If you've been online yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised if you were confused by the sight of this weeping young man in the image above.
I wouldn't be surprised because the video that image is taken from has 4.4 million views and is currently the number two trending video on YouTube. Google Jarvis' name, and you'll see his face has made it out of the niche world of competitive gaming all the way to mainstream outlets like BBC and TMZ.
Jarvis "Jarvis" Khattri, is a 17-year-old professional Fortnite player from the U.K., and his life is cooler and better than yours. He playes competitively for FaZe Clan. If that name sounds familiar it's probably because FaZe Clan was in the news earlier this year when another of its Fortnite players, Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney, sued it for allegedly failing to pay him several times.
When he is not playing competitively, Jarvis posts videos to his incredibly popular YouTube channel, which currently has 2 million subscribers. His channel consists of a mix of instructional videos, FaZe Clan-related stunts, and absurd challenges Jarvis gives himself for playing Fortnite. The thumbnails for his videos are incredibly colorful because that's what gets people to click on them.
Jarvis' recently viral video is of the "apology" genre that YouTube personalities have perfected in recent years, and Jarvis is crying because he has severely fucked up. He uploaded a video where he was using software known broadly as "aimbots" that automatically gave him perfect, machine-like accuracy when shooting at his opponents. This obviously counts as cheating, and it’s something that Fortnite developer Epic Games has a zero tolerance policy for, so Jarvis is now permanently banned from playing Fortnite.
So now Jarvis, whose life and career seem to significantly revolve around Fortnite, can no longer play Fortnite. Well, I'm sure that theoretically he can open a new account and put in minimal technical effort to circumvent whatever ban is in place, but generally it's not good that Epic Games gave him the boot.
Anyway, Jarvis is really sorry, he's crying, he says he can barely get through the video etc. Obviously cheating in a video game is kind of fun if you're the only one cheating, but it’s a generally lame and not cool thing to do. Epic Games shouldn't and can't tolerate this kind of behavior because it ruins the fun for everyone else in one of the most popular and profitable games ever made.
On the other hand, as Patricia Hernandez at Polygon rightfully points out, it's weird that Jarvis would get a lifetime ban while messing around at home while a professional player who was caught cheating at a competitive tournament only got a temporary ban.
Also, my heart goes out to Jarvis, who like so many of us online is just trying to survive by churning out content that people want to watch, read, and engage with. This guy posts several videos a week and they're all about Fortnite. How many videos about Fortnite can one make before making a video about cheating at Fortnite? I feel like at the rate he was posting a creator would get to a cheating video eventually, if only by process of elimination.
I don't know how many views the cheating video Jarvis made had because he deleted it, but his apology video is already four times more popular than any video he made these past five months. And in that sense, Jarvis is more successful than ever.