Fnatic court controversy with bizarre DreamHack victory

Update 8:55pm CT, Nov

Update 8:55pm CT, Nov. 28: DreamHack officials have made their final decision. The third game of the series between Fnatic and LDLC will be replayed in its entirety.

Fnatic are at the center of another big controversy.

The world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team came under suspicion in recent weeks after numerous professional Counter-Strike players had been caught cheating. The main target of the scrutiny was team member Robin “Flusha” Ronnquist, who was the subject of numerous YouTube clips that showed him performing seemingly inexplicable plays.

Now the team is at the center of an entirely different controversy at DreamHack Winter.

Fnatic were on the ropes in the $250,000 tournament against French team LDLC, whom Fnatic had previously bested in live events leading up to DreamHack. After splitting the first two maps of the best-of-three series, LDLC took a dominant 12-3 round lead into the second half of the decisive third map, de_overpass.

But Fnatic unveiled a new tactic in the second half that LDLC were unprepared for.

Fnatic sniper Olof “olofm” Kajbjer was boosted up by multiple teammates to a seemingly inaccessible vantage point which gave him a clear view of much of the map. This allowed Kajbjer to snipe away at LDLC players who had no idea where they were being shot from.


What at first seemed like an inventive twist on defending the map soon became laughable, as Fnatic ran back the score largely on the strength of the boosted position. The Swedes were able to keep track of the movements of their French opponents in most rounds, picking a number of them off in others to repeatedly tip the odds in Fnatic’s favor.

Fnatic eventually won 16-13. And as soon as the final match was over, fans and commentators alike began to wonder about the legality of the move.

DreamHack tournament rules specifically outlaw “pixel walking,” a tactic through which a player uses pixels not meant to be part of the map’s geometry to reach areas of the map meant to be inaccessible.

One fan used Valve’s Hammer Editor, which is used in map creation and editing, to demonstrate that there was no ledge in the area Fnatic had used to boost. This meant that the only way they could have scaled the wall was through “pixel walking.”

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If that weren’t enough, a closer look showed that Kajbjer was actually able to see through solid walls on the map when looking at certain angles, which would violate another of DreamHack’s rules.


Fnatic had apparently prepared the tactic for some time. A Counter-Strike player claimed on Reddit that he’d found the boost over two weeks ago. But Fnatic had asked him not to publicize the find so that they could use it in tournament play without their opponent’s knowledge.

As if all of this weren’t enough, another spectator posted a clip from the game’s most crucial round which would seem to show Ronnquist, who had been the subject of so much scrutiny, locking onto the head of an LDLC player through a wall shortly before shooting him as soon as he revealed himself.

DreamHack organizers had promised to take special precautions to protect against cheating during the event. But anonymous coders emerged shortly before it started to declare that players would still be able to use their cheats in spite of the steps taken by DreamHack.

One thing is clear: DreamHack’s efforts have done little to quell speculation over the legitimacy of certain players.

Following the filing of an official dispute by LDLC, DreamHack officials promised to come to a decision regarding the match’s result within the day.

Players from other top teams such as Ninjas in Pyjamas and Virtus Pro have voiced support for LDLC in the matter. No further word has yet been given from DreamHack.

Image via Sabatoge/Twitter