Cheats on the eSports
A few years ago, many people thought video games were not the thing, a niche culture based on casual entertainment. However, videogame have been increasing popularity over time, making their way among the most important digital media. Today, the video game industry is a enormous and generates more money than the film or music industry.
Professional gaming competitions have been making their way from small internet cafes to events overseen by millions. The names of the most talented players are no now the headlines of the newspapers, they are grouped in world-famous teams and can dedicate their lives exclusively to improving and growing professionally, something that requires a lot of effort and is within the reach of very few. This bubble, which according to experts is going to continue growing limitless and with no forecast of bursting in the long term, added to the exorbitant prizes offered by eSports competitions to the winners, has called the attention of people who try to reach Olympus by the easy way, using questionable methods.
Cheaters without discretion reinforce the rules
Acting like this, however, requires imagination. Chetaers as they are known in the game industry, have employed unimaginable tricks to introduce cheat tools into events. For example, many managed to hide the cheats tools in the USB connector of their mouse, and it was not suspicious that they asked to use it, since it is the one they have trained with and thus they dont have to get used to another. The regulations have been tightening over time to avoid these cases. Some competitions no longer allow players to bring their own Hardware for example.
Another element that must be taken into account is that cheaters are exposed to a enormous risk. Once they’re caught, there’s no going back. They know they are going to be kicked out of every possible tournament, banned by every major team, even from various streaming platforms, and their name will be tarnished for life.
That is why they have to make use of the cheat tools stealthily and very discreetly, making the millions of spectators who oversee them believe that the incredible stuff they are witnessing is because of their own skill. This is really hard because there are eyes that do not miss a single one, capturing and denouncing any strange pattern by all means. Official teams and agencies do not skimp on investigations.
The common traps and the most elusive ones
One of the most widespread and common cheats in eSports is not related to software or cheat programs, but to relationships between teams. Numerous cases have been documented and sanctioned in which teams negotiate wins and losses for a variety of purposes, such as generating profits or sharing prizes.
For example, at the MLG 2012 Summer Championship, the Curse team and the Dignitas team agreed to share the championship prize money equally. However, they were quickly caught and banned, with the organization awarding the prize to the next two finishers.
One of the least aggressive and most difficult to catch cheats, but at the same time one of the most harmful of all, is the fact of leaking information from the outside to those who should not have it. A second person involved who is viewing the streaming of the tournament, or from the public live and direct, and logically can see the point of view of all the players of both teams, can communicate with the person or persons who he is going to help to provide them with information on the tactics or positions of the enemies, granting an invaluable advantage. As the players are already in contact with each other, it is difficult to determine who they are talking to or if it is from outside the competition. This is the case of the professional player Funkbob, who shared very valuable information with a partner during Fall Skirmish (a Fortnite tournament). Both were promptly banned from the tournament.
Professionals, in the spotlight
One of the most important cases in the history of cheating in eSports is that of Nikhil Forsaken Kumawat, a professional Counter Strike Global Offensive player. The Indian professional was competing alongside his team, OpTiC India, in eXTREMESLAND 2018 (in the finals, no less) against the rival team: Revolution. After observing strange patterns throughout the game, the referee decided to intervene and approached the suspect’s computer, whose reaction left no room for doubt. At first, he remained neutral, but seeing that the referee was about to hunt him down, he began to grapple with him and tried to quickly remove the trace of any kind of cheat tool before the astonished eyes of millions of people. This behavior sentenced him and his team, who were systematically banned from the competition.
Another of the renowned players who were caught for cheating is Faze Jarvis, from one of the most important teams in eSports history, the Faze Clan. After participating in hundreds of tournaments and events, the player was caught using the aimbot in Fortnite (the aimbot is a software that significantly improves the user’s aim in many video games, automatically aiming at the enemy and being the most difficult to hide due to the robotic appearance of the actions). The pro gamer was blocked from the game access forever, and had to find another way to make money.
Two other players involved in serious cheating were Nicolas and Tork TJO, who after being baned from their team in 2015, reoffended after joining another, Team Solomid.
Finally, some streamers and professional gamers directly bet on the sale of cheating software. This is the case of Golden Modz, which was dedicated to selling cheating tools for Fortnite with a value of up to four hundred dollars. Programs that he used in his streamings.