Professional eSports players caught redhanded
In the past, lower-ranked teams and individuals in eSports had little access to funding, which frequently forced them to use unethical tactics to maximize their earnings. Similar to conventional sports, there have been many charges of match-fixing in the history of eSports and various wallhack and aimbot controversies.
As previously said, eSports cheaters may employ cheating hardware or software or attempt to alter the result of the match by either losing on purpose or achieving a specific in-game goal to win a wager.
Various game genres are represented in the games that cheaters exploit, including first-person shooters like Overwatch and CSGO, strategy games like Dota 2 or League of Legends, and even online card games like Hearthstone. Aimbot was one of the illegal hacks that some cheaters utilized to their advantage. Still, some of the most prominent eSports cheating scandals included numerous teams and had far-reaching effects.
Let’s take a look at the top 6 most well-known eSports players caught cheating.
1. Forsaken (CSGO)
OpTic India’s CSGO team member was found cheating during one of the year’s most significant events, and it became one of the most well-known instances of cheating in eSports history. The gamer Forsaken had an aimbot installed on his PC during the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals. As soon as the tournament authorities realized what was happening, he attempted to erase his setup right before them.
Behind the filename word.exe, the gamer had concealed his cheating program. The fact that the file type indicates that the gamer had engaged in illicit activity made the situation humorous. There was never any actual doubt as to his innocence.
Naturally, his team was immediately eliminated, and more inquiries revealed that he had previously committed fraud at the ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall Tournament. Even though CS: GO already has a negative reputation for cheating, Forsaken’s actions caused fans to lose trust in the eSports community and earned him a 5 year ban.
2. KiD x (Overwatch)
In addition to engaging in illicit transactions, cheaters in eSports frequently utilize software to make it simpler to defeat opponents during competitions, such as aimbot, to avoid having to concentrate on their shooting abilities or just a simple wallhack.
Aimbot was active when Korean broadcaster and eSports star KiD x, a top-ranked Korean Overwatch player, participated in the competitive scene in 2016. Viewers recognized this and reported him as a consequence.
Both the player’s account and his feed were terminated. Soon, due to Blizzard’s strict hacking policies, he was permanently banned in addition to being forbidden amid his stream. KiD x immediately lost his job, demonstrating that cheats are never truly successful.
3. Solo (Dota 2)
Even if intentionally tossing a game is a bad sport, it is even worse when you bring your entire team down with you.
The “Solo” character Alexei Berezin wagered $100 that his team RoX.KiS would lose the StarSeries Season 6 competition. Since RoX was expected to win, he would receive $322 despite the team’s poor performance, which included feeding the opposition over 50 kills. Naturally, Solo was discovered and given a penalty that was eventually reduced to one year. That $322 was never given to him.
In the eSports scene, 322 has gained popularity as a meme, like the C9 meme, to follow up on any poor or subpar gaming on the Twitch channel. Solo, though, bounced back stronger and has subsequently achieved a perfectly ethical win of approximately $2 million.
4. Life (StarCraft 2)
By winning an unprecedented number of StarCraft II events in 2013, Lee “Life” Seung-Hyun, the youngest player to ever win a GSL tournament, rose to new heights in the game. But all fell apart when, in 2015, he was revealed to have participated in a significant match-fixing affair.
It was uncovered that former player, host, and writer Sung-Jun Mo was paying Life to throw matches, and he then planned to wager on those matches to make money. When Lee “Life” Seung-Hyun was promised more than $40,000 to quit or lose in the league matches, he became embroiled in the match-fixing event.
Additionally, the player was sentenced to 18 months in prison when he was 19 when the authorities learned about his agreement with the betting platform. The community felt that the punishment was excessive. Still, it nonetheless sparked a crucial conversation about the need for further measures to stop similar behavior among other players in addition to competition bans.
5. Flex (CSGO)
During the ESEA competition, another aimbot eSports cheater was found in the CS: GO arena. One of Grandpa Beret’s players, Flex, employed unethical tactics in 2015. His shot was exact, which prompted some concerns when the team outscored the opposition 8:2. After close inspection, it was discovered that the gamer was utilizing an aimbot.
His teammates stated they were unaware of the player’s cheating actions and that they had not seen anything strange after he was disqualified from the competition. More shocking is Flex’s justification, which he gave the community as a means of breaking his addiction to professional CS: GO.
In recent years, he changed his name to BabyBay and has been competing in competitive VALORANT in the late 2020s and early 2021s.
6. Jonathan Kosmala (Fortnite)
Another type of hacking is using “wall hacks,” which allow you to view other players or objects through barriers. It is a widespread trick since it is more challenging to identify than tools like aimbots.
Exactly such as the strategy used by Team Kaliber player Johnathan Kosmala in the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers in April 2019. However, he was apprehended in a less usual manner; the hack’s author handed him in.
He said he did it because Kosmala was abusing the opportunity to win a $30 million professional event rather than playing for pure enjoyment. Jonny’s illicit actions were revealed via the internet publication of chat screenshots between JonnyK and the hacker. The popular video showing the hacker’s agreement with JonnyK was later taken down from YouTube.
Final thoughts on eSports cheaters
With the gaming world growing at an astonishing rate, it’s no surprise that eSports players caught cheating continue to grow with the industry. Players and outside participants are looking for ways to take advantage of the money and resources pouring in. What’s your view on these cheaters and their punishments? Did they deserve it? Should more broad enforcement have been taken against the players, their teams, and co-conspirators?