ESL have confirmed that Nikhil ‘forsaken’ Kumawat, who made headlines when he was caught cheating in the eXTREMESLAND 2018 LAN event in Shanghai, had also cheated during official matches in the ESL India Premiership 2018 Fall tournament.
“On immediate inspection, we have discovered the same cheat program that was used by Forsaken in Shanghai on the SSD he used at the ESL India Premiership Fall Finale and have shared this evidence with the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC),” said ESL in a statement posted on Facebook.
ESL class this Forsaken’s cheating at their event as a Level 4 offence under ESIC’s ‘Code of Conduct’ but they will refrain from making a final decision until the commissioner has conducted an independent inquiry.
ESL India also said that they will be investigating all the 20 players who participated in the ESL India Premiership Finale for any potential cheats on their PCs during the tournament.
OpTic India were quick to kick Forsaken from their roster after news of his cheating spread, but the organization eventually decided to drop its entire roster. A number of suspicious clips and evidence of him potentially cheating in the past also surfaced, which ESL India used as proof that Forsaken was hacking at the ESL India Premiership, a tournament that his team won convincingly.
Four teams took part in that tournament, which prompted an investigation on all 20 players, but the fact that only Forsaken’s SSD was found to have the files upon immediate inspection lends some credence to the claims of the former OpTic India players that they were unaware of their teammate’s actions.
Forsaken and his cheating ways, however, ran much deeper than the fiasco in the eXTREMESLAND 2018 LAN. It was found that in August 2017, Forsaken once owned an account that had a VAC ban. The account was traced back to him and, after an investigation by the ESIC, he was given a two-year ban, which was later reduced to six months. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the validity in Forsaken’s gameplay and his integrity as a player before and after the VAC ban discovery, too.
Optic India was promptly disqualified from the eXTREMESLAND 2018 LAN after Forsaken was found cheating, but there has been no word yet at the time of writing whether their first-place finish at the ESL India Premiership 2018 will be revoked as well. Forsaken’s own punishment also remains to be seen.
The fiasco has dealt a very nasty and unfortunate blow on the Indian CS:GO scene, as Optic India was a rapidly rising team before the cheating incidents. While the Indian CS:GO community can only hope that the fiasco will not affect them as a whole, irreparable damage seems to have already been done.
(Image courtesy of ESL)