It is not uncommon to see professional players cheating in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) these days. What is somewhat rare is to see multiple teams playing unfairly in a single, high-profiled tournament.
Team Optimistic, Invictus Aquilas, and PlanetenO were all disqualified yesterday when their players were caught red-handed during the online European qualifiers for the ELEAGUE Boston Major.
Anton “KerZe” Nosek of Team Optimistic was the first to go when the anti-cheat system of CEVO banned him live during a match. Daniel “Ciocardau” Catalin of Invictus Aquilas was the next to be removed from the tournament, followed by “SodaH” of PlanetenOG. It is believed that at least one of the three was caught after his account was manually reviewed by moderators. In addition, they are not the only players from their respective teams currently in the spotlight. More are suspected to be involved, and we may hear more bans be passed in the coming days.
The culprits did not even try to hide their blatant use of third-party software. They were openly shooting through walls and smoked areas to kill enemy players that were otherwise hidden from view. Even the casters openly referred to their questionable aim as “gameplay sense” during the tournament.
The community is currently divided, with one hoping that no more instances of cheating will arise in the later stages of the ELEAGUE Boston Major and the other hoping for the opposite in order to cleanse the competitive environment. The incident from the weekend also raises questions regarding the accuracy of Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) for CS:GO. Most professionals opt for third-party matchmaking services like CEVO and FACEIT that utilize their own anti-cheat systems, which have so far proven reliable.
In July, over 40,000 accounts were banned by Valve following the Steam Summer Sale. It happened within a single day, becoming one of the largest ever ban-waves in the history of the game.