OpTic India's Nikhil 'forsaken' Kumawat has allegedly been caught cheating at the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals, resulting in the team being expelled from the event.
OpTic India were playing against Revolution in the Group C elimination match of the $100,000 tournament when the game was inexplicably paused.
CSGO2ASIA Tweeted out a picture of OpTic's playing area surrounded by what were presumably admins, saying: "Something’s seriously off during the OptiC India vs Revolution game. We’re not sure what it is but stay tuned for updates."
— CSGO2ASIA (@CSGO2ASIA) October 19, 2018
In a follow-up Tweet, the Asian CS:GO news source revealed that the match had been paused for over 20 minutes due to a "serious issue," that they were waiting for confirmation on.
Shortly after, another Twitter post revealed that OpTic India had been dismissed from the event after cheats had been found on forsaken's PC: "It has been confirmed by eXTREMESLAND Officials that OpTic India player ‘foresaken’ has been caught with hacks on his PC. The team has been dismissed from the tournament immediately and the player will be sent home on the next flight."
It has been confirmed by Extremesland Officials that @OpTicIndia player ‘foresaken’ has been caught with hacks on his PC. The team has been dismissed from the tournament immediately and the player will be sent home on the next flight. No further statements from OptiC at this time
— CSGO2ASIA (@CSGO2ASIA) October 19, 2018
While details are still fairly scarce, reports from CSGO2ASIA state that "suspicious activity" was flagged by the B5 anti-cheat platform being used at the event, prompting an admin to investigate.
After a brief exchange with the admin, forsaken reportedly closed CS:GO and then quickly closed/deleted a program that had been running in the background; forcing a more thorough investigation that through up an executable file that would no longer open and simply printed "an error message that Windows needed to be updated in order for it to run."
A clip of forsaken attempting to "refuse the referee's" attempts to check his PC has also been shared by liuxinwei0102 on Twitter
— 辛味。 (@liuxinwei0102) October 19, 2018
However, the observations made by the admins, and the flag from the anti-cheat, were deemed substantial enough for the event organizers to make a decision.
A suspicious clip of forsaken in action against Revolution has also been shared online:
Upon further investigation, it looks like forsaken has been VAC banned previously. The player is listed in liquidpedia's Counter-Strike wiki as being 'previously banned' from ESL competition for 'owning a VAC banned account', as shown in the screenshot below.
At the time of his original ban at the hands of ESL, forsaken claimed to have "sold the [VAC banned] account some time ago," but was still unable to play in ESL competition.
A new report from HLTV claims that forsaken has been released from the OpTic India lineup with immediate effect and that the other players on the team had no knowledge of his cheats.
"The player caught with hacks has been released from the organisation, we do not tolerate anything like this," Jesal Parekh, OpTic Gaming's International Development Director, told HLTV. ""An official statement will be released soon by the organization, but I want to make it very clear that the other four players had no knowledge of this and would never have agreed to even play if there was even the slightest hint of it."
OpTic's Indian CS:GO team was first announced in June as part of holding company Infinite Esports and Entertainment's attempt to expand the OpTic brand into international markets. OpTic Brasil, OpTic Mexico and OpTic Southeast Asia were all part of this same initiative.
With the recent shakeup within the Infinite ecosystem, which included a number of high ranking employees losing their jobs, it will be interesting to see how the latest knock is dealt with.
Another suspicious clip from 2017 has been circulating since news of OpTic's disqualification broke:
The OpTic India roster has been released by the North American organization following the scandal.
— OpTic India (@OpTicIndia) October 19, 2018