last week we reported that several top Counter Strike Global Offensive players had been banned from the games biggest tournament, Dreamhack Winter 2014, for using an illegal aimbot. As the tournament unfolded over the weekend any hope the organizers might have had of putting controversy behind them and focusing on the games were quickly dashed by the actions of Quarter finalist teams LDLC (FRA) and Fnatic (SWE).
Having split the first two games of their Quarter final match, things were going extremely well for LDLC who had managed to dominate the first round of game 3 on the overpass map. The Map favors the counter terrorist team and so LDLC had gotten off to a 12-3 lead before switching to the terrorists side for the second half. That’s when Fnatic began to mount a furious comeback, which was actually quite exciting to behold. However, in order to affect that comeback they resorted to using what many observers thought was a dirty trick. Fnatic had discovered a place on the map from which they could use a boost (one player standing on the shoulders of another) to get a god’s eye view of some important lanes which the terrorist would use. With this advantage in hand, they were able to snipe LDLC player without them ever knowing where the shot was coming from.
Watch the controversial game 3 Below
The backlash began immediately after the match was done, with live commentators expressing their anger and disapproval. It did appear, however, that the boost was legal. LDLC filed a complaint which after six hours resulted in an announcement that the match would have to be replayed from the second half of game three. However, when Fnatic was informed of the decision they filed their own complaint calling into question team LDLC’s use of a position related glitch which apparently made the shooter invulnerable. In response, tournament organizer Christian Lord made the announcement that the entire game would have to be replayed. The following interview was released to explain the decision:
In the video he explains that neither boost was illegal in itself, but made so because of the glitches resultant from them, a texture transparency from the Fnatic position and the aforementioned invincibility for LDLC.
But the controversy didn’t end there. The reaction from the community was so strong against Fnatic, who many saw as being the real cheaters, the team decided to forfeit the replay of game three in order to save the tournament from continuing under the cloud of public disapproval. They released a statement on their Facebook page.
LDLC went on to win the tournament, but the questions raised by these events are almost philosophical in how they have forced everyone involved to reassess what role glitches are allowed to play in competitive games which are after all made of code and will likely never be totally free of them. For example, would anything have been made of Fnatics use of the overpass boost if they had used it sparingly and not totally relied on it to come back from the brink?