During a livestream last night Twitch streamer Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek stated that he received a one month ban from PUBG following an incident where he played alongside a hacker. The ban comes on the heels of lengthy community speculation as to whether or not the game’s developers would actually discipline one of their game’s most popular streamers.
Update— 4:35pm: We have updated our headline to emphasize that Grzesiek stated he was banned. Following his initial claim last night, Grzesiek later logged back into PUBG. He purchased ranks in the game’s Sanhok event pass but did not appear to attempt to play a match.
When reached by Kotaku to clarify whether Grzesiek was banned and why, a representative of PUBG Corporation gave the following statement: “We do not publicly disclose/discuss individual player penalties. We encourage all players to refer to our posted PUBG Rules of Conduct, here.”
The discussions began yesterday after clips showing Grzesiek cooperating with a hacker circulated on social media. In the clip, he rides in the hacker’s flying car and exits to kill a player hidden inside a building. That player’s location was relayed to him by the hacker, presumably using cheats. When the hacker mentioned selling cheats for a living, Grzesiek quickly silenced them. Hacking is a bannable offense in PUBG, as is cooperation with players outside your squad.
“I was trying to have a good time,” Grzesiek said on stream. “Obviously, I knew what the fuck I was doing, which wasn’t a great idea. It seemed like a great idea, but it wasn’t a great idea. I’m sorry to those peeps who are real upset with me, with all the, y’know, flying around with the cheater and such…”
Grzesiek went on to say that he had been banned for a month. During this stream, the ban appears to go into effect after Grzesiek joins a PUBG match in progress. Then, his gameplay gets cut off, after which point he gets placed at 53rd out of 100 players. He shuts down PUBG and moves on to Rainbow Six: Siege. Kotaku reached out to both PUBG Corporation and Grzesiek but did not receive comment in time for publication.
Before Grzesiek’s ban, several fans had voiced their anger at seeing him team up with a hacker. Others blamed PUBG Corporation for its inability to ban hackers. Still others speculated that Grzesiek’s clout would protect him from punishment. However, there is precedent for this punishment. In July last year, popular Twitch streamer Dr. Disrespect received a temporary suspension after teamkilling during a livestream. Grzesiek’s ban lends credence to a statement from designer Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene: “In my house, you follow the rules or you GTFO.”