It’s been a rough couple months for PUBG Mobile. Though the game still posted record revenue numbers as the world shelters from the ongoing pandemic, political strife consistently threatens its ability to operate in some of its biggest regions. Now, one of PUBG Mobile‘s more popular English-speaking content creators, Brandon Cole “Sixless” Patterson, is calling it quits. And he cites hacking as the main reason for his retirement.
“I’ve just lost my passion,” said Sixless in a video posted to YouTube. “I don’t have any motivation to play anymore…” His reasons for quitting bounce between not only his own experience with hackers in matches, but a flawed reporting system that enables spiteful mobs to ban genuine players. One example given was the Korean player Midas. The pro, who often managed to beat the hackers he came across on stream, was mass reported and banned for 10 years purely for managing to reach the top of the leaderboard — a spot now deemed unreachable by anyone but hackers and cheaters.
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Sixless explained that hackers are able to climb to the top of the ranked leaderboard, knocking genuine professionals away from their hard-earned fame in the process. He added that he’d “get to second place with eight kills and lose points because I was so high ranked. Hackers would win every game with 20 kills and pass me on the leaderboard.”
It’s a well-known issue with the current ranking system that highlights just how slow Tencent’s anti-cheat measures are at reacting to illegitimate accounts powering their way through the leaderboards. Sometimes these profiles grab double, or even triple the number of kills per round than the average pro.
Oddly enough, the former PUBG Mobile talent is hopping from one Tencent-owned property to another. He’s set to take a break from content creation and social media for around a month or two. After which time League of Legends: Wild Rift will be right around the corner. Once it’s released, Sixless plans to stream the mobile MOBA for around eight hours a day. He’s so confident in the move that he’s already swapped out his YouTube banner to promote its new direction. Meanwhile, his retirement video doubles as a permission slip. Anyone who’s just a fan of his PUBG Mobile output can unfollow him across his social media platforms, with plenty of warning.
The move comes exactly a year after his sharpest subscriber growth. In August 2019, Sixless gained 22,000 of his current 65,000 subscriber base. Numbers ticked up in the single-digit thousands each subsequent month thereafter. Back in March of this year, however, he lost around 4,000 subs and was booted from professional organization Cloud9 for bad-mouthing top India talent “Mortal,” Team Soul, and the “toxic” Indian fanbase.
Sixless is estimated to have earned around $20,000 through his esports adventures over the last year. He rose to fame with a first place win during the PMCO Spring Split of 2019 with SSG Gaming before moving to gamer sock believers Cloud9 at the start of the year. After being booted for his antagonistic statements on social media, he had brief stints with both Tribe Gaming and Omen Elite as a signed content creator in the months that followed.
All that came to a halt in July. Sixless was banned from organized play for the rest of the year for competing in the PMCO Fall Qualifiers under a different account. In a video explaining the situation, the problematic pro announced plans to continue creating content until the end of the year. Now, that plan sounds a little different.
Some might be glad to see such a controversial figure leave the game. Though the motive he states prompted his departure (i.e. cheating) is one the playerbase largely agrees with. The controversy around his career, and the global situation surrounding the game, probably didn’t help matters.
Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also runs Tencent Games, developer and publisher of PUBG Mobile. Tencent also subsidizes much of Fanbyte’s PUBG Mobile coverage by covering freelancer budget costs. Those covering PUBG Mobile for the site have no contact with Tencent, however, and are given complete creative control to write whatever they wish.