DreamHack Denver will soon be upon us, and while the qualified teams seem void of cheating, the previous CS:GO tournaments and teams have proven less so. Back in January, the ELEAGUE Boston Major witnessed three different players engaging in prohibited activities, with the players subsequently banned, as well as their teams. Although it’s taken some time for these actions to be put into place, the esports community has been rocked by the decision.
Initially, it had been thought that only the specific players – Team Optimistic’s KerZe, PlantenOG’s SodaH, and Invictus Aqualis’ Ciocardau – would be disqualified. However, the CEVO have now removed the teams from the tournament as well, to make doubly sure no further cheating will take place. As you’d expect, a backlash has followed these controversial moves, with both team members and fans seeing this as a breach of trust between them and CEVO. However, is that really the case?
As some of you will know, SodaH is no stranger to entanglements with cheating, having upset CEVO’s clients in the past. The only reason that he was allowed to play within other tournaments is because such bans don’t tend to span across different competitions and campaigns. Although questions are now being asked as to whether that rule should, and will, be changed.
Even though the decision to remove the teams has been reached, there’s still a few players from the teams that are under investigation, which means this whole saga looks set to continue. The player most under scrutiny right now is EKLN, another member of PlantenOG. The reason suspicions have been raised is in relation to numerous Steam chat logs that have been uncovered, as shown via Casper Moller’s Twitter account. Hopefully this will be a case of mistaken identity, but with CEVO keen to put a stop to this rise in multiple team cheating, it’s doubtful that the repercussions will be gentle.
Yo there's a cheater playing in the minor qualifer RIGHT now.
— Casper Møller (@caspercadiaN) October 14, 2017
Taking all this into account, a burning questions as to where this leaves CS:GO have to be asked. As a lot of us know, cheating within the CS:GO faction isn’t unheard of – it is however strange to see it on such a large scale, and from so many different team members. The real worry behind this is that esports and its overall integrity could fall into disarray, especially if we look back at the blanket ban that took place in July. This is when over 40,000 users were suspended, with immediate effect. True, they weren’t quite on the same scale as the banned players mentioned above, but the fact that third party software was found in use is alarming to say the least.
Seeing as so many different stages of the current and upcoming competitions are underway, we’re hoping that no more nasty surprises will come our way. Given how successful the DreamHack Denver qualifiers have been, both for North America and Europe, it seems unlikely that cheating will dog this event. Let’s just hope it stays that way for the foreseeable future. If not, we could see a huge shift in which teams are valued in the esports markets, as well as their odds changing. Given what you already know, who would you bet on when it comes to CS:GO?