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Every game played whether it is sports, cards or any other leisure activity, you will always find someone who likes to break the rules. The esports scene is no different. The risks involved have even graver consequences when professional gaming is a livelihood. Unfortunately, the CSGO community was shocked by Nikhil ‘Forsaken’ Kumawat of OpTic India. He was caught cheating during the recent esports LAN event eXTREMESLAND. Since then, the player has been dismissed from his team and is facing a five-year ban from esports.
The shocking incident happened at the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals in a decider match between Optic India and Vietnam’s Team Revolution. Under the eyes of the esports referees, Nikhil ‘Forsaken’ Kumawat was caught cheating while playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The breaking news of Forsaken’s deceptive actions upset the Indian CSGO community, affecting the integrity of the Counter-strike scene in India.
During the live match, there was a suspicious program loading in the background of Forsaken’s computer. On realising he was caught red-handed, Kumawat immediately closed and deleted the program. At first, Nikhil refused to give access to the admin staff, but when they insisted with authority, he surrendered the controls. At that point, there was a technical timeout, and within seconds the rest of the admin team came rushing to detect the questionable act with the anti-cheat system.
During the CSGO match, Kumawat used an aimbot to help him target the opposing players. This hack was also useful mark opponents through walls and around obstructions.
The eXTREMESLAND IT staff were swift and successful in recovering the deleted file. When the admin tried to reload the program, an error displayed onscreen which was impossible to complete the rerun task. Forsaken’s actions and unwillingness to give up his computer was proof enough that something wrongful was taking place. Due to this, Optic got disqualified while Revolution went through to the next round to face FrostFire team from Malaysia.
This last stunt performed by Forsaken made Optic India dismiss him from the squad. Eventually, the gaming organisation dropped its current lineup since the reputation they had built was ruined.
As the news spread like wildfire, questions arose at other prestigious tournaments where Forsaken had participated. One of the most well-known esports event organisers, ESL have recently confirmed that Nikhil ‘forsaken’ Kumawat had cheated in the CSGO matches during the ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall tournament.
Electronic Sports League grade Forsaken’s swindling as a Level 4 violation in the Esports Integrity Coalition ‘Code of Conduct’. The gravity of the situation called for ESL India to examine further into the 20 players that took part in ESL India Premiership for any other deceptive tricks on the computers used in the matches.
ESL India posted a statement on Twitter saying “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 (ESIC).”
Rumour has it that the past can come back to haunt and this has proved to be true for Nikhil ‘Forsaken’ Kumawat. ESL gathered evidence of footage and programming hacks from the past few years. The documentation showed that the Indian player could hack and cover it up while playing CSGO at ESL India tournament which the squad persuasively won.
On the 24th October, Forsaken came forward to admit his wrongdoings in a statement according to Dexerto.com. Addressed to the esports organisation Optic, his team and the gaming fans all around the world, the 22-year old player got his chance to explain his side of the story with an apology.
“I want to start this by apologising to my teammates, OpTic management and the people who put their trust in me. I feel extremely guilty for stealing away the opportunities from my teammates, each one was extremely talented, and I have jeopardised their chances of being where they deserve.”
He continues to say that his teammates, coach and the esports organisation did not have any idea of him cheating. He also admits to using the aimbot at the boot camp too which he covered up so no one would know.
“None of my teammates had any idea of me using any external programs including my coach and manager. They simply trusted in me, and I am sorry to say I failed them. The hack was not too blatant (even though people think it might be), no one in my team or people standing behind us (coach or manager) had any idea I was using anything. It gave me a slight advantage over my natural aiming, so it was almost negligible to be observed by people around me. I was also very careful to only use it occasionally and in hiding it after games.”
“I did use hacks inside the boot camp but it was impossible for them to know. As I already said it only gave me a slight advantage in terms of accuracy, precision and better registry of bullets so it was not visible to people observing me outside the game. There were also no instances to doubt me but whenever clips were online I was quick to come up with an excuse and took advantage of their trust in me.”
As time passed by with no one knowing his cheat hacking, Forsaken could not help himself but break the rules. Kumawat continues to explain that If he could go back in time, he would erase the very first day of playing CSGO, for now, he has lost everything that relates to competitive gaming.
“If I could go back, I would probably delete the day when I first played counter-strike. Nothing good has happened to me since the day I started playing the game. I thought this game was for me but since last almost one year I have not been loyal to it. I worked hard but I wasn’t loyal. I gave everything away for the game, I always put this game above everything else and today I realize what I have lost. One thing I always put everything above on and I cheated it. I lost everything when putting CS above everything and today I lost CS too. The only thing I never lost is my family and my girlfriend and I hope to never cheat on them.
I have betrayed the trust of people who believed in me.
I have dragged the name of the country in the dirt and I know it’s unforgivable.
There is no one else to blame but me. No one else should have to take the hate and blame for this but me.
I saw the holes in the system and I took advantage of it for my own blind, selfish reasons. And I have nothing but regret. Even after I had served the ESIC ban, I could have started over, but in my stupidity and selfishness I continued to cheat.
So many people have fought for me and stood up for me, and I realize now, how many people I have betrayed and how they are facing the punishment which is meant for me.”
Kumawat expressed his guilt to the whole gaming world and fully accepted the responsibility and the eventual banishment. Later that same day, 24th October, after the statement was released, the Esports Integrity Coalition declared that Nikhil ‘Forsaken’ Kumawat was banned for five years from association with esports.