When you’re trying to beat the best, players in both traditional sports and esports will often resort to nefarious methods to gain the upper hand. Sometimes they get away with it and become absolute legends of their sport. Other times, their cheating gets caught, causes their team to be eliminated from the finals of a massive tournament, and their sponsors publicly fire every member of the team. The latter scenario was the case with esports organization OpTic India at the $100,000 eXTREMESLAND Asia Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament: one of their players, Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat (he is second from the right in the image of the team), was caught using an Aimbot during the finals of the tournament.
Fans watching the finals were surprised when the match was paused and officials conferred with one another for close to twenty minutes. When they approached Kumawat and asked him to return to his computer desktop so they could check his setup, he refused. He then waited until their attention was diverted and quickly jumped out of the game and closed a program before they could see what he was running. OpTic India was immediately disqualified from the tournament.
In a statement released to HLTV, OpTic India announced that Kumawat had been released from the team, and that the other members of the team had no knowledge that he was cheating during his matches. Nevertheless, the team soon released the following statement:
— OpTic India (@OpTicIndia) October 19, 2018
The team had been performing well in various Counter-Strike tournaments prior to this, so it seems likely the other players will find spots to land. However, this is not the first time Kumawat was caught cheating: he had previously been banned from ESL India Counter-Strike events for two years due to owning a VAC-banned account.
With as much money as there is floating around popular esports titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, its no wonder players will do anything to gain an advantage. However, at truly high stakes events, cheaters beware: they are watching out for it.