• Cheating in eSports

    Cheating in eSports



    With the rise of eSports comes money, fame, and controversy. There is no denying that eSports are growing at an astounding rate the last 5 years and have no sign of stopping. Games like League of Legends, Dota 2, & CS:GO are bringing in viewer counts that are dwarfing regular sport championship numbers like the NBA, MLB, and NHL. Advertisers are all getting their hands in on this train, organizations are popping up left and right, and even game developers are keeping eSports in mind when designing new games. Everybody wants a piece of this pie. But what happens when something this massive runs into a glass ceiling of sorts? What would be stopping it from progressing to Super Bowl numbers? Cheating.

    Cheating ruins the integrity of everything and once caught can bring down an empire as big as eSports. From Pete Rose match fixing a World Series to Steroids in American Football, cheating runs rampant. The people in charge of these sports go into a PR frenzy and also unleash harsh punishments once a cheater is caught because they of all people know, once integrity is lost you can almost never gain it back. In this article I am going to cover cheating in eSports with a focus mostly on CS:GO but everything I am writing can and does obtain to all eSport titles. I am also not going to touch online cheating because that is fairly obvious and well known but rather go into detail on the types of cheating that can be done at offline events and some people who have been caught doing it.


    Cheating through drivers, hard drives, or small internet access windows
    In CS:GO, but also many eSport events, players are given their own SSD in which they use to setup all of their personal stuff before they are actually called out to play on stage. Things such as their configuration, hardware drivers, resolutions, or any customization they need to set to make it feel like they are playing right at home. Once done and it is their time to play they take this SSD and plug it into the computer on stage that they will be playing on for the event, in front of the crowd. Now one thing to keep notice here is that when they are in the practice room setting up this SSD with all of their goodies they have limited internet access and when they are on stage those PC's usually do not have internet access. So the issue here if you have not guessed it is that setup period. If a cheat is programmed into your hardware and you are given full range to download the drivers for it than this could be an easy bypass. Some hardware like Razer Synapse even requires internet access to login so some players actually have internet access on stage as well just so they can use their mouse or keyboard. This internet access is also very risky even at its restriction in the setup room because that limited access has the power to use Steam and Steams Workshop more specifically. Some of these cheats can do things like play a beep when you hover your mouse over somebody through a wall. Something only the player would hear and the admin would have no idea. Even a highlight clip would not let you know a beep went off when he knew that guy was there.


    KQLY a professional player was actually caught cheating through Steams very own Workshop by storing the cheats in maps he would download while in that setup room. To this day he denies all of this and has recently been unbanned by ESL along with the IBuyPower players. If you want to know more about the KQLY situation here is a good video by Thorin on him specifically.

    Ways to prevent this type of cheating could be more admins. If you notice at events there is usually one admin behind the players but there is no way he could be keeping an eye on every single one at the same time, especially if he gets caught up in a conversation with the coach or whatever. If we had 2-3 admins just keeping an eye on the players it could definitely make sure they are being watched thoroughly. Another measure that could be taken is making sure they are playing on servers with anti-cheat installed. You would think this is common knowledge but some events are not played on things such as ESEA servers or CEVO servers that have an anti cheat running the whole game. So if somebody starts doing extremely sketchy stuff you either have to just let it go or manually ban them based on your gut instinct which is never something players or viewers want to happen since its not 100%.

    Throwing a Match

    This one is an easy one to explain because I assume everybody reading this knows what throwing a match entails. If for some reason you do not the shortest explanation would be one team, usually the better team, will lose a match on purpose for some sort of gain. This gain is usually financial and involves some sort of betting on the underdog and allowing them to win against all odds but it could technically be for any gain at all. In CS:GO the most famous version of this is the iBuyPower players throwing a match against NetcodeGuides in 2014. They did this because they saw an opportunity to make a lot of money. At the time a website known as CSGOLOUNGE.com was gaining in popularity and was basically a huge reason people were even watching CS:GO, and that was to bet skins on matches. I even found the original CSGoBetting reddit thread on the match to come, here The odds were 83% IBP to 17% NetCode. Which netted you almost 5 times your money if you bet on NetCode and won, which is exactly what the iBuyPower players did.


    Ways to prevent match fixing? Well I think Valve did the best thing you could do and permanently banned these players from playing in Valve Sponsored events. This means no majors which is everything you work toward in CS:GO. Recently the IBP players were unbanned by ESL and Dreamhack so they are going to be able to play in those leagues but never a major, unless Valve changes their stance. Outside of harsh punishments I am not sure there is a way to prevent match fixing.

    Using the Crowd

    Using the Crowd is something that has recently become a hot topic at giant eSport events. What is using the crowd exactly? Well its pretty simple but there are also dozens of ways to do it. For starters you can set up people in the crowd that are working for your team and they can use signals to show the team they are working for what the other team is doing. An example could be this. It's league of legends and some dude has a poster with red text on one side and blue on the other. When the enemy team is going to blue buff he can lift his sign up with blue text facing the players who are also facing the crowd. One of the team members he is working for now sees the poster, sees its blue text, and knows the enemy is at blue buff. It is almost like the movie 21 with counting cards. It seems impossible but with enough practice and dedication this is easily done. You can get across key information in games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO in not so obvious ways. People have been accused of this but never to the extent that they have been caught and/or punished.


    Another way that is more obvious is crowds just helping their home team by shouting stuff. This was most recently a huge issue at ESL Pro League S5 - Dallas for CS:GO. The crowd basically would scream things like "ITS A , ITS A" or just flat out positions. These people were not kicked out of the arena and therefore are just freely cheating for one team. And yes you can still hear through those soundproof earphones. Here is a video of the crowd screaming to help G2 out on Inferno.




    Exploiting

    The old debate used to be is exploiting considered cheating. "I'm not cheating I am just abusing an in game mechanic they left in the game to gain an advantage". No matter what side you fall on I think we can all agree that using exploits on LAN at a massive event is distasteful and should be frowned upon. Recently at the PGL Major for CS:GO an underdog team named BIG beat a top 3 team FaZe Clan pretty easily. After the game was over pros and fans alike realized they were using a jump bug that allowed them to look over walls but not be seen peaking over them from the other side. So essentially they got to jump peak things that normally you wouldn't because you would get exposed or shot. This blew up once people found out and all the teams got together after the game and made a pact to not use the bug/exploit for the rest of the tournament (even though it was only one team doing it). Everybody said yes except some people from BIG weren't at that meeting and continued using the bug with the excuse of "I didn't know about the pact I wasn't there". People got mad at them again and eventually they stopped using it.


    But what if the exploit wasn't so noticeable and they were able to do it the whole tournament. How many underdogs made it further than they were because they abused an exploit and nobody caught it. When money is on the line are you allowed to pull out all the stops or should this be punishable? Since BIG didn't end up getting to far after the exploiting stopped nothing really came of it other than full blown proof that these things happen even at offline events with prize pools of a million dollars.

    Adderall

    Personally I think this is the biggest threat to eSports that is not talked about enough. In normal sports like baseball and football taking a PED will get you suspended, fined, or sometimes banned from playing. Lance Armstrong was stripped of everything due to his use of PEDs. But what about in eSports? To be a professional gamer and play at your best on command requires discipline, practice, and raw skill. But sometimes its not easy to always show up which is why players tend to take Adderall. A free ride into the world of strict focus and concentration no matter how tired you are. College students use it rampantly today to do essays or study throughout the night and actually absorb the information.

    In 2015 a pro CS player known as SEMPHIS was being interviewed by a huge community icon Launders where he basically flat out admits that the whole team was using Adderall. You can check that out here. This interview actually sparked a lot of talk about Adderall and the unfair advantage it gave to players during a match. The only thing to come of this was the Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced that they would be taking measures to drug screen in future tournaments. An article on that can be read here.

    Normally Adderall is prescribed to people with ADHD to help them focus but if you don't have ADHD it basically helps you stay awake, focused, and energized which goes back to the cramming all night studying uses of it. With the use of Adderall players are able to play better for longer and more consistently. Its the perfect drug for eSports where its not so physical but mostly mental and reaction based. As a fan of American Football where every time somebody gets caught on PEDs you feel defeated and cheated as a fan because of how much they changed based off of illegal activity I hope eSports takes drug use serious in the near future.


    Conclusion
    ESports is still relatively new and these are the years you want to set the standards for things to come, especially with cheating. You don't want to look back and find out certain teams in certain games were just flat out not real because they were cheating or some players were not once in a lifetime players but rather taking PEDs. The sooner these things are weeded out and measures are taken for all sorts of cheating the better it will be for the future of eSports.



    Sources I used for this:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a...esports-2015-7
    https://dotesports.com/counter-strik...gl-major-15930
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...8/#!po=29.6875
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01njtKxbKPY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WOtxv8RhNs
    Also https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...ZqnQrrvP8/edit by an old intern Master_Wiggles
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Cheating in eSports started by Kenneth View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Disphotic's Avatar
      Disphotic -
      No one is clean at the top level of any sport that requires strength or endurance, why would anyone think it's not the same for eSports?

      You can gain massive advantages by taking stimulants/PEDs such as Adderral, Modafinil, Caffeine etc.

      There will always be people looking for that edge, and they will always be one step ahead of the ones chasing them.
    1. Yawnstar's Avatar
      Yawnstar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Disphotic View Post
      No one is clean at the top level of any sport that requires strength or endurance, why would anyone think it's not the same for eSports?

      You can gain massive advantages by taking stimulants/PEDs such as Adderral, Modafinil, Caffeine etc.

      There will always be people looking for that edge, and they will always be one step ahead of the ones chasing them.
      Not to mention private cheats/hacks that would cost easily within the four digit range
    1. Kenneth's Avatar
      Kenneth -
      Quote Originally Posted by Disphotic View Post
      No one is clean at the top level of any sport that requires strength or endurance, why would anyone think it's not the same for eSports?

      You can gain massive advantages by taking stimulants/PEDs such as Adderral, Modafinil, Caffeine etc.

      There will always be people looking for that edge, and they will always be one step ahead of the ones chasing them.
      This post isn't necessarily coming from an angle of "why would anybody think people wouldn't cheat in eSports when it runs so rampant in regular conventional sports" but rather just a look into the types of cheating that have been proven to work at big offline events for people who may or may not have even realized this was a thing.
    1. frankly2017's Avatar
      frankly2017 -
      Are you in search of a reliable Hacking Services?
      Then he offer the best of hacking service with his dedicated hackers with track records.
      He offer various Services

      1.School Grades Change
      2.Drivers License
      3.Provide solutions on professional exams
      4.Hack email, Database hack & Facebook, Whatsapp
      5.Retrieve, deleted data and recovery of messages on cell phone
      6.Crediting , Money Transfer.
      7. Clearing of criminal records and many others .
      He Provide high grades techs and hacking chips and gadgets if you are interested in Spying on anyone.


      Contact us @
      Text: +1 (203) 564-9552
      Email [email protected]
    1. Greatmanim's Avatar
      Greatmanim -
      LIVERPOOL and Inter Milan are both plotting an amazing swoop for David Silva, as contract chats with Manchester City proceed.

      Silva, 31, has been secured chats with City all season about broadening his stay at the Etihad past the mid year of 2019, when his ebb and flow bargain lapses.

      City manager Pep Guardiola needs to hand the Spaniard a year augmentation, to keep him out of the grip of any potential suitors who are set up to offer Silva a lucrative long haul bargain.

      Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is admirer of Silva and perspectives the conniver as a contrasting option to harmed Adam Lallana.

      The Merseysiders fear losing Emre Can in vain next summer, the German worldwide is yet to concur another arrangement at Anfield and can sign a pre-contract with an abroad club in the new year.

      M88sut wagering and betting site.

      Italian mammoths Inter Milan are likewise enthusiastic about the City playmaker who has appreciated a fine begin to the season at the core of the Premier League pioneers shining brand of football this term.

      Entomb are second in Serie An and manager Luicano Spalletti is quick to reinforce his imaginative choices next summer on the off chance that they meet all requirements for the Champions League.

      Silva joined City from Valencia in 2010, and has gone ahead to clear the household trophy board with a Champions League decoration left on his list of things to get.

      Try M88sut for gambling and betting needs!