One of Counter-Strike's best players banned for cheating
One of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players has been caught cheating.
Hovik “Kqly” Tovmassian’s Steam profile shows that the player has received a ban via the Valve Anti-Cheat service as of this morning.
Tovmassian may be the biggest name to be banned for cheating in Global Offensive’s relatively short history. The French sniper joined Titan during a flurry of roster activity in the French Counter-Strike scene. Titan has experienced a resurgence since the addition of Tovmassian, Dan “Apex” Madesclaire, and Mathieu “Maniac” Quiquerez.
The team’s immediate future is now in question.
Titan is already scheduled to participate at DreamHack Winter, which begans just one week from today. The tournament will equal the biggest of the year in Counter-Strike, with a $250,000 prize pool being offered.
In partnership with Valve, the Electronic Sports League took a strong stance against players who had been caught by VAC, suspending them from participation at ESL One events. Whether DreamHack will follow suit remains to be seen.
Titan has yet to react to the news. Earlier this week, German player Simon “smn” Beck was released immediately from his squad, Team Alternate, after being caught by ESEA’s anti-cheat service.
Update 3:00pm ET, Nov. 20: Titan took to its official Facebook page to announce that Tovmassian had been temporarily suspended from the team pending further investigation of the ban and the circumstances surrounding it.
Titan appeared to come to Tovmassian's defense in the post, noting that he was banned "while using a recently formatted PC."
The esports organization noted that it has contacted Valve and is waiting to hear back. No updates have yet been given regarding the team's participation at next week's DreamHack Winter event.