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Cheating in Counter-Strike

On the 19th of October, OpTic India player Nikhil “Forsaken” Kumawat was caught with hacking software on his PC at the Extremeland Zowie Asia tournament in Shanghai. This lead to a five year ban and Optic dropping the Indian roster. This begs the question – What should the sentence be for being caught cheating?

‘Forsaken’ banned from CSGO after hacks found on his PC.

First, let’s define cheating. In a LAN, something as simple as looking at an opponents monitor could be considered cheating, however this is difficult to prove and sometimes impossible to prevent. Vision barriers are often provided at some events to stop potential sneak peaks, but ultimately, if you have players in the same room, anything as little as an audio queue could lead to an illegitimate kill.

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t consider hacking to cheating. The problem is so rampant in some games, players can sometimes naturally tell if cheating is occurring. In CSGO, for example, such hacks can give players the inhuman ability to snap their aim near or on an enemies body, see through walls, or (in some cases), spin on the spot and kill anyone that shows their face.

Each hack has become infamous for their own reason, but these players aren’t only seen prowling in ranked matches. We’ve seen cheaters in the esports scene for years now – and with their sentences becoming seemingly less detrimental, perhaps it will become a more common sight.

Famously (and still fresh in a lot of players memories), French players KQLY and Sf where VAC banned during CSGO Dreamhack 2014. Although some of these players are having their bans lifted, their reputation will never be the same. All their fans who trusted them have gone and organisations are expected to stay well clear of anyone caught using hacking software in Counter-Strike.


Cheating doesn’t only involve hacking, however – the infamous team ibuypower where found guilty of fixing matches; that is to say, betting a lot of money on them losing and then purposely throwing the match to claim their rewards.

The moral questions still lies though – Should a banned player ever have their accounts unbanned? What is a justified sentence for cheating in an esports tournament? Tell us what you think on Twitter!