Critical Ops tournament organisers announce hacker database

Screenshot from Critical Ops

Valiance and Mobile E-sports, tournament organisers for mobile games, announced measures to streamline their anti-cheating measures and punishments for events for mobile FPS title Critical Ops

Most notably, they are working on a database for fellow tournament organisers to help keep track of known hackers using third-party apps to cheat. Other organisations are likely to follow with their own announcements. 

The organisers described the punishments in their posts: a six-month ban will be issued to the player(s) using tools to cheat. Two month bans will be given to fellow players on the team. In addition, instead of following their usual protocol of announcing hack-related bans on their blog, they plan on informing such players directly and quietly.

Decisions will be reviewed in conjunction with C-OPS developer Critical Force.

According to the post on Valiance’s official site: 

“Every individual that finds himself in our database was approached by tournament representatives at one point and was informed on what led to this. We decided that we will not make separate statements every time player ends up in the cheater database. Community members can rely on us and our decisions. Keep in mind that ban does not necessarily mean a player cheated. Some of these guys were not doing anything while their teammates cheated. Some of them showed us playstyle that was highly improbable to happen without additional help so we were forced to act upon what happened.” 

Hackers are fairly common in the FPS community regardless of platform and are a source of controversy and outrage. Typically, this involves “aimbots,” meaning that the computer is able to track the positions of their opponents and aim to shoot flawlessly. Blizzard, developers of Overwatch, regularly bans such players in waves. They tout technology that can tell the difference between such cheaters versus players that happen to be good at aiming.

Despite such issues, “databases” for cheaters are rarely publicly announced for FPS game and esports circuits. It’s also very rare for developers to be directly involved with the banning process for these players.

The organisers also solidified guidelines for punishments involving missing game results screencaps. Such teams will be handed a loss, disqualified, and banned from Valiance tournaments for a month. It’s likely a move to ensure that teams are properly and fairly reporting results, plus keeping up with tournament standards and deadlines. 

All of the standards go into effect May 1. 

Esports Insider says: This is a unique and interesting step for C-OPS—and the general FPS scene. Hopefully, other tournament organisers and organisations will keep an eye on this effort and perhaps adopt such a method to ensure fairness throughout more esports. Also, it speaks a lot to the rising popularity of C-OPS itself, plus the prominence of the game within the mobile esports scene as a whole.