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.”