Breakable Barriers competitor uses cheats, team disqualified

A player got caught using third-party software after facing a team of former Overwatch professionals.

Photo via Blizzard Entertainment
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Never say drama only happens in the Overwatch League. The second weekend of the Breakable Barriers tournament took place on Dec. 21 and 22. Most teams participating in the Open Division competition, which allowed any Overwatch players to build a team and face off for a cash prize, were there to have a good time. One player used the opportunity to show off his expertise on third-party software and it cost his team their place in the competition. 

Before the end of the competition last night, Breakable Barriers tournament administrators disqualified team Minions on the Flank, who were in the middle of a successful run through the bracket. While no official statement has been given, players on the team and other Overwatch professionals in the competition determined that a DPS player known as “WoW” used third-party software to cheat during the tournament. 

Minions on the Flank was a team built by numerous Overwatch Contenders players, like Montreal Rebellion support Benjamin “UltraViolet” David and Clockwork Vendetta off-tank Max “Moose” Kießling. All of the players were well-known in the competitive Overwatch scene except WoW, who had mysteriously started climbing the ranked ladder weeks before. Minions on the Flank had an incredibly successful run through the start of the tournament on Dec. 21 before coming up against Retired Washing Machine in the final match of the night. 

Retired Washing Machine was a “meme team” built by retired Overwatch League player Jacob “Jake” Lyon and included Scott “Custa” Kennedy, caster Connor “Avast” Prince, and former analyst and player Jonathan “Reinforce” Larsson. Their second DPS during the tournament was “Valentine,” a successful player on the ranked Overwatch ladder. Before their match against Minions on the Flank, Valentine briefly noted that WoW had been accused of cheating in the prior weekend’s tournament. 

The team decided to give WoW the benefit of the doubt. Despite playing well, Retired Washing Machine fell to Minions on the Flank with a 3-1 scoreline. Valentine, having noticed numerous instances where WoW seemed able to predict the team’s flanks before they happened, decided to investigate. He later posted his findings on Twitter.

Valentine’s clip shows evidence that WoW could have been using “wallhacks,” or third-party software that allows a player to see outlines of enemies. Another clip in the replies shows his reticle clicking to the head of a hidden enemy Zenyatta, which could be the use of “aimlock” software. Additional clips were provided in the replies by Jake and Brian “Kephrii” St. Pierre, who had made the original accusation during the first Breakable Barriers tournament.

On Dec. 22, Minions on the Flank decided to play without WoW after seeing the clips provided by Valentine and others. During halftime of the first semifinal game broadcast on the Overwatch Contenders Twitch channel, casters announced that Minions on the Flank had been officially disqualified from the competition.

Minions on the Flank team leader “SaltShaker,” a former player on Contenders team Phase 2, gave an official team statement on Twitter at 6:30pm CT. He confirmed that WoW was banned due to his use of third-party software and apologized for including him on the team. SaltShaker put the onus on himself and not on his teammates.

“Do not put any of the team at fault for his actions,” SaltShaker said. “They did not know this player and ultimately I trusted a friend that was lying to me about his play.”

WoW can no longer be seen on the Overwatch competitive leaderboard after Blizzard manually investigated him for using third-party software, according to Valentine. The rest of the competition continued after Minions on the Flank’s disqualification with Skyfoxes taking the win.