Velocity eSports // Crime and Punishment: Cheating in eSports
Crime and Punishment: Cheating in eSports
by HollowedKnight –
The Frost Incident
During the Season 2 World Championships there was a lot of drama concerning an Incident that took place between Azubu Frost and TSM. This was of course the famous “screen” incident: where a member of Azubu Frost was accused of cheating by looking at the Mini-map behind them. After TSM lost their match against Azubu Frost, these implications led to a Reddit wide witch hunt. Thankfully, a few choice internet detectives out there were able to come up with these photos of Frost’s Team Captain and ADC in action.
Luckily, not only did TSM fans and eSports enthusiasts catch Woong in the act of cheating, they compiled enough evidence for Riot to further investigate the situation. Riot’s official announcement came out shortly thereafter and concluded that based on the evidence that not only did Woong’s actions affect the outcome of the game, and was therefore cheating, but that Frost was going to be fined 30,000 dollars. For many of us, 30,000 dollars didn’t seem like nearly enough as Frost went on to win a 2nd place prize of 250,000 dollars and was still allowed to compete at the World Finals. If this was any other sport and the players were caught cheating they would not only be fined but at the very least disqualified. To this day it’s still heavily debated over whether or not the situation was handled in the best possible way, but in Riot’s defense it was the first time they had to deal with something like this and especially an incident of this magnitude. On the other hand, it appears that Riot’s consequences may not have been harsh enough; as a little less than a month ago Woong was caught cheating again. Luckily, this time Woong’s team was actually disqualified.
The Hashinshin Incident
A week ago, Hashinshin was not only a Challenger level player but he was also one of the most popular article writers at Reign of Gaming. This all changed when Hashinshin decided to exploit a bug in a Challenger tier ranked match because he was on tilt.
In stark contrast to Riot’s treatment of Woong, Reign Of Gaming displayed a zero tolerance policy for cheating in the eSports community and immediately terminated Hashinshin for his actions. Although this may seem harsh to some, as eSports strives for legitimacy it cannot be taken seriously if those in charge of the infrastructure do not take the sport itself seriously. If any other semi-pro or professional player or sports writer for that matter were to shed a negative light on their team or company: this would be expected of them. Similarly, the moment that Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots was associated with possibility of being guilty of murder: he was immediately terminated to keep the franchise from being associated with him or his actions. Not to say that Hashinshin was guilty of murder, but that the appropriate thing for sports franchises to do and eSports franchises/companies seeking legitimacy is to distance themselves from those that would seek to damage eSports or it’s integrity. To their credit, Reign Of Gaming made the right move in terminating Hashinshin for the sake of their brand and for the sake eSports.
What is the solution?
If eSports is going to be further legitimized than the consequences for cheating are going to have to be a lot harsher: the next person or people that cheat on the scale that Woong did cannot simply be slapped on the hand and allowed to continue playing, but they must be banned either for a prolonged period of time or indefinitely. Everyone involved in eSports needs to know that cheating cannot be tolerated because it calls into question the integrity of the sport, and those who do to some degree must be made an example of. Riot has already begun to do this to some degree with the banning of IWillDominate and should definitely be implementing similar punishments if not more severe ones for those who’re caught cheating at the highest level. ESports as a whole cannot allow another Frost incident to happen at this year’s World Championships, or maybe ever again, as it’s finding it’s place in the pool of legitimacy. After just being recognized by the government as a professional sport, League of Legends is on the up and up and if they find themselves faced with another Frost situation: they should take a page out of Reign Of Gaming’s playbook.
What do you think?
Lastly, what do you think? Do you think Riot handled the Frost incident poorly or do you think it was a just decision? Do you think that Reign Of Gaming’s actions were too harsh or do you think they handled things well? Let me know what you think in the comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.