Can you really tell when a pro player cheats?

The “VACcening,” as some people are calling it, is the biggest scandal in Counter-Strike’s history

The “VACcening,” as some people are calling it, is the biggest scandal in Counter-Strike’s history.

Multiple professional players on some of the top teams in the world were hit by bans for cheating, caught by Valve’s anti-cheat software (VAC), with the promise of many more to come.

Right now the top teams in the world are congregated in Sweden for DreamHack Winter, one of the four $250,000 Valve-backed majors, despite questions regarding the validity of their past performances.

One team in question is Fnatic, with fans calling a bit of a witch hunt against some of their members, in particular Robin “flusha” Rönnquist. A 1,000 plus comment thread on r/GlobalOffensive, Reddit’s biggest forum for the game, and a large thread on community site titled  “flusha #busted” showcase dozens of high resolution images of him aiming at enemy players through walls in questionable circumstances.

The claim is that he’s toggling a hack that causes his crosshair to move towards the nearest player, allowing him to predict the location of the enemy team.

The evidence is completely circumstantial. Over the course of hundreds of hours of Counter-Strike every player has snapped to an enemy model through a wall unwittingly. But just how often does that actually happen?

Ukrainian team Hellraisers set to find out with a contest they call a “joke-experiment.”

If you can comb through team captain Kirill “Ange1” Karasiow’s demos and find 10 instances where he pulled off Rönnquist-esque suspicious activity, you can win $100 and a HellRaiser’s tee shirt.

It only took a couple hours for someone to submit an entry.

It’s a bit cynical to take advantage of the current cheating scandal in Counter-Strike with a marketing stunt, but it’s also an interesting way to test the theorem that any average professional player will have plenty of suspicious moments. It’s something many people assert or deny, but one hardly tested—the only players subject to the so-called witch hunters are ones already suspect.

That is, of course, assuming Karasiow isn’t cheating himself. He’s above suspicion, but with the way the cheating bug seems to have spread like a plague through Counter-Strike, anything is possible, right?

Screengrab via