Esports is under attack by match-fixers, cheaters, and hackers on all levels, but never mind the throes of Call of Duty: Warzone and other free-to-play games. One area where competitive video gaming has been trying to keep the activity clean is official games. Riot Games has been consistently unapologetic when having to deal with cheaters.
First VCT Player Receives Ban for Cheating in Official Games
A VALORANT player by the name of Tất Cẩm “Nomsenpai” Khôn has become the first participant to be officially suspended from the game’s competitive circuit, VALORANT Champions or VCT. His entire team has been dragged down with him, and Ice Cee Jay Too has all been disqualified from the VCT APAC 2022, the Southeast Asia qualifier for the VCT Masters.
The incident occurred during the VCT 2022 Stage One: Vietnam Open Qualifiers, a sort of free-for-all contest in which players are allowed to put together teams and vie for a spot in the more advanced stages of the competition.
During a game on Haven, a map in the first-person shooter game, Ice Cee Jay Too, were leading against their opponents. A video from the tournament reveals how after a brief exchange between Nomsenpai and another player, the alleged cheater then proceeds to track the movements of an opposing Astra agent through the wall.
However, Nomsenpai had no way of knowing this as his view was blocked by walls. The developers promptly reviewed the case and suspended the team, issuing an official statement in which they criticized attempts to cheat on any level of the game. The company issued a stern rebuke:
“Cheating in any VALORANT queue is against the rules of competitive play and violates the rules of fair play. Maintaining the competitive integrity of our tournaments is a top priority and VALORANT Esports takes such matters very seriously.”
Cheating in Esports: More Common Than You Think
Nomsenpai has received a one-year ban that will now last through January 26, 2023. His team, who may or may not have known about their teammate’s activity, will not be able to compete again until VCT Stage Two.
Esports has had a match-fixing problem for a while now. While many players do not see this as a serious offense, some countries have shown less leniency on cheating in a game, especially when there is money involved and players are using sportsbooks to bet on favorable outcomes.
ESIC, an organization specializing in tracking such fraud, has been sounding the alarm. Motivation to cheat in a video game is not always because of an ongoing match-fixing. Some players just want to win so badly that they lose sight of what is right.
However, the undeniable fact remains that match-fixing and cheating attempts in esports are becoming more common which requires a unified response by the industry. Australia has already issued arrests and sentences to match-fixers.