HCS issues competitive ruling on Sentinels cheating accusations, suspends Royal2 until January

The HCS brought the hammer down in today's ruling.

Image via HCS

After heavy investigation, HCS officials have established a competitive ruling on the recent cheating accusations levied against top organization Sentinels, as well as star Halo Infinite player Royal2.

On December 11, Inconceivable’s Snip3down explained the situation on his stream, where Royal2 was allegedly using geofiltering to block out servers that give you a ping over a specific amount. He said multiple partnered teams were accusing Royal2 of forcing Seattle servers in each match, and that it was specifically set to give him a better connection than any other player in the lobby.

The Halo development team reviewed server logs from all matches that Royal2 played in Infinite since November 15, 2021, and found some suspicious patterns within the matches. From his matches between Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, all but one server in the United States was missing from the server ping list. All of Royal2’s matches were forced onto that one server, which caused abnormally high ping for players in the affected matches.

“Our internal development team reproduced a publicly known and documented tactic to proactively remove servers from the list of eligible servers,” the statement said. “Upon doing this, the resulting data signature matched the same data signature found in the matches that Royal2 played in where only the westus2 server was available.”

After extensive work behind the scenes, officials ruled that “the only explanation for Royal2’s telemetry data pattern referred to above is that there was a direct modification of files,” which violates the official rules. As a result, the 25-year-old will be banned from HCS Competition until Jan. 28, 2022. Sentinels’ placement for the NA Open Series and NA Kickoff Qualifier have also been nullified, with the removal of 3,660 HCS 4v4 Points for all members of the Sentinels team.

Sentinels also need to forfeit their first-place Pool Play position for the 2021 HCS Kickoff Major in Raleigh. Although Royal2 is suspended, the rest of the roster can compete in the tournament’s Open Bracket, but they’ll have until the roster lock on Monday, Dec. 13, to complete their lineup. However, fellow Sentinels star SnakeBite said on a stream that the team might not attend the event if they must field a substitute.