No matter what competitive community you’re looking at, you’re bound to find a few people who want to get ahead without without the skills to do so, or maybe feel they need an edge on the court.
In sports, this comes in forms like bad sportsmanship and doping. In the world of Counter-Strike, it’s aimbots.
Valve’s anti-cheating software is constantly being updated with the latest cheat options out there, but if a new method is kept quiet enough, it can slip through detection until Valve catches on.
According to a report from Kotaku, this recently happened when a player named Simon Beck was banned by the E-Sports Entertainment Association’s internal tools. Valve worked with the ESEA to update Valve Anti-Cheat and started catching more users using these cheats, including players from teams well known within the community – SF of team Epsilon and KQLY from Titan.
The user first caught cheating, Simon Beck, alleges that over a third of pro players are using hacks, but as Kotaku notes, no other pro players have been caught yet. If they’re using cheats, they haven’t yet been accounted for in VAC.
The users who have been caught have been removed from their teams, and their teams have been banned from the upcoming DreamHack 2014 competition.
The cheat in question was hard to catch because it uses Valve’s own Workshop to sneak in, and the effect can be adjusted to be very subtle. Instead of your cursor twitching all over the screen to take down everyone you see, you just have slightly better aim.
With the fire now lit, it stands to reason that Valve and organizations like the ESEA will be taking extra precautions to ensure that players can’t circumvent the system, but the groups building premium cheats is sure to be watching the effort as well.