Valve updated its anti-cheat technology late last week, and the new software has discovered a number of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players to be cheating. This isn’t a case of false positives, either – pro-gamers around the world have been caught using unspecified third-party tools.
The first gamer to be caught in the net was Simon “smn” Beck, whose illegitimate activity was picked up by the E-Sports Entertainment Association ESEA. The Association then passed on the details to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive developer Valve. Once the studio updated its anti-cheat software was updated, Valve was shocked to learn how many people were using the hacks – mostly of the type that offered aim assistance.
At least two pro-gamers have been kicked from their teams after they tested positive for the banned software. Gordon “SF” Giry was banned by Valve, then admitted his guilt. He’s been removed from team Epsilon after administration conducted a “quick investigation”. Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian has been dropped from team Titan, after using one of the tools for a week outside of competition.
Tovmassian has released a public statement on the matter (translated from French):
I wanted to say that I’m really sorry for all the people who supported me. I’m aware that with this bullshit, my career is over and that my team is in a really bad situation.
Both Epsilon and Titan have been banned from competing in this week’s DreamHack Winter 2014 competition, and DreamHack – one of the biggest events in eSports – is taking “special precautions” to prevent use of other illegitimate software.
After being the first to go down, Simon Beck has released a list of other pro-gamers who allegedly use the hacks, amid claims that 30- to 40-percent of professional players use these third-party applications. At this stage, while no other high-profile gamers have been banned by Valve, nothing can be verified, but the world of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive might be a little messy for the immediate future.