With the eSports scene becoming bigger and bigger, the problem of cheating in games like CS:GO and Overwatch is gaining more and more attention from the community. Somewhat recently, Duncan “Thorin” Shields made a video talking about what game developers and tournament organisers should do to stop the problem, as well as addressing the numerous dodgy-looking clips on YouTube, showing prominent CS:GO pros’ demos, where their mouse movements look to be control by some kind of cheating software due to being “choppier” than normal. More recently, Team SoloMid, one of the most recognizable eSports organisations in the world, especially if you happen to follow League of Legends, announced that they’re transferring their newly acquired Overwatch roster to another organisation.
In such a climate, reports came about a case of a cheating player being caught and banned mid-game in ESL UK Premiership, where Joseph “Joee” Leigh was playing in a match against Rize Gaming UK. The player was caught and removed from the match by ESL’s own anti-cheating software, known as ESL Wire. Following the player’s removal, he’s been banned from competing in ESL-hosted events.
That might not be the end of it, however. Ukcsgo.com, a Global Offensive website centered around the games United Kingdom scene, reported a couple of days ago that the tournament organiser, Multiplay, banned Joee from all Insomnia events for a year. Multiplay’s Esports Community Manager, Mark Buckley, had this to say: “Multiplay has come to the decision to ban Joee from participating in prized events at any Insomnia event for a minimum period of 12 months, at which point the player is welcome to appeal the ban. We would like to stress once again that players cheating in any form will not be taken lightly and we will continue to remain vigilant against cheating at our events. We would also like to reiterate that any player with a VAC ban for CS:GO one their account will not be able to compete in any prized tournaments for 12 months following the ban.” Joee’s Steam account has indeed received a VAC ban.
Concerning the matter, Joee said that, “It’s just a game, It was fun and it’s still fun looking at the tweets, no harm done to anyone so whats the problem.” Well, ignoring the bad spelling and punctuation, the problem is that cheating is like doping in serious sports, throwing a shade over the whole competitive scene when a player cheats and isn’t caught. Esports as a whole have a hard fight for legitimacy in front it, without craven idiots tarnishing competitive gaming’s image and making it harder for the rest. Joee’s words are like Yuliya Yefimova saying, “It’s just swimming. It was fun and it’s still fun looking at the tweets, no harm done to anyone, so what’s the problem?” Yeah, sounds like bullshit to me too.