January 11, 2019
The PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) community is now on notice — if you cheat, you will be severely punished. In December, over thirty thousand accounts, including four professional players, were permanently banned. This week, the PUBG corporation (PUBG Corp) outed twelve more PUBG esports professionals as cheaters. They were hit with hefty PUBG Corp bans as well.
These PUBG bans are the result of players using an illegal program to read game data that revealed their opponent’s whereabouts on the map — and it was an especially convenient hack because it would show their opponent’s location on a different screen and not interfere with the cheater’s main game screen. It took a while for PUBG Corp to discover this stealthy cheating program due to it utilizing VPN technology.
PUBG has huge plans for their esports scene this year — the first major PUBG tournament of 2019 starts today — and it is certainly disheartening to see professional competitors resort to cheating. The first wave of PUBG bans (back in December) were given to the following pro players:
Not only have the accounts they used received permanent bans, but these players are suspended from all PUBG esports tournaments for three years (this suspension officially started December 31st, 2018). Also, the National PUBG League (NPL) teams these players represented — Totality, Death Row, Almost, namely Reapers — have been removed from the NPL Preseason. You can read more about this via this official tweet from the PUBG Esports Team.
Competitive Ruling: Multiple Players— PUBG Esports (@PUBGEsports) December 31, 2018
Christian “Cuhris” Narvaez
Liam “Liammm” Tran
Tyler “DevowR” Sti
Mark “Tefl0n” Formaro pic.twitter.com/qqPFBy05Yy
The most recent PUBG bans have been dealt to these twelve pro players:
Four of these players — Avalon, Smitty, TEXQS, and S1D — were using the illegal program to cheat in public PUBG games. They have all received a two-year suspension from PUBG competitive play (began on January 7th, 2019).
Then come, arguably, the worst offenders — Papaya, Cabecao, swalker, zuppaa, Houlow, and sezK0 —who were caught cheating in professional PUBG matches. Their punishment will be more severe, and all these players are suspended from the competitive scene for three years (also began on January 7th, 2019).
The other two culprits, FR_Steph and THZ, did not actually cheat, but they knew their teammates (Houlow and sezk0) were breaking the rules. They chose not to report it, so they were banned for three years as well. In PUBG Corp’s eyes, people that associate with cheaters are just as bad as the actual cheaters — the company made an example of popular PUBG streamer, Shroud, to prove this; he was banned for a month after jumping into a flying car with a hacker.
Sans Domicle fixe, the PUBG European League (PEL) team, which featured the guilty party of FR_Steph, THZ, Houlow and sezk0 has lost its spot in the PEL Qualifiers (but they can join future events with a new roster). Fortunately, for the other teams caught with crooked players, they can keep their PEL spot after bringing in replacements — Red Diamonds must part with S1D, and Pittsburgh Knights will have to release TEXQS. You can check out the other official tweet from the PUBG Esports Team to get more details about these January bans.
In the future, PUBG will issue stronger background checks to the accounts of players participating in their major tournaments. This recent wave of PUBG Corps bans certainly tarnishes the PUBG esports scene, and they will look to repair its reputation by making use of their “zero tolerance policy on cheating.”