Cheaters get banned every day, but something you don’t see too often is the cheaters getting banned after winning a tournament.
That’s the awkward position Red Bull has found themselves in this week, announcing that the winners of the Finnish Red Bull Flick tournament have been banned after the event concluded. The 2v2 tournament was won by Finnish players jezayyyy and woldes, who were originally going to represent Finland ahead of the national finals in June.
But those players won’t be representing their country anymore, after FACEIT - the company organising the tournament on behalf of Red Bull - announced that the two players had been banned after a “technical update”. FACEIT, like other third-party Counter-Strike matchmaking services, has its own anti-cheat system that players use as part of the match process. And following the conclusion of the Finnish qualifier, an update to the FACEIT platform uncovered some new cheats.
“Unfortunately, due to a technical issue introduced by last week’s release, information on a few types of cheat detections was not temporarily available within our infrastructure by our Anti-Cheat operation team,” FACEIT said. “This lack of visibility and the fact that those types of detections were not yet managed with any immediate and automated “kick & ban” strategy, created a delay for the two players to be banned (alongside 80 other players involved in other competitions across the FACEIT platform).”
The Finnish CS community was already concerned about the event. A video on YouTube showing some gameplay from the tournament, featuring some unusual crosshair movements and rigidity, has racked up over 160,000 views over the last week. What was especially concerning was the way jezayyyy and woldes’ crosshairs would repeatedly re-lock onto a target (2m 17s is probably the best example).
The fairest thing to do would be to replay some of the matches, but time constraints mean that’s not really possible. So instead, Red Bull has sent the runners-up of the tournament through to the next round of qualifiers.
“Thank you to everyone in the community who helped raising awareness of this case, and a sincere apology to all players who have been directly affected by the incident,” FACEIT said in their statement.