Nearly four years after being caught in one of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s largest scandals, France’s most controversial player is back to competing full-time.
Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian was caught by Valve’s anti-cheat-software (VAC) on Nov. 20, 2014—permanently barring him from attending any events organized by the game developer, as well as most third-party tournaments. Effectively ostracized from the competitive CS:GO community, KQLY remained inactive until May 1, 2017, when he began an extensive trial-period with Vexed Gaming.
Roughly four months after beginning his trial with the team, he has now become an official player on the roster—marking his return to competitive CS:GO. Aside from KQLY becoming a permanent fixture on the Vexed roster, the organization has also added a French duo consisting of Gauthier “Gauthierlelelele” Caron and Thibault “EMYOR” Soulet.
Throughout 2017, several established tournament organizers have been allowing the presence of players that accrued lifetime bans earlier than February 2015. These changes also mean competitors such as former iBUYPOWER players Braxton “swag” Pierce, Josh “steel” Nissan, and Sam “DaZeD” Marine, will be allowed to attend a majority of events in the competitive circuit after being indefinitely banned from attending Valve-sponsored events on Jan. 15, 2015 due to match fixing.
Players that have been caught cheating in the past are, however, expected to receive less sympathy. This became extremely apparent once Vexed announced KQLY’s trial-period with the organization, as two players resigned from the roster after he joined. Several other competitors in the competitive CS:GO community in France expressed dissatisfaction with KQLY’s return at the time.
Vexed in-game leader Victor “Roombang” Henkinet, however, sees a bright future ahead of the team, and said that the team will benefit from KQLY’s experience.