Esports Intregrity Coalition (ESIC), a non-profit association that aims to put a stop to cheating in esports, has concluded its investigation on former OpTic India player, Nikhil “Forsaken” Kumawat.
In a statement, ESIC announced that it has issued a five-year ban on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitor. This means he won’t be able to compete in any esports-related activity “for or with any ESIC member organisation” for the specified time period.
Earlier this month, it was uncovered that Forsaken had a cheat program entitled “Word.exe” on his PC during a match at the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals. Upon further inspection, it was confirmed that the same program was present on his PC at ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall, too.
The report from ESIC clarifies that no cheats were found on any of Forsaken’s OpTic India teammates, but they were still let go by the organisation nonetheless. The association deems his actions as a “level four offense” and believes a life-time ban would be disproportionate.
Ian Smith, Integrity Commissioner at ESIC said the following in the announcement: “It is always desperately sad when something like this happens in esports, but this case is particularly disappointing as we have previously shown compassion and consideration for Kumawat in our prior dealings with him. Additionally, he has caused great damage to Indian CS:GO and esports and devalued an excellent competition. There is no place in esports for cheats like Kumawat and, at a personal level, I hope we never see him back in CS:GO or any other game again.”
Current members of ESIC include tournament organisers such as ESL, DreamHack, NODWIN Gaming, and UMG.
Esports Insider says: What Forsaken has done for an unclear amount of years – and potentially in hundreds of matches – is a serious deal, especially at a professional level. While some people will undoubtedly be unhappy that the ban isn’t permanent, five years is a substantial amount of time and will most likely stop any chances of Forsaken competing again in the future. The decision sets a good precedent in our eyes.