Tyler “Ninja” Blevins called console players “trash” and apparently Nick “Nickmercs” Kolcheff didn’t take kindly to that.
Keyboard and mouse have an advantage over console controllers thanks to their larger range of motion and higher sensitivity. Like many other developers, Epic attempted to balance the two by putting aim assist on controllers, allowing them to track their opponents more easily. This is something Ninja called “broken” in his recent stream.
“Console is just bad,” Ninja said, talking about the frame rate and smooth motions of playing on PC.
While it’s not uncommon for players to bash console players, Ninja happened to be playing with Nickmercs, one of the most popular controller players in the Fortnite community. And he was not amused by Ninja’s rant.
“Ninja, if it was OP all those motherfuckers would be playing it, and you know it,” he shot back to the Mixer star.
But it seemed like Nickmercs was only just getting started, obviously heated from the exchange. He pointed out how unfair the Fortnite community has been to controller players, making a big deal whenever they place in the top 10 of a tournament despite their disadvantages.
“You get the top 100, and 10 of those kids are controller players, and because one of them’s in the top 10, everyone’s got a fucking problem with it,” Nickmercs shot back.
Ninja finally got a word in against his heated teammate. He told Nickmercs that people weren’t mad at the “one person in the top 10,” but were instead frustrated that the controller player in the top 10 has “50 times more eliminations” than his opponents on PC.
Nickmercs also pointed out that, while controller players may have aim assist, they still have a disadvantage when it comes to building. It’s definitely not as seamless as when a PC player goes to build, but Ninja said they could just “find a teammate who can build” and just focus on fighting and editing instead.
Ninja and Nickmercs’ argument is nothing new in the Fortnite community. As one of the few games with comprehensive cross-play capabilities, console and PC players clash more often than in other esports titles. PC players are also allowed to play with controllers, which Ninja has tweeted about in the past, calling PC players who switch to controllers “losers.”
“Anyone with a brain can go on Twitter and find some professional players who are now switching from mouse and keyboard to a controller and the clips that they’re tweeting, they’re disgusting. It makes me want to vomit,” he said.
To make competitive players happy, Epic has “nerfed” controller players’ aim assist a few times, but it still seems to be “unbalanced” in the minds of both sides. PC players feel controllers are OP while controller players feel they are at a severe disadvantage.
But what can be done?
During his most recent pop off about controllers, Ninja asked, “Why are controller players even playing against PC players?”
He then suggested that controller players should be “put in their own servers,” even in tournaments.
This didn’t sit well with Nickmercs, even though he agreed that controller players might benefit from such a set up since PC players have such an advantage over them.
“You don’t think that’s great though?” he said, referencing Fortnite’s unique cross-platform capabilities. “You don’t think it was a unique thing that makes Fortnite, Fortnite?”
Earlier in the year, Ninja also suggested adding guns in the game that don’t benefit from auto aim, like the hunting rifle. This gun actually favors mouse and keyboard players, since it has a bullet drop that the controller’s aim assist wouldn’t automatically adjust for.
Other players have suggested heavily decreasing the sensitivity of aim assist. Their less severe nerfs in past patches were met with backlash from the Fortnite community, including casuals, so this is probably doubtful. Even Ninja has spoken out against this concept, acknowledging that controller players need aim assist to be competitive.