Cheating is one of the most annoying things that you encounter as an esports enthusiast. It’s also one of the painful realities that you need to accept and then ignore. And it can be soul crushing at first. The thought that the game might be rigged can kill your motivation to master it very quickly. Nobody likes the idea that their hard earned esports knowledge can simply be nullified by CSGO hacks. And that someone can augment their ability to play the game with a piece of software that’s relatively cheap.
My Personal Experience With Cheaters & CSGO Hacks
CSGO hacks are one of the most difficult to detect, simply because they allow for enough flexibility to make them very difficult to see if you’re using them intelligently. And the worst part is that you don’t play CSGO solo or in a 1v1 type of game. You’re playing 5 vs. 5 so assuming you’re not cheating yourself, you have 5 potential cheaters in the opposite team and 4 in your own. Of course, I bet you aren’t going to worry about the last 4, but what about the first 5?
I remember that in 2010, I was playing a lot of StarCraft 2 and had started to become pretty good at it after a few thousand games. But then I played a team vs. team match and the people in my team started to tell me where the enemy is and what they’re doing. And I was like, wait, how do you know that? Of course, they politely explained to me the notion of maphacking and the ease with which you can achieve this trick.
Needless to say, that experience made me question a lot of my unusual losses and all of my past experience as a StarCraft 2 player. And very soon afterwards, I started to lose the motivation to master the game. Whenever I played, the thought that my opponent might be cheating was devastating.
I managed to overcome this fear or gaming pessimism later on, but by then I had already started playing CSGO and Dota 2. In the second of these games I had no problem whatsoever, as serious cheaters are a rarity. But in CSGO I encountered quite a few. In later years Valve have improved their methods dramatically, turning VAC into a much more reliable tool. Cheating still happens of course, but now it takes a certain amount of skill and practice to cheat properly, so fewer people are tempted by the prospect of doing it.
The Psychology Of Cheating
CSGO hackers, like all the other hackers, have this desire to win at any cost, regardless of what means they need to use to achieve victory. They don’t feel bad for cheating, they feel incredibly smart. After all, if they managed to trick everyone including Valve’s Anti-Cheat system, aren’t they smarter than everyone else?
This pathology is hard to understand from the outside, but for hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people who cheat in esports (not just CSGO), being a hack or, in particular, a CSGO hack, is a badge of honor. It’s like being part of a secret guild in a game like Skyrim. Who cares about the rules anyway?
It’s hard to tell what goes on in these people’s lives and how they can live with themselves but apparently, lying to yourself is a common thing not just in esports, but life as well. So you might argue that what you see in esports is a mere reflection of what you see in society as a whole.
In esports, people hate cheaters the same way a lot of citizens hate their politicians. And they take a lot of pleasure in finding about a CSGO hacker being caught. Other cheaters are good too, but if you’re a CSGO player then CSGO hacks are the kind of thing that give you the greatest satisfaction when they’re caught.
Cheating At LANs
We all have a bottle of champagne in the fridge, ready to be opened at any time, waiting for the news of some CSGO hack being caught or preferably, a large number of them as a result of a VAC upgrade. And when it happens at a professional tournament, that’s what really gives people a feeling of “off with their head!”. Of course, it’s rare to find someone that stupid that they are willing to cheat at a LAN event.
CSGO hacks are rare among professionals because at LAN events, special measures are taken to ensure that nobody can cheat. And on top of that, the whole community is watching. All the experts, analysts and pundits. And since they understand the game, they know what’s possible, what’s not possible and what looks suspicious.
When you cheat online and nobody is watching, you often get away with it if you don’t get reported and later caught by an observer. But in front of everyone else? That’s a different story. And you’d think: “well, nobody would do that!”. Well, some people, when they open the dictionary and check the meaning of the word stupid, immediately ask themselves: “why isn’t my picture here as a perfect example of what this word means?” When they hear about someone doing something completely idiotic, they instantly search for a friend to hold their beer.
Examples Of CSGO Hackers Who Got Caught
We haven’t had an abundance of CSGO hacks in the last few years. You might think the rest got away with it but it’s unlikely. I think that at the highest level of CSGO, the salaries are simply to good to risk it.
Two cases of CSGO hacks that got caught were the following:
This is a Latvian player who got banned for cheating and then went on to show people how it’s done. A kind of “Catch me if you can” character if you’ve seen the film. His method was to use a piece of hardware. Which is interesting to say the least. People aren’t used to those kinds of methods so I bet a lot was learned by the community and by the VAC experts after this event occurred.
When asked for how long he had been cheating in an AMA, ra1f said:
“I have been using it for a few months on ESEA. Never used it on FACEIT as I uninstalled everything related to it and reformatted some stuff and then I put it in. Brage has been cheating for a little bit longer than me, and Grande even longer but he only had whitelist access.”
This is an even more recent case of a CSGO hack being caught. The player was a member of OpTic India and got caught at a LAN event after refusing a check from the referee. He got a 5-year ban and will likely abandon the game entirely as a result of this.
Later he apologized but of course, it doesn’t make much difference. I mean, even Lance Armstrong deserves more sympathy. At least he was a cheater among cheaters and has actually helped some people along the way. This guy had no reason to do it apart from being a total douche bag.