Two Thousand Eighteen was a year that was enveloped in a barrage of controversies and a couple of them stemmed right here in the Asian region. Some can be termed as gimmicks while others were outright against the established rules and regulations associated with an event or the conduct of a sportsperson.
These issues observed a wide spectrum of reactions from community members, showcasing the dedication and passion that enthusiasts have towards CS:GO. While some disputes were legit and came to a conclusion with the right outcome, others were just allegations and reached no outcome, with the community dividing itself and backing either side of the altercation.
The community plays an important role in deciding the flow of any growing esport title and they have done us all proud by making the CS:GO fraternity a better place by facing the following curve balls.
Hands down the standout controversy of 2018 that had a massive impact on the Indian community while creating ripples across the world.
Team: OpTic India.
Event: ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2018.
Confidence with which the hack was being used: Over 9000!!!
Forsaken was lucky enough not to have been caught on the first day of the ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2018 Main Event. But we all know that Karma is a bitch who came knocking on the second map against Team Revolution when forsaken's PC was inspected by an admin, who came across a suspicious file titled ‘word.exe’, which was revealed to be an illegal third-party software. As a result, OpTic India was disqualified from the event.
Reactions – Local & Global
The image of the entire Indian CS:GO fraternity was tarnished, a growing community went into a state of shock and panic believing this to be the final chapter for esports in India. Soon, overwhelmed by a feeling of rage as they took to the internet to pour it all out, making sure they were heard loud and clear.
What was very obvious, turned into reality as OpTic India disbanded the roster and closed up all their operations within the country as things continued to turn ugly.
This was followed by a lot of players speaking up and pointing out to multiple occasions in the past when his gameplay was very suspicious. Many even accused the entire OpTic India team of being involved in the scandal claiming that they knew perfectly well what had been going on this whole time. The players had to speak up and defend themselves, as many from the community were tearing through the barrier of free voice towards free will.
The commotion broke out to a global audience resulting in more backlash towards the anti-cheat adopted by the Indian tournaments while the general public shifted their focus towards SoStronk, who received their fare share of backlash as well.
After the incident, Forsaken disappeared into oblivion but we were lucky enough to get in-touch with him and receive an attempted apology, which was dismissed without much regard.
The Asia Pro League quickly announced a ban on Forsaken from their platform as well, followed by ESL India finding the use of the same cheat program on Forsaken’s drive while conducting a thorough internal investigation.
Forwarding all the evidence to ESIC, they took time to conduct a further search from their side and came to a decision to ban Forsaken from all esports related activity for or with any ESIC member organization for a total of 5 years.
The incident was an eye-opener for the event organizers within India, as ESL India has stepped up the way security related to the game is managed. While SoStronk, the most popular third-party CS:GO platform within the country has also started to refine their anti-cheat client - Odin.
The following clip was a small memento from other teams present at ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2018, extending a few words of encouragement to the Indian CS:GO community.
Astralis were down 5-7 against MIBR at the ECS Season 6 – Finals. During the 13th round, Xyp9x found himself in a 1v1 clutch situation against Coldzera and this is how the round came to an end.
Xyp9x popularly known as the ‘Clutch Master’ was able to pick Coldzera through the smoke, winning the round for Astralis. Everyone was taken aback with the way Xyp9x was able to take Coldzera down, even the commentators were surprised by the accurate crosshair placement, which seemed to be a bit too precise even for Xyp9x’s standard.
Nikola ‘Niko’ Kovac from FaZe was the one who pointed a finger towards Xyp9x by tweeting the following question.
How the hell did Xyp9x see him there through the smoke?— NiKo (@fazeniko) November 22, 2018
This was followed by another tweet that indirectly accused Astralis of using special Nvidia or Monitor settings that gives them an unfair advantage to sight opponents through a smoke.
Gla1ve and Xyp9x were quick to react to these accusations, defending themselves by dismissing the false accusations and stating that they purely depend on the in-game radar and their game sense. Xyp9x also said that he had spotted coldzera through the smoke, bringing everyone's attention towards a known spectator smoke bug that has plagued the CS client for a long time.
The accusation was dismissed and everything settled down once Gabriel ‘Fallen’ Toledo and Janko Paunovic, MIBR’s coach showed their support in favour of Astralis, stating that they have no doubt that Astralis play a fair game.
This incident surely came to an end peacefully but it was Taco’s tweet, the conviction with which it was written that points towards the question; Are there professional players that know about such a setting? And if so, do they implement it during LAN events?
ESL made a bold move by signing a broadcasting rights deal with Facebook on 18th January 2018 which was not received well by the global CS:GO audience, not only because they hated the platform but cause the platform was not able to deliver up to their expectations.
These were some of the reasons why the masses were unhappy with the platform:
Late announcement of the broadcast.
Constantly laggy stream.
Quality issues with the stream.
Lack of broadcast in multiple languages. (English & Portuguese were the only available languages)
This led to a huge drop in ESL's viewership along with a massive backlash from the community members. And this problem will likely continue through 2019 as well until and unless ESL finds a way to stream their tournaments elsewhere OR Facebook makes drastic changes to the way it serves live esports content to fans.
This extensive controversy rocked the Chinese CS:GO community pretty hard in early 2018. The whole incident revolved around the two Chinese teams, Fierce Tigers and VG.Flash.
It all started on 19th May with a VAC ban being handed to Kun ‘Leo’ Hou by Perfect World in co-operation with Valve’s anti-cheat team days after his team qualified for the CS:GO Asia Championship.
Leo was handed a permanent ban from all Valve and Perfect World event after being caught using illegal software during the qualifier for CS:GO Asia Championship. This led to Fierce Tigers being disqualified from the event, as the third-placed team Tyloo replaced them.
In the meantime, the Fierce Tiger team had managed to qualify for the FACEIT Major - Asia Minor. But this was surrounded by another controversy involving both the above-mentioned teams.
The China Qualifier which led to the Asia Minor was being hosted online on FACEIT. The match which was scheduled to start at 2 PM (China Local Time) was delayed by about two hours because VG.Flash faced an unexpected network issue, which according to them was deliberately done by an unknown person.
Though Fierce Tiger was declared as the winner, FACEIT announced a rematch between the two teams, after VG.Flash provided them with solid proof of someone physically disrupting their network.
Fierce Tiger who were strongly against this decision was however disqualified from the qualifier after FACEIT was successful in tracking down a link between their new fifth player ‘tbgirl’ and the earlier VAC banned player ‘Leo’.
After a long chaotic week, everything settled down peacefully with VG.Flash qualifying for the Asia Minor after playing the finals against ROAR while the next month witnessed a disbanding of the Fierce Tiger line-up, who had faced disqualification from two events within the same week.
These were some controversies that the CS:GO community witnessed in 2018.
Feel free to share your views about them or comment below if there are other such controversies that could have been a part of the article. You can reach out to me on twitter as well @Catslayer_999.