By Chris Blain
November 18, 2018
Today, we shall talk about the top five esports cheating scandals to date and their consequences. I don’t want you to be alarmed – but CS:GO is prominently featured in many of these cheating scandals! Shocking information that such a game would be in the center of such atrocious behavior as cheating!
You probably heard about this one already, but you might not know the details. In this story, CS:GO player Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat, of OpTic India, was caught cheating on the main stage! You read that correctly. Forsaken was literally cheating on stage during a match at the Extremeland Zowie Asia tournament in Shanghai.
OpTic India was facing Vietnamese team Revolution when officials noticed some suspicious play that led them to investigate forsaken’s computer. Nikhil tried to close programs before officials could investigate, but he was found out, and an aimbot cheat was discovered hidden in the files.
OpTic India was disqualified from Extremeland as a result and forsaken was booted off the team. OpTic Gaming dropped the entire India-based team because of this situation and Forsaken was given a 5-year ban by the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC).
Forsaken had been previously sanctioned by the ESIC in 2017 for a situation involving a VAC-banned account. However, it appeared he wasn’t the one who had been cheating on the account. A second offense would have meant a lifetime ban. I guess forsaken dodged bullet on that one.
Another ridiculous esports cheating scandal, another game of CS:GO. This incident involved MissQGemini a streamer who broadcast herself using cheats during a ranked CS:GO match.
She was using a wallhack, meaning enemies were visible through walls. There was no mistake that cheats were active. As soon as her audience noticed she was using cheats, they became quite vocal in the chat.
When MissQGemini looked in the chat she played it off like “OMG where did these cheats come from?!” and claimed it was a bug. Shortly after she blamed someone named Clara for the cheats being on her system.
She immediately quit the game, sensing a VAC ban coming at her – which it did. She traded off all her stuff and moved to a new account. She now streams under the name TheDjinnnn.
She is known in the community as “Clara” an inside joke within the CS:GO community. She received a one-day Twitch ban but has continued streaming without much consequence. Although she’s seemingly gone private to avoid massive trolling – she’s still out there.
MissQGemini made a name for herself by cheating, but she gained a lot of publicity as a result. Is it better to be an infamous cheater or completely unknown? It seems MissQGemini’s cheating scandal benefitted her more than hurt.
Oh, look…more CS:GO cheating, but I have to mention this one. We cannot forget the infamous iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com CS:GO match-fixing scandal of August 20, 2014. IBuyPower (IBP) and NetcodeGuides.com were set to battle at the CEVO Professional Season 5 where the IBP team was heavily favored to win.
IBP did not win though. In fact, IBP lost to NetcodeGuides.com 16 to 4. Upsets occur all the time in the gaming world, but iBuyPower’s tactics didn’t make any sense since they were wasting grenades and attempting knife attacks at weird times.
It was a suspicious situation, but it wasn’t until January 16, 2015, that a follow-up article revealed leaked evidence directly implicating multiple members of IBP in match-fixing. The iBuyPower team had allegedly placed bets against themselves, advised NetcodeGuides.com to do the same, and lost on purpose.
With the assistance of Courtney Timpson, a CSGOLounge employee – they were able to identify some high-value bets placed by Duc “cud” Pham and Derek “dboorN” Boorn, who were connected to the IBP team. They only made a few thousand dollars, but Valve permanently banned all four members of the IBP team.
One of the stranger esports cheating scandals happened during the League of Legends World Championship Season 2 playoffs in 2012 when Azubu Frost players were caught screen watching. Yes, that’s right, screen watching… at a tournament.
How can they do that when they aren’t anywhere near the opposing team?
Simple, they looked at the monitors projecting gameplay to the audience so they could learn enemy positions. During a pause break to handle audio issues with Azubu’s headsets ¬– TSM player Chaox reported seeing Woong looking at the screens.
TSM’s Dyrus also looked at the screens during the pause but was only issued a warning as his actions did not impact gameplay. Azubu Frost won the game, but after an investigation from Riot, they were fined $30,000 for Woong’s cheating.
Finally, the most notorious esports cheating scandal of them all. The one with the biggest impact on esports, the CS:GO Adderall scandal. It just goes to show you, performance enhancing drugs are a problem in all sports and esports is no exception.
Adderall is a nervous system stimulant that falls under the category of performance-enhancing drug. It is commonly used to treat ADHD but is illegally used for recreational purposes as well.
The CS:GO Adderall scandal took place in 2015 during an interview with Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen who offhandedly admitted to using Adderall during Katowice 2015.
Not only did SEMPHIS admit to using Adderal in a tournament, but he implicated many players and claimed it’s commonplace in the CS:GO scene. SEMPHIS was booted from Cloud9 but has made a comeback with Team SoloMid and Splyce. He is currently an inactive member of Team Envy.
This cheating scandal was different. It brought public embarrassment and scrutiny to esports. In response to the criticism, the ESL has banned a list of performance-enhancing drugs, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a warning.
Because of this scandal, the ESL has changed their policy and even instituted random drug tests at ESL One Cologne. It’s amazing how one person’s cheating can change the game for everyone.