Japan, a comparison that’s mind-numbingly irrelevant—these are two different companies handing out two different punishments for two very different actions, after all.

Ninja isn’t the only one to compare Khattri’s punishment to that of others. FaZe Clan co-owner Richard “Banks” Bengtson compared Khattri’s punishment to that of Fortnite pro Damion “XXiF” Cook. Earlier this year, Cook was caught teaming up with other players in solo play and given a 14-day ban, but was still allowed to compete in the Fortnite World Cup. He and his partner Ronald “Ronaldo” Mach were booed by the audience when they appeared on the screen, with celebrations erupting as they were eliminated. The fact that punishments in the competitive world are shorter than those of people who play the Fortnite for fun is a strange contradiction, since the former is done with millions of dollars on the line while the latter’s stakes are drastically lower. Similar to Ninja’s sentiments, Bengtson wrote, “Fortnite is a huge part of [Khattri’s] life and I just don’t see the punishment (destroying a 17 year old kids life) fitting of the crime.”

When asked about Khattri’s future with Fortnite, FaZe Clan said they are looking to negotiate with Epic on getting the ban reduced or removed. Epic has been quoted in several outlets as saying, “We have a zero-tolerance policy for the usage of cheat software.” The developer did not respond to Kotaku’s request for comment.

“FaZe Clan is deeply saddened by the devastating impact this had had on Jarvis’s life,” the statement concludes. “But we remain hopeful and stand ready to work with Epic Games in any way possible to come up with opportunity that allows Jarvis to play again at some point in his life. Given Jarvis’s young age and his all-consuming passion and love for Fortnite, we believe a fair compromise can be reached.”


Comments

    “There are lines, man,” Blevins says in a series of clips collected by Daily Clips Central and first reported on by Green Man Gaming. “There’s a difference between a content creator who has millions of subscribers, hundreds of thousands of followers, that gets banned from what literally makes him money, and some kid who is just a piece of shit, has absolutely zero following, has zero money that comes from Fortnite. It’s different. The stakes are different.”

    He's right - the stakes are different. So maybe if you know that your livelihood depends on you not being a cheating scumbag, you should not be a cheating scumbag. This is Blevins showing how much of a douchebag he really is. "I'm rich and famous so I should be treated differently" is not something a sane person should be screaming from the rooftops.

      After reading the article I'm a bit torn on this. When I first saw the guy had been banned I thought "tough luck you deserve it". But if he was actually advocating *against* hacks (like the article says) then I'm not so sure. If it was a one off where he demonstrated the hacks to educate players I feel like that's a legitimate use and while the account he used *while* hacking should be ditched I don't think his main account should be.

      Conversely if he actually used that second account and was hacking on it longer term then ban *him* not just that account. Since at that point he's not doing it for education purposes but for his own shits n giggles.

      As for the "should it be allowed to ban someone for cheating if the game is their job" question. Absolutely. The terms and conditions of the games are pretty clear that hacks and exploits aren't on. If you breach that condition then you deserve whatever punishment is set out (ie: banning/suspension). If a "real" job has conditions on it (like passing drug tests) you're expected to meet them. This is no different.

      Heck, if anything there is even less onus on the game provider since they're not even the employer. They have (rightfully so) zero duty of care to protect you as an employee since you're *NOT* an employee. You're just a dude making money off playing their game.

        The edited video looked less of a public safety "dont do this kids video"... and more "like this is some crazy shit not missing at all... but umm yeah before I have fun dont cheat kids!"

        So nope.. dont buy that line of argument at all.. he went to public games knowingly using the aimbot.. and not just him but iirc it was his brother also trying the account with the aimbot. And its not just one game.. we are talking multiple sessions to "show" the effects of an aimbot. If it was supposed to be a psa then he could have made a private match with friends and letting them knkw what was happening insteada of messing up pubs...

          Fair enough. The article doesn't read that way and I'm not that interested in watching the video lol

        If you confine sanctions to a single online account rather than applying them to the owner of the account, then they are basically worthless. The subject of this story created a new account purely to demonstrate the aimbot, so banning just that account would be of no consequence.

        While the streamer says he only ran the cheat on this account (and is probably telling the truth), in general people don't compartmentalise quite that well. If cheating is detected on one account belonging to a person, it increases the chances that the other accounts have used cheats too.

          Part of the problem I have with banning multiple accounts stems from the problem with linking accounts and who is actually playing them. Several games allow you to link accounts, with the typical logic being that a parent is paying for them. So master account is Mum or Dad and the linked account(s) belong to the kids.

          In a scenario like that you can ban innocent people because 13 year old Timmy decided to use an aimbot. Obviously it's not quite the same scenario as here since it's obviously the same guy playing (since he's on video streaming). But the point remains, I think bad behaviour should only warrant a ban on that particular account, not related or linked accounts.

      Ah the age of the entitle douchebag that thinks they're immune to consequence. Clearly done as a publicity stunt to generate more views. If he was genuine he wouldn't have supported the hackers by purchasing them in the first place.

      I feel sorry for him though having role models like DrDickRespect that don't get any meaningful punishment for walking into a fuckin' toilet while live streaming!

    Life ban for cheating sounds fair enough to me.

      That's what I said about the likes of Steve Smith and Maria Sharapova, but apparently this only applies if you aren't an international megastar and people can make money from your activities.

        The distinction may have been that this guy chose to stream it. He could’ve cheated in his lounge room with the other kiddies and no one would’ve known?

        I agree that cheats should be banned but technically Steve Smith didn't cheat and should never been suspended

    Sorry but I think game various companies have largely been soft on cheaters in the past.

    This kid knew he was doing the wrong thing by using the software, streaming it and knew the punishment that was coming his way for being caught.

    seems fair to me. his ability to make content for his "living" as not been cut off by this ban, he can always make different content on different games. Publicizing a cheating method to people online through video is worse in my opinion than just doing it yourself.
    Developer making a stand against this seems logical to me, dude knew it was wrong thing to do the whole time. and if people see him getting off lightly, may open them to trying to cheat also.

    Last edited 08/11/19 9:32 am

    I get that everyone is all no sympathy one strike and you're out nuke their arse, and the temptation is clearly to pile on with the lynch mob, but it does seem to me that there is a difference between "white hat" hacking and/or covering something that's clearly newsworthy, versus cheating simply to improve your ranking and the lols.

    By all accounts, and I haven't watched the video, this seems a fairly clear, albeit clumsy, instance of the former.

    There's an obvious public interest in covering cheat programs and how they work, if for no other reason than to better educate people to not claim hacking every time they simply get pwned.

    This appears to be a fairly clear strike against free and fair media by a company whose primary interest is to discourage negative coverage.

    Whether someone's livelihood is effected by the ban seems a pretty trivial issue, comparatively.

      I see where you're coming from, but he is still impacting other people's experience unfairly.

      I don't play Fortnite and have no idea how it's servers work, but I'm assuming this was done on a public server and the other players were unaware that he was using the hack.
      If it was done in controlled settings and the other players were all aware of what he was doing then maybe you may have a point.

      Bottom line, he knowingly broke the rules. Why did he do it? Was it to educate people? I doubt it. Was it to get views? Of course it was.

        So it would be ok if he matched up with only his friends and then used the software? If the people going into the match were ok with it would it be a fair ban then?

        Not excusing his actions. But a life sentence in any for is a pretty extreme punishment.

          I said in that situation AngoraFish may have a point. I didn't say I agreed with that point.
          In my opinion if you cheat you get banned.

          It's not like he's being sent to prison, or even gaming prison. He got his account banned, if he want's he can start another account. The real situation is the made a stupid decision that cost him his job, not the first person to have done that. Life goes on.

        I think the duration of the "offence" also carries weight. If he was doing it all the time on that account then ban him. But if it was a 10 minute video to point out the hacks then probably not. A few kills in that time might suck, but it's not the same as cheating all the time.

          He still put cash in the pockets of the people who make those cheat codes in order to be able to use it, and he still figured it was a grand idea to upload the results of that. And he is still being backed by a gaming community (I'm sorry, "esports organisation") that sees no issue with this at all.

          Are you genuinely going to believe that a 17 year old streamer, backed by a group of other streamers who apparently have no issue with cheating only used that code once? How can you be sure that he's not cheating all the time?

          Oh! I know!

          Ban him all the time.

          In my opinion what he's done is worse than just cheating for 10 minutes...he broadcast the cheating and him having fun to all of his viewers. Doesn't matter what he says about "don't do this at home kids" just him doing it is advertising the cheats and others will go find them and copy now because they saw him do it. Remember, his audience is largely children.

          Lifetime ban for a single event is a bit harsh, a suspension would be more reasonable. However, they may have taken him posting a video into account and decided it was a worse offense. In that case I would still think a suspension is warranted rather than a ban - like in WoW when a streamer cheats and gets suspended for a couple months. Only doing it multiple times gets an outright ban.

      Got to disagree there there, cheating is cheating - there is no acceptable kind cheating. No “cheater with a heart of gold”. I was unable to enjoy games that I paid money for because of cheaters, far too many times. They deserve the harshest punishment imo.
      The people that he killed in his video - were killed by a cheater. He deserves no special treatment.
      Also he is a 17 year old who lives at home, it’s not his “livelihood” he isn’t going to go hungry because he hasn’t got a job, what would he have done when everyone inevitably moves on from fortnite?

        Yeah there absolutely is acceptable cheating. I used to admin for Counter-strike servers on an Aussie ISP. We used a couple cheats to review playback of accused cheaters in an attempt to determine whether they were really cheating or the other player was just salty about getting owned.

        I could spectate players in game without using a cheat but it just wasn't the same as being able to view it with wallhacks (for example). Being able to do that made determining a malicious cheater much easier.

        I'm also of the opinion that reporting on hacks in a responsible manner is fine too. Back in the day we used to get a ton of false reports because a lot of people didn't understand what the hacks actually did. So an article that gives a better understanding of the hacks would (could) have reduced the amount of work we had reviewing false reports.

          I think theres a fine line between cheaters and mod tools =P

          Mods and admins need to run the place and make sure everything is a fair place this usually means giving them access and backdoor stuff the normal folks shouldnt be able to do

          Well, you were technically using cheats, but you weren't actually cheating, because you were not actually playing the game and you were not using the cheats to gain an advantage while playing. There's a difference.

      I appreciate the dvils advocate stance.... but what he did doesnt even come close to "white hat hacking" He didnt reveal anything that wasnt already known ie. Aimbots Exist nor did he actual "hack" the system to show a vulnerability.. he used a 3rd party program to reinforce said vulnerabilities.... and worst of all there was no altruistic intent on this.. he did it to get clicks/views.

      This is the equivalent of grabbing a ddos tool ddosing say epic or sony to show that said company can be ddosed and its bad mmkay! Dont do what i do kids Mmkay?

      Good point, that's what I was getting at in my other post. Based on the article it doesn't seem like he hacks all the time and that he did it purely to educate people. If he'd been advocating the use of hacks then fair enough - ban him. But when he's saying "you shouldn't be using these it's bannable", I think it's different.

        He is hardly educating anyone. If you have a cursory interest in a game then you would know that there are cheats available. He was doing it for laughs and clicks on his video. Not some altruistic purpose. Lifetime bans for cheating should be the normal punishment and should be mandatory for any pro player, streamer or YouTuber, rather than a lesser punishment for their status.

          If you have a cursory interest in a game then you would know that there are cheats available.

          That's not what I meant. I meant that "this is what the cheats look like" and "this is how to tell if someone is cheating". If that's not what he's doing then (a) the article should reflect that, and (b) yeah he should be banned.

            I think it was very educational.

            Hey kids! Use cheats and get perma-banned!

      I somewhat agree.

      I don't care about his livelihood. It's the intent of his cheating which matters.

      This was out in the open for all to see. Far less insidious that the kid using a burner account to make himself feel big.

    He's just a kid. I'm lucky my life wasn't changed forever by the dumb shit I'd done while in high school.

      He's 17, his life isn't over just because he can't play Fortnite. Sure he's lost a huge earning potential but he's still got his whole life ahead of him. There's plenty of talented athletes that have injured themselves and lost a potential sporting career at a young age that go on to live perfectly normal lives.

      Did he really expect to be streaming Fortnite 10 years from now? Even 5? Life goes on, opportunities get missed, sometimes they get thrown away because of dumb decisions.

      Hopefully he will learn something from this mistake.

    whether content creators whose livelihoods depend on these games should be banned at all.

    Leaving aside the specifics of this particular case since I haven't really been following it very closely, I'd argue that if somebody is actually earning money in a publicly visible way from a game, such as a professional player or streamer etc, then they should, if anything, be held to a higher standard of behaviour than a regular person just playing the game. If there's going to be a difference in penalty between the two, it should be harsher on the professional. If you're earning those kinds of rewards for playing a game, you should have some kind of responsibility to set an example in terms of the way you conduct yourself while you're doing it.

      Dead on. The fact that he was a streamer does not grant him special exemptions. Rules are rules and he broke them. If anything, he should be adhering to a higher standard than the average player and setting an example. That's my professional footballers for example often cop very harsh punishment, even outright sackings from their club for misdemeanors. So boo hoo cry me a river.

      It's one game, and the kid still has 2 million subscribers. There's plenty of other games he can stream to his viewers.

      Pretty much, it's why I wouldn't play certain games without streaming just so there's a record of my behaviour. While it adds the danger of stream sniping at least I can point to the stream later as evidence of what was happening.
      I would think that aimbots have been adequately demonstrated by this point for most if not all players to recognise how they work.
      Tyler is one of several big streamers I have significant issues with and this just reinforces my view of him. We're people our regulars look upto, whether or not we appreciate being role models we are responsible to at least some degree for the behaviour of our communities.

    I have more sympathy than most in matters link this, but c'mon. He's a 17 year old kid that has been banned from making videos about a video game (if he wants to just play, I bet making an anon account takes less than 5 minutes). His livelihood has not been stolen from him, he hasn't been given the scarlet letter, he just has to go on and make videos about the next fad F2P FPS.

    Also, calls for the ban to just be for one year is having a heck of a lot of faith that making Fortnite videos with be profitable this time next year.

    whether content creators whose livelihoods depend on these games should be banned at all.

    Would you hold the same attitudes to someone who say, skims dollars off the top of the account books of a business who then gets caught?? Or would you wave then through?

      Slightly different scenario since he doesn't even work for the Fortnight people. It's not even like he's skimming from his employer, since they're *not* his employer. It's more akin to race-fixing at the horses. You make money from the event but you're not directly employed by them. But yes, still bad.

    Once a cheater always a cheater should be banned in all platforms.

    Epic lifetime ban this idiot but only give 2 week bans to XXIF and co during an actual comp?

    Can he still make content?

    Yes, as long as it's not him playing Fortnite content.

    Argument shut down.

    And let's all face it, he's gonna find his way to an account or number of accounts and continue to play.

    Wait, Fortnite is a free game. Couldn't he just make another account and continue on?

      It would be shut down once the account is linked to him... and it would be very hard to hide it already as is let alone wiyh him trying stream/make cotent.

      The same thimg happened to a lol player who was so toxic he got regular lomg bans - Tyler.. his account would be banned the moment it was discovered. He eventually became a decent LoL figurehead once he reformed his toxicity but he never crossed the cheating line.

    Khattri wasn’t taking part in any kind of official tournament or competitive play

    So screw every other person who plays the game normally? They are banned for everyone because they affect everyone.

    He knew what he was doing, he just never assumed he would get such a heavy handed ban.

    Its cheating, pure and simple. It was not accidental and it was not innocent. Its using a program to allow yourself a superior advantage, regardless if it was to 'show it off or not', it was used in a game. End of Story.

    Screw him. I am glad Epic gave him the life time ban. It's a dangerous precedent. If it was lighter, more people would start using them (thinking a slap on the wrist if the worst, IF caught) and they are much harder to find them someone streaming them and then you have a messy game filled with hackers.

    I was discussing this the other day when a friend said its a bit unfair where he gets a lifetime ban and the people who have been caught during a tournament get a slap on the wrist.

    A major point I believe is he was actively showing a hack to the public. Despite saying not to use hacks, if you show one off of course the first thing young impressionable players are going to do is seek out where they can get one. The people using hacks in tournaments don't sit there and boast to their fans of 'hey look what i'm using!' but this kid was actively showing off whats possible and that does more damage to the game overall I believe.

    bus driver loses drivers licence for drink driving. "sorry, i knew i shouldn't have done it, but driving is my lively hood, its how i make money, you can't take my licence away".

    this kid and ninja need their heads checked.

      Although judges do sometimes make allowances when a license suspension would destroy someone's livelihood, such as allowing travel to and from work but nothing else.

    Who gives a shit, just because it's his livelihood doesn't change his decisions. If you break the law at your job (for example), you get fired (unless it's banking/private equity). It's only natural.

    YouTuber's Lifetime Fortnite Ban Opens Conversation About Fair Punishments For Cheating
    No it doesn't.

    Joining the voices who will say "cheating is cheating, career or not, this kid deserved to be banned". The fact that other high profile streamers are starting to support this kid and want him to get a lesser punishment than others because it's his "career" just shows how bigger streamers care only about money and think they are above everyone else.

      It's like a taxi driver running a red light and demanding they get no demerit points because they are a taxi driver.

        Yep, and as someone who gets those people calling me for that exact reason )Yes, I work in fine enforcement), I tell them that the law is the law and since they have broken the law, then the punishment will stand regardless of status.

      If I ever get to that level of fandom I'd expect to be held to a higher standard not skate free. Tyler is an immature manchild, and that's the nicest thing I'll ever say regarding him.

    Its like when people complain that traffic tickets being just about revenue, that is beside the point. The fine could be $1 trillion, but it only hurts if you choose to break the law or believe you are above it. Likewise here. Who cares how step the punishments are, if you dont want to get hit, DON'T CHEAT. Its not complicated. (and certainly dont do it publicly, that is even more stupid, hell that deserves a premium tariff on top of the rest)

      As someone who works in fine enforcement, thank you for understanding the idea behind the fine system.

        My hat goes off to all those who have to deal with the type of rubbish people spew when trying to justify why they think they are above the law

    The punishment was fair.
    He shouldn't receive special treatment because he streams.

    Ninja can fuck off.

    Punishment is excessive. Ban him for a year or two. But for life? No. Ridiculous.

    There are many reasons you don't just throw the book at someone whenever they commit an offence. A complete life ban just encourages further delinquency to be frank.

    Arguing for fair punishments for those playing unfairly. Incredible.

    So what's 'fair' then, 12 months? 6 months? 3 months? Because any of those have the potential to kill a Youtube/Twitch channel... You know, IF it was actually a small content creator who's situation might genuinely be altered.

    Ninja's argument is so self-serving it is incredible... Apparently boatloads of money isn't enough, now he also wants people like himself to be held to lesser standards than the average player? Boy does he have it backwards.

    Man would I love to see an alternate timeline where Epic banned Ninja for something, if only just to see how that all played out.

    Cheating is a cancer in online gaming. People who cheat need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. This kid really should have known better as him cheating gives incentive to those who wish to emulate him to cheat as well (like it or not, he is a influential person who some people look up to). Athletes who dope get a lifetime ban and nobody that I have ever noticed has ever thought that those bans were unfair.

    Also, basing a career on a game isn't exactly good long term thinking. Even if he didn't get banned he should have had a backup career in mind. Just look at PUBG, it is nowhere near as popular these days as it was a year or so ago and it is only a matter of time that the same thing happens to Fortnight. With the rise of a new in-game comes new personalities who get their chance for 15 minutes of fame while pushing the old personalities into retirement.

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