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5 Pro Gamers Who Were Caught Cheating Mid-Tournament

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There’s nothing more dishonorable than a professional gamer resorting to cheating in order to give them the upper hand. And although strict rules and regulations are always slotted in place before every Esports event, some so-called elite players have often managed to bypass the labyrinth of security protocols and one-up the competition using an arsenal of forbidden techniques.

So, what happens when one of these players are caught red-handed mid-tournament? Well, for starters, a pretty hefty stain is slapped on their reputation, and, more often than not, a permanent ban from online gaming, both locally and internationally. And then, of course, there’s the unlimited fines, the bad press, and basically an enormous scar embedded in their careers. And so, if you’re looking for a 101 on how to lose your reputation in a few seconds — then pull up a chair, and allow us to introduce you to your course tutors. Class is in session!

 

5. Forsaken (CS:GO)

The player tried to delete the file on the spot when confronted. Fail.exe.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been known for cheating players over the years, with tonnes of teams using various tools to hack the system and one-up opposing factions. But while it’s often expected from casual players, nobody ever seems to expect it from professionals; ones that make a living from playing such games in a competitive way.

Shamefully, Forsaken, a player who ran with the OpTic India team in 2018, was literally caught red-handed. As in, when approached by a few suspicious board members, he tried to wipe an aimbot hack from his PC right in front of them. Needless to say, his team was quickly disqualified from the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals, and their reputation soon fizzled into dust, leaving nothing more than a lesson on how not to compete in a CS:GO tournament behind. Tut tut.

 

4. Jonathan Kosmala (Fortnite)

Plenty of hacks have come to light over the years, and we’d by lying if we said Fortnite wasn’t absolutely riddled with them. But one of the more recent ones — and one that seemed to fly under the radar for a short while — was a wall hack, which allowed users to see through opponents walls in order to see their items and loot. And in Jonathan Kosmala’s case, it was this very hack that ushered him to take the lead during the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers in 2019.

Little did he know, however, was that the creator of the hack would eventually spill the beans on his recklessness. And according to the creator, it was only built for fun, and not for use in major tournaments — like, say, the Fortnite World Cup, for example, where $30 million was on the line. Long story short, Kosmala was quickly banished from Team Kaliber and thrown to the press. He did, however, go on to receive a refund for the wall hack. How’s that for a bittersweet ending?

 

3. Tom60299 (Hearthstone)

Ah, of course — stream sniping. Textbook play.

Although there are plenty of obvious ways to cheat in competitive gaming, some methods are often glossed over in this day and age. Take stream sniping, for example. In one particular case, set during the Hearthstone Global Games 2018, player Tom60299 used this exact cheat to help aid him towards a textbook victory. However, rather than sneaking a peak himself, he had a teammate channel the details through a headset who, at the time, was spectating the match.

Fast-forward a set amount of time, and Tom60299, as well as the whole of the Chinese Taipei team were disqualified from the tournament. But funnily enough, if they hadn’t of cheated to win, then they still would’ve walked away with some money in their pockets. Like, $12,000, to be exact. And that’s just for coming dead last. How’s that for embarrassing, eh?

 

2. Azubu Frost (League of Legends)

I mean, the blame partly lies with Riot for that god-awful stage design.

Sneaking a quick peak at an opponent’s monitor is one of the most old fashioned cheating techniques in the book. It’s also something that has been used as a way to snipe rival locations in top-level tournaments for decades. However, we’ll just select one: Azubu Frost, the Korean team that used not the opponents, but the spectator’s screens to gain the upper hand.

As a way to take the lead in-game, Azubu Frost would often peak over their own screens to catch a glimpse of their opponent’s locations. As a result, the Korean team were removed from the League of Legends tournament and lumped with a $30,000 fine. So, in case you were wondering how on earth all those strict guidelines came about — then now you know. One sour action, unfortunately, can lead to a blizzard of extreme consequences. It’s a butterfly effect in motion, really.

 

1. SEMPHIS (CS:GO)

Although not cheating exactly, it is a tad iffy.

One of the stranger things to happen in the world of competitive gaming was actually back in 2016, when one particular team resorted to desperate measures to help up their game. But it wasn’t through the usual run-of-the-mill hacks or cliché stream sniping, or anything like that. It was actually, disgracefully, all thanks to a little prescription drug called Adderall.

During a post-match interview, team player Kory Friesen was asked about a fellow teammate, claiming they sounded “kind of funny” during the game, to which he admitted to the use of the drug to help sharpen their focus. And although the guidelines failed to outline Adderall, the act did still spark debate in the Esports domain. And, as a result, it did open up talks about sensitive matters surrounding performance-enhancing drugs in the competitive world. So, not exactly the storybook ending Friesen had banked on. Lesson learned? Here’s hoping.

 

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with the consequences? Are there any cheaters we should’ve put on this list? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

 

Tired of cheats? Had enough of eSports? Looking for more content? You could always take a look at one of these lists:

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Jord is Team Leader for gaming.net. As well as covering breaking news stories and blabbering on in his daily listicles, he also contributes to sites such as Vocal, Collider, as well as his anthology of self-published novels.