Call of Duty player handed prison sentence over fatal swatting - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Call of Duty player handed prison sentence over fatal swatting

Published: 14/Sep/2019 14:57 Updated: 15/Sep/2019 20:27

by Joe Craven


A 19-year-old Call of Duty player, Casey Viner, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison following the tragic death of a Wichita man back in late 2017, in a ‘swatting’ case that reached global headlines. 

Back in December of 2017, Viner lost a $1.50 wager while playing Call of Duty: WWII. Apparently angered by this loss, the 19-year-old sought retaliation by trying to ‘swat’ his opponent, 20-year-old Shane Gaskill. 


NBC reports that Viner recruited 26-year-old infamous swatter Tyler Barriss in order to carry out the ‘swat’. However, the details of Gaskill’s address were incorrect and police were led to the house of Andrew Finch, who was fatally shot by police, after being told that a multiple-homicide had taken place.

Sledgehammer GamesThe entire incident was sparked over a $1.50 wager on CoD: WWII.

NBC reports that, in April 2019, Viner pleaded guilty to “felony charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the hope that he would not be sentenced to prison.” He has since admitted trying to hide his involvement in the incident. 


Despite these attempts to avoid prison time, U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced Viner to 15 months in jail on Friday, September 13. Viner is also restricted from all gaming activities for two years. 

KSNWViner has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

The death of Andrew Fitch drew global attention to ‘swatting’; the act of pretending there is a police emergency at someone’s address, so their house is raided by armed police. It is often done to live streamers, so it can be viewed by their watching audience. 

While often done as mindless entertainment and a malicious hoax, it wastes police resources and poses a threat to life in many circumstances. 


Barriss, the man who made the call from Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to 51 federal charges in November 2018, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting to making the call that led to Finch’s death. 

Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Andrew Finch’s family has sued the city of Wichita and the officers involved. The local district attorney declined to charge the officer involved, after Finch was shot as he apparently reached down to his waistband; a move that was mistaken for pulling a gun. 

Earlier this year Fortnite World Cup Winner Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf was swatted while live on Twitch. Thankfully there were no serious repercussions in his case, but it goes to show the problem with ‘swatting’ in the gaming community is still prevalent, and that anyone can be targeted. 

Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War adds anti-reverse boost feature to protect SBMM

Published: 8/Oct/2020 22:46

by Tanner Pierce


The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Beta is finally live on PlayStation 4 for those who pre-ordered digitally, and some people have been noticing that Treyarch sneakily implemented a feature meant to counter reverse boosting that wasn’t in the Alpha.

According to Twitter user and CoD insider @_TomHenderson_ and verified by Dexerto, Treyarch has made players invulnerable to all damage for a few seconds when they spawn in. While the feature has yet to be given an official explanation, or even acknowledged by the devs, this was almost certainly done to combat reverse-boosting.


For those that don’t know, Call of Duty games have skill-based matchmaking, which means that players of similar skill-levels are matched together in order to make a more balanced game. Unfortunately, many don’t like this option because it can make the game a bit tedious and annoying.

Because of this, players “reverse boost”, which basically means they’ll “kill themselves” intentionally immediately when they spawn so that they can trick the game into thinking they are lower-skilled, which then puts them in a lower-skilled lobbies.


Now, fans will have to wait a few seconds in order to “kill themselves” after they respawn. While this won’t completely fix reverse boosting, it will make a bit more annoying for those who do it.

Players who immediately try and kill themselves when they spawn will find that they won’t be able to.

If they are only carrying one piece of lethal equipment and they immediately attempt to kill themselves, they will have wasted it and will have to go into battle without one until they die and respawn.

Simply waiting a few seconds will, of course, allow you to continue to reverse boost to your heart’s content. That being said, if Treyarch sees that reverse boosting is still rampant by the time the full game comes out, it wouldn’t be surprising if they end up implementing even more counter-measures in order to stop those players.