Nikhil “Forsaken” Kumawat, best known as a now-former member of OpTic India‘s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, has found himself as the latest player to be at the center of a cheating scandal.
On October 19th, Forsaken made headlines after it became apparent that he had been caught cheating at the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals. The roster was promptly removed the tournament, and not long after, they were no longer part of the popular organisation too.
— OpTic India (@OpTicIndia) October 19, 2018
The most recent development in the whole situation is the involvement of the Esports Integrity Coalition, perhaps better known as ESIC. The non-profit association was built to aid in putting a stop to unfair match manipulation and cheating within the esports industry. It is currently conducting an independent investigation into the activity.
Prior to the eXTREMESLAND event in Shanghai, China, OpTic India took part in the ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall tournament – going as far as to actually win the event in its entirety. Perhaps surprising to a particularly small group of people, Forsaken’s PC was found to contain the same cheat program there also. All 20 players that competed there are currently under investigation.
Here’s part of what was said in a statement by ESL India: “On immediate inspection, we have discovered the same cheat program that was used by Forsaken in Shanghai on the SSD he used at the ESL India Premiership Fall Finale and have shared this evidence with the Esports Integrity Coalition.”
— 辛味。 (@liuxinwei0102) October 19, 2018
The whole fiasco surrounding Forsaken and his cheating ways runs deeper than these two instances. In August 2017, it was confirmed that Forsaken once owned an account that had a VAC ban. It was traced back to him and, after ESIC was brought in to investigate, he was given a two-year ban – though this was later reduced to six months. There has been countless amounts of speculation surrounding the validity in Forsaken’s gameplay before and after the VAC ban discovery, too.
There’s currently no word on the punishment that Forsaken will receive, besides currently being the least attractive signing for a team; nor has OpTic India’s first-place finish at ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall been revoked at the time of writing.
Esports Insider says: While at first it seems harsh for Forsaken’s teammates to get the boot from OpTic India too, it does imply that they’re not necessarily entirely innocent themselves – whether that’s knowing he was cheating or something even worse. While the results of the investigation haven’t been decided or made public, there must be a legitimate concern for more of this type of cheating from other players. Hopefully this sets a serious example for players in all positions – especially professionals – that there is no place for cheating in esports.