Esports in India is picking up the pace and is getting all the attention it deserves. In part, this is also because of the rise in popularity of gaming in general with games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or the most recent, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. And so, it was a joyous occasion earlier this year when global eSports giant OpTic Gaming announced that they would have an Indian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team. However, the moment was short lived as the Indian team has now been disqualified.
The CS: GO eSports team from OpTic India has been disqualified from eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia finals following the use of a suspicious program in the elimination round by Nikhil 'forsaken' Kumawat. The OpTic India team was playing against Vietnam's Revolution when the B5 anti-cheat platform flagged an unauthorized program running in the background on Kumawat's system.
Initially, on being asked by the head admin of eXTREMESLAND, Kumawat refused the admin to access his gaming rig. The admin then asked Kumawat to hold down alt-tab which revealed an unknown program running in the background.
Here, have a look as the admin is investigating the flagged activity.
While Kumawat was able to delete the program from his system before the admin could stop him, after an intensive investigation, the team was able to retrieve it. However, the program did not run following the recovery leading the investigators to believe that the PC in question had been loaded with hacks earlier as well. The observations made by the admins and the red flag from the anti-cheat platform were deemed substantial for the organizers to call for disqualification.
As a result, the Vietnamese team, Revolution was awarded a free pass to the next game, COD: Black Ops 3 where they will be going up against FrostFire from Malaysia.
As for Kumawat, this is not the first time that he has been caught cheating in a gaming tournament. Previously, his Steam account was banned for using hacks and the Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC) ban was imposed on his account. He was also called out by other eSports players for the same.
While OpTic India has reiterated its stand on cheating, this is really a sad moment for gaming in India. A market where video games are expected to exceed the 180 million mark this year, such events bring down the integrity of the players at large and also paints the community in a bad light. Having said that, OpTic India is not budging and has terminated Kumawat's contract.
OpTic was founded in 2006. It's Indian CS: GO team was first announced in June as part of holding company Infinite eSports and Entertainment's attempt to expand the OpTic brand into international markets. OpTic Brasil, OpTic Mexico and OpTic Southeast Asia were also a part of this initiative. The organization has eSports teams for popular games such as Call of Duty, Gears of War, Overwatch and the infamous battle royale game PUBG.