Sadly, cheating in esports and gaming is probably never going to be completely eradicated. There will always be some frustrated player who feels that they deserve to have an unfair advantage over their opponents.
The specific method of cheating can take many forms. These include the use of hacks, aimbots, and other software tools that manipulate the game in ways that the rules do not allow.
One of the most common forms of cheating in esports is the use of hacks. These are programs that allow players to modify the game in various ways. Ultimately, hacks can give players an unfair advantage by allowing them to see through walls, aim more accurately, or move faster than other players.
Furthermore, some hacks even allow players to see the positions of their opponents in real-time. The result is that opponents cannot surprise or ambush the hacker.
Aimbots are another common form of cheating in esports. Essentially, these are programs that automatically aim and shoot at enemies for the player.
By removing the natural tendency of humans to make errors, aimbots make it easy to rack up kills and dominate the competition.
Fortunately, while aimbots can be very effective at helping players win, they are also very easy to detect.
Scripts & Macros
Cheating can also take more subtle forms, such as the use of scripts or macros to automate certain actions in the game.
Basically, these scripts can allow players to perform certain actions faster or more accurately than they could with manual input, giving them an advantage over their opponents.
For example, one of the key mechanics of Fortnite, is the ability to build and edit structures. By using scripts or macros, cheaters can program these functions to perform at very high speeds.
Undoubtedly, these speed boosts provide massive advantages to the cheater in the middle of a build fight.
Notable Examples of Cheating in Esports
There have been several notable cases of cheating in esports over the years. Here are a few examples:
- “netcodeGuides” – In 2010, a team of professional Counter-Strike players known as “netcodeGuides” used an aimbot during a tournament. The team was disqualified from the tournament and banned from future competitions.
- “ESG” – In 2016, a professional Overwatch player known as “ESG” used an aimbot during a tournament. The tournament organizers banned the player and disqualified his team from the competition.
- “Manipulation” – In 2019, a professional player known as “Manipulation” was caught using scripts and macros during a League of Legends tournament. The player was banned from competition and his team was disqualified from the tournament.
- “Pyrion Flax” – In 2020, a popular streamer and professional Dota 2 player known as “Pyrion Flax” was caught using hacks during a tournament. The player was banned from competition and his team was disqualified from the tournament.
- “Forsaken” – This was perhaps one of the most infamous cheating incidents in the history of CS:GO. Forsaken, who at the time was playing for Optic India, cheated at the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals. However, the tournament officials were quite astute and soon realized something was wrong. As they approached, Forsaken panicked and tried to delete the hack. In a funny post-mortem, the tournament organizers realized that he had saved the hacks in a file called “Word.exe.”
Problems Created by Cheaters
The use of cheats and hacks in esports is a major problem, as it undermines the integrity of the competition and ruins the experience for honest players. In addition to being unethical, cheating is also illegal in many cases.
Therefore, players who are caught using illegal hacks or cheats can face severe consequences. These consequences include getting banned from tournaments or having the game publisher ban the cheater from the game entirely.
Solutions to Cheating in Esports
Combatting cheating in gaming is an ongoing battle that involves a variety of strategies and tactics including:
- Implementing strict rules and regulations: Many esports organizations have implemented strict rules and regulations that prohibit the use of cheats and hacks. These rules may include penalties for players who are caught using cheats, such as bans from tournaments and online platforms.
- Using anti-cheat software: Anti-cheat software monitors players’ activity and detects any suspicious behavior, such as the use of hacks or cheats. This can be an effective way to combat cheating in esports, as it allows organizations to quickly detect and punish players who are using illegal methods to gain an unfair advantage.
- Promoting education and awareness: By teaching players about the risks and consequences of cheating, and by promoting the values of honesty and fair play, gaming organizations and communities can help discourage players from using cheats and hacks in the first place.
- Investing in technology: Some gaming organizations are investing in advanced technologies, such as machine learning algorithms, to help detect and prevent cheating. These technologies can analyze players’ behavior and identify patterns that may indicate the use of cheats or hacks.
- Partnering with third-party companies: Some gaming organizations have partnered with third-party companies that specialize in detecting and preventing cheating. These companies can provide additional resources and expertise to help combat cheating in esports.
Legislation by Local or National Governments
In South Korea, the government takes the issue of esports cheating very seriously and has taken steps to crack down on the problem. South Korean laws stipulate that violators may face up to $43,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.
For example, in 2018 a 28-year-old man in South Korea was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of probation for illicit activity related to the hit online multiplayer game.
The particularly steep sentence was a result of both the ongoing nature of the activity and the fact that the individual generated 200 million Korean won (almost $180,000 USD) from Overwatch-related hacks.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate cheating in esports, efforts to curb it are ongoing. The esports community is continuing to create a fair and enjoyable gaming environment for everyone. By promoting honest and fair play, esports can continue to thrive as a competitive and exciting form of entertainment.
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Related: Gamelevate Articles About Reducing Toxicity, Smurfing, Hacking, and Cheating in Gaming
You didn’t mention one of the most effective anti-cheat solutions: legislation. South Korea made cheating punishable by law and it has worked wonders in drastically reducing cheating.
Thanks for the info and added that to the list of solutions. It seems that South Korea’s legislation is mainly targeted toward the distributors of cheats and hacks.
It will be interesting to see if other countries eventually follow suit. It would surely help to clean up this pervasive problem in esports and gaming.
There’s nothing in this article about the real “cheating” problems, and that kind of baffles me. At least as far as eSports goes anyways. All of those cheaters got caught. It’s fairly difficult to get away with scrips or hacks at an event. It bothers me that bobody seems to be talking about the fact every other pro is on some kind of stimulant. Adderall, Ritalin, or hard drugs are all used. Its essentially impossible to moderate at online events, and ignore at lan events, as far as I’m aware.
Yes, the use of stimulants seems to be pretty rampant in competitive esports. Arguably, it’s not as bad for opposing players as wall hacks and aimbots. But it certainly is a method of gaining an advantage that is virtually undetectable.
Perhaps LAN Tournament organizers could do random drug tests. Not sure if they are ready to open up that can of worms – but maybe someday with better technology.