ONE of Fortnite's biggest stars has weighed in on the ferocious debate surrounding the ban of high-profile player Faze Jarvis.
Millionaire Jarvis, from Surrey, was slapped with a lifetime ban from Fortnite earlier this month for cheating using special software.
Jarvis, real name Jarvis Kaye, uploaded a tearful apology earlier this month, telling his more than two million followers that he had been barred from the battle royale-style shooter game.
The 17-year-old was caught using notorious "aimbot" software – which shoots and kills rival players automatically.
Throwing his hat in the ring, Fortnite megastar Ninja, who makes a reported seven-figure salary from his gaming exploits, jumped to the teen's defence.
Speaking during a recent streaming session, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, 28, claimed the game's celeb players shouldn't be barred from playing because they deserve special treatment.
"There's a difference between a content creator who has millions of subscribers, hundreds of thousands of followers, who gets banned from what literally makes him money, and … some kid who is just a piece of s**t who has absolutely zero following, has zero money that comes from Fortnite, from gaming, and hacks," Ninja said.
"You ban that kid, nothing happens to him. Nothing happens. 'Oh no, he can't cheat anymore.' You ban Jarvis, it's different.
"The stakes are different, it should be handled a little bit differently."
Ninja amassed over 14million followers on streaming platform Twitch before he switched to rival platform Mixer in August.
The deal was worth a reported £6million a year to the American streamer.
Ninja said he didn't think Jarvis should get away with cheating completely.
Instead the streaming star recommended a reduced sentence of three to six months for cheating, rather than a lifetime ban.
"He's still super young. I think it's just a stupid kid making a stupid decision, didn't really fully think about it," Ninja said.
"It wasn't in a tournament, it wasn't a cash cup, it wasn't anything like that.
"I think this is one where it's like, Jarvis, dude, you're an idiot, six month ban, maybe three months—first offence, young kid, come on man."
Ninja's comments follow calls last week to drop Jarvis' ban by his Fortnite teammates.
"I still think it should just be a year. Or a season," said FaZe Pamaj on Twitter.
Pamaj is a professional Call of Duty player who is part of the same FaZe Clan gaming team
He's referring to a Fortnite "season", which typically lasts around 10 weeks.
If that happened, Jarvis would be playing the game and earning money again just after New Year.
But the request has sparked anger among Fortnite fans who think the life ban is justified.
One user posting a screenshot of the thread to Reddit wrote: "FaZe Clan is scum for wanting a season ban and not kicking Jarvis."
Another wrote: "Not fair? Well don't do dumb things to ruin other people's game."
And an irate fan said: "Him being a public person makes what he died worse…and he should be held to a higher standard.
"He used his platform to promote cheats, and even went as far as telling his viewers how to get around an immediate ban when using cheats."
Also last week, The Sun revealed how Jarvis has boasted that he'd make even more "aimbot" videos if his fans gave him more YouTube likes.
And Fortnite creators Epic Games told us that its decision to ban Jarvis is final.
"We have a zero tolerance policy for the usage of cheat software," an Epic Games spokesperson told The Sun.
"When people use aimbots or other cheat technologies to gain an unfair advantage, they ruin games for people who are playing fairly."
It comes as the teenage YouTube star's mum defended him , calling for forgiveness because he didn't "physically hurt anyone".
In his original clip (now deleted), cheating Jarvis brags: "I don't miss a shot."
And the YouTuber – who has earned an estimated £2million from gaming – even promised to make more cheating videos.
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