Nodwin Gaming and ESL India announced that the grand final of the ESL India Premiership Fall Finals will be replayed in the wake of the cheating scandal centered on Optic India’s former member Nikhil "forsaken" Kumawat.
Handing the chance to those who deserve
The grand final will be played between 2ez Gaming and Slaughter Rage Army. Both teams fell short against Optic India at the semifinals and the grand finals of the tournament respectively.
The official announcement came after Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) came up with the penalties for forsaken. The disgruntled player was issued with a five year ban across all ESIC, ESL and Nodwin sanctioned tournaments until October 25, 2023.
According to ESIC, the governing body tried to talk to forsaken “to offer him a reasonable time to consider the evidence and take the opportunity to plead guilty and accept a proposed sanction or plead not guilty and defend himself” but the player did not respond to the body’s queries.
ESL India confirmed last Monday that forsaken also used the now infamous “word.exe” hack during the tournament through the solid state drive (SSD) that was intended to properly set LAN, game and peripheral configurations for the event. This prompted the Indian organizers to investigate the rest of the SSDs used by other participants.
ESL India stressed that the replay will be conducted in close contact with ESL Global to ensure a tighter and higher standards to be practiced.
The replay will be played on Sunday, October 28 between 2ez and Slaughter Rage. The final will be a best of three match with the winner set to replace the now disbanded Optic India as representatives of the country in the ESL Pro League Asia Finals.
Moreover, ESL India also apologized for the incident stating that the ESL India team will turn the lesson into an opportunity for the ESL India Premiership to further align standards to those of the global events.
ESL India product head Aditya “Ad1” Shah also added clarifications regarding the issue and the announcement.
While I am aware that most in the community have called for an entire rematch of the LAN finals, we cannot go ahead and replace OpTic in the LAN finals as we only have irrefutable evidence of him cheating on LAN. While yes, it is very obvious that he has indeed cheated in the online state as well, we unfortunately do not have solid proof.
Lastly, I would again like to apologise on behalf of ESL India. I will never let this happen again as long as I’m around. He added
His whole statement can be read below.