OpTic Gaming dropped its India-based CS:GO team today following cheating allegations towards Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat, which were later confirmed by tournament officials.
Forksaken was caught using a cheat program during the eXTREMESLAND Asia Finals earlier this morning, and he was immediately released from the team after tournament administrators inspected and found cheats on his computer. Now OpTic has dropped the rest of the India team, after the remaining players claimed to not know "the slightest hint" of cheating.
"We want to apologize to all the other teams and organizations involved," OpTic international development director Jesal Parekh said in a statement to HLTV. "We also want to apologize to our country and to the fans who have supported us. This will be a big setback for the country, and it is really unfortunate that one selfish person is capable of causing this… I want to make it very clear that the other four players had no knowledge of this and would never have agreed to even play if there was even the slightest hint of [cheating]."
"We stand strongly against any form of cheating as it not only tarnishes the local roster, but potentially harms competitive integrity in the region," OpTic said on its India team Twitter. "We have terminated [forsaken]'s contract for his actions… We are also releasing the remaining roster to pursue new opportunities with other competitive options."
Evidence of cheating, which was initially thought to be only suspicious, points to him using an aimbot program to lock onto enemies, even through walls and obstacles in his point of view. Forsaken hid his cheat program (.exe, .exe.log, and .bak) in local computer files under the name "word."
TyLoo star Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand commented on the situation on Twitter, noting that some players already knew he was a cheater from past events in the Asia region.
At the same time, ESL is looking into OpTic India's recent tournament win at ESL's Premiership Summer event for the Indian region, as well as their spot in the Asia region of the ESL Pro League. Their win could be invalidated and their spot in EPL could be revoked as a result of the changes within the team.
The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) is also getting involved, with a potential life-time ban on the way for forsaken. This would likely prevent him from playing in any sort of competitive capacity in esports.