Every sport has had its cheating scandals, and eSports is no different. This time around, sadly, an Indian player and team are at the heart of the latest scandal. Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat, a member of OpTic Gaming’s CS:GO team was caught cheating during the eXTREMESLAND Asia Finals on 19 October. The player has been booted from the team and is now facing a lifetime eSports ban. The CS: GO team has also been dissolved.
CS:GO or Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive shooter with a 5 vs 5 format. It is one of the most popular games in the world and has a huge community and fan following in India.
The tournament was wrapping up in Shanghai and the Optic Gaming team had made it to the finals. The hack was discovered when tournament officials inspected Kumawat’s computer. The video below captures the exact moment when Kumawat was caught. In the video, it seems like Kumawat even attempted to delete the files responsible for the hack. The official is seen grabbing Kumawat’s hands as he goes for the keyboard
The other four members of the team claim to have had no idea that Kumawat was cheating.
According to dotesports, OpTic international director Jesal Parekh gave a statement to HLTV. Where he apologised for to the country [India] and fans, stating, “it is unfortunate that one selfish person is capable of causing this.” He reiterated that the other members of the team had no idea what was going on. He later announced that the team was being dissolved to allow the remaining players to pursue other opportunities unhindered.
The report further notes that the team’s previous wins and games are now being investigated. The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) might also step in and ban Kumawat for life.
Kumawat has been caught cheating in the past as well, making any chance of a reprieve unlikely.