First Alleged Cheating Incident Occurred At A Major PUBG Competition

PUBG cheating incident

The first PUBG cheating incident might have occurred during the debut of the Legends Arena Pro League which was supposed to kick-off as one of the major PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS competitions. But after the second match of the first matchday, most participants knew only one topic: A certain player 1UPeSport fielded is suspected to have used unallowed assistance software to improve his gameplay. As a result, the tournament organizers decided to abort the matchday.

Shortly after the broadcast ended, Legends Arena issued a first statement explaining that 1UPeSport has been temporarily disqualified from the competition and the first matchday will be replayed. A second statement will follow after further investigation of the case.

We would quickly like to inform you about the the issues which occured in our second game of gameday one.

We have received multiple requests of reviewing the organization in prior tournaments, but always stated that we purely rely on the anti-cheat and report measures of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Today we had the issue arising that a new team who played the qualifiers managed to qualify for Pro League. We want to state that until now, there is no accuse of using illegal software or cheating software.

However, we would like to address that we want to offer a fair-play tournament for everyone. This is why we have decided to temporarily remove 1UP esports from the Pro League and review their case. Until we have completely finished the review, we ask for your patience.

In it’s current state of the game it is really hard for us to measure potential issues with illegal software. We have enough data from previous tournaments in which we are able to review the case.

The gameday #1 will be completely replayed next weekend.

Thanks for being part of the Legends Arena!

The German organization 1UPeSport has already deleted their team account on the tournament page. The identities of at least three of the players 1UPeSport fielded are unclear since all of them used fresh Steam accounts and the team is not listed on the team’s website. However, the Steam account associated with the player alias “nmlssx” has formerly been used under the alias of 1UPeSport’s CEO Kay-Zoel “kaypi” Runné. Mr. Runné could not be reached for a statement.

Here is one of the clips that led to the controversy.

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational

During his recent AMA on Reddit, ESL official Michal “mbCARMAC” Blicharz confirmed that there will be anti-cheat measures in place to guarantee the competitive integrity of the main event. Not long ago, at the $350,000 USD PUBG Gamescom Invitational, no such measures were in place. Participants could bring their own unchecked hardware or plug USB sticks into the PCs.

But what about the two only qualifiers, each featuring 320 four-man squads? That makes 2,560 fairly random players competing in an online qualifier for a spot in a $200,000 USD tournament. Flights and hotels for the qualified teams will be provided by ESL – there is nothing to lose.

The current situation puts tournament organizers in a tough spot since there is almost no way for them to gain evidence whether or not a player is using unallowed assistance software. The integrated anti-cheat tool BattlEye is, to put it mildly, struggling to keep up. There is at least one publicly available script that removes recoil which is on the market for almost half a year now, yet undetected. Since there is no demo tool out yet to record the gameplay, the only thing organizers of online competitions could do is require a screen capture from every player. Another option would be an additional third-party anti-cheat client like the ESL Anticheat (ESL Wire) to monitor background processes and the peripheral’s input.

It is unclear if those measures will be in place in time for the IEM Oakland qualifiers. If not, there will be no way that the competitive integrity of the online qualifier can be guaranteed.

Disclaimer: There is no hard evidence that one of the players 1UPeSport fielded did cheat in the respective match. The presumption of innocence applies.

Alexander Hugo
Alexander studied Media and Communication Management in Berlin and London with additional two years of legal studies in Osnabrück, Germany. The Shotcaller is his second esports related project after founding PENTA Sports in 2014.