Valve needs to address CS2’s cheating problem before it ruins hype from the Major

Calum Patterson
cheating in cs2

The first CS2 Major — bar a few hiccups — has been lauded as one the best events in Counter-Strike’s storied history and undoubtedly rejuvenated interest in the game. But if not addressed soon, CS2’s rampant cheating problem could pop the hype balloon.

Cheating is nothing new in Counter-Strike, and those claiming that CS2 has it worse have been met with some skepticism from others in the community — who regularly dismiss those complaining as simply bad at the game and therefore believing everyone better than them must be aim-hacking.

It’s certainly true that just because you got instantly one-tapped before you could even react, it is often because your opponent was simply better, and you need to get good.

But cheating in CS2 lately has felt different. It’s not just ‘suspicious one-taps and impossible predictions’ cheating, but rather full-on, blatant, ‘instant ace from across the map with a scout’, cheating.

I am not an amazing Counter-Strike player, but with over 2,000 hours played and a decent rank over the years, I know it is not normal for a player to get 60 frags, four deaths, 369 ADR, and 85% headshot percentage in 16 rounds, as was the case in just one of many recent matchmaking games ruined by an obvious cheater.

cheater in cs2
Many cheaters do not attempt to hide it – instead casually dropping 60 kills in 16 rounds.

In my last seven games, four have been rendered pointless by either a cheater on my team or the opposing side. In the match with a cheater on my team, we were unable to kick them, as they always queue with a friend, meaning they can choose the ‘don’t kick’ option.

One of these blatant cheaters currently holds a Premier Rank of over 25,000, is playing matches every day, and remains unbanned after 889 hours of game time.

Despite this rampant cheating problem, CS2 remains, by far, the most popular game on Steam, and the Copenhagen Major has injected even more life into the player count. It has peaked at over 1.4 million concurrent players every day for the past week.

But all this renewed energy will be stamped out if every other game is spoiled by a blatant cheater. And even if a cheater does not ruin the match, the suspicion of one makes it all less enjoyable anyway.

CS:GO’s greatest ever player, s1mple, agrees, posting on X/Twitter: “You need to understand @CounterStrike that without proper anticheat – Premier f**king sucks, no one gonna grind for rating like in Valorant, easiest way – connect with FaceIT anticheat, hardest way – create much better one.”

CS2’s Premier mode was presumably meant to bring players back from FaceIT and onto Valve’s servers, but with FaceIT’s anti-cheat so much more robust, why would they switch?

The problem is only worsened for high-ranked players too, which is often where CS2 streamers find themselves, and so encounter cheaters in more games than the average Gold Nova. As streamers can act as an advert for the game to new players, this is just as detrimental.

Sure, another VAC-ban wave will roll out at some point, but until then, the wait for the rumored anti-cheat update in CS2 goes on. And the longer it does, the more long-term damage will be done, despite all the positives from the Major.

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About The Author

Calum is Dexerto's Managing Editor, based in Scotland. Joining Dexerto in 2017, Calum has years of experience covering esports, gaming and online entertainment, and now leads the team to deliver the best coverage in these areas. An expert on all things Twitch and gaming influencers, he's also an expert in popular shooters like Apex Legends, CS2 and Call of Duty. You can contact Calum at