A lookback at CS:GO’s biggest scandals

The cheating scandal involving Nikhil "forsaken" Kumawat shocked the entirety of the esports community. Deliberately using a third party program to hack in a LAN, the scandal will be marked as one of the biggest issues to date in the game’s history.

But this is not the first time that CS players and organizations were involved in such scandals. With this, let us take a look back at some of the biggest issues that hounded the professional CS:GO scene.

The s1mple ban

Natus Vincere CS:GO is now synonymous to Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev, but years before that, the celebrated Ukrainian star was also involved on a cheating incident.

He was caught cheating by ESL way back 2013 leading to bans across all ESL tournaments. The punishment was severed after he participated at the open qualifiers of the ESL Katowice 2014 Major during the ban period. The incident added two more years to his ban along with the disqualification of his team.

He continued to play under HellRaisers and FlipSid3 Tactics during the ban periods in other tournaments. When his ban expired, he returned to the top of the professional scene where he played for Team Liquid and eventually for Navi.

s1mple pulled off a double no-scope during a match against Fnatic at ESL One Cologne 2016.

The CS:GO community is still debating over s1mple’s situation. But other than that, he left monumental marks in CS:GO’s rich history including his signature flying AWP that was turned into a graffiti in Cache.

The North American match fixing scandal

iBUYPOWER will always be remembered to be part of the first prominent match fixing scandal in CS:GO. In August 2014, iBP lost to NetcodeGuides.com at the CEVO Professional League despite being the heavy favorites.

Veteran esports analyst and journalist Richard Lewis published a report suggesting members of iBP had bet against themselves and then deliberately lost the match. It was backed up after proofs emerged that there were unusually high bets by Duc “cud” Pham and Derek "dboorN" Boorn, who were connected to members of the iBP team back then.

Richard Lewis Reflects on His Role in the iBUYPOWER Ruling (fantastic video) from GlobalOffensive

This prompted Valve to “indefinitely ban” four of the iBP players involved along with other parties involved in the match fixing. The only player left of the team was Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham, who eventually became a CS:GO Major Champion three years after under the Cloud9 banner.

The indefinite ban caused uncertainty within the CS:GO community – which included Lewis himself after he condemned Valve through his open letter to Valve on Daily Dot.

Further developments then resulted to ESL and DreamHack to act upon indefinite bans. In 2017, ESL lifted the bans on the ex-iBP players followed by DreamHack lifting all "indefinite lifetime bans" issued prior to February 2015 thus giving a chance to the iBP players.

The fall of Titan

Long time esport fans should be familiar with Team Titan, one of the biggest organizations back then. Titan then had formidable rosters in Dota 2, Quake, Smite and CSGO. However in 2016 the organization was forced to cease operations due to reasons that began when one of their players Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian was VAC banned just days before the DreamHack Winter 2014 began.

KQLY admitted the use of a third party program resulting to the ban. Despite issuing an apology, bad press caused by the scandal hounded Titan until sponsors and partners had no choice but to back out of their deals with the organization. This broke Titan’s structure and finances, eventually leading to the shutdown of the once formidable organization.

MN | Neil Martinez

MN | Neil Martinez

A former editor and writer for a university publication, Neil has incorporated esports to what he does best. He is Mogul’s CS go-to guy and TNC Pro Team’s graphic artist and social media man.

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