While PUBG esports is still in its infancy compared to other more established esports, the scene is just as prone to cheating scandals as any other esport.
Cheats and hacks in PUBG have been a major talking point since the game was released in 2017, leading the developers to hand out many bans to players online.
It looks like those cheats have spilled over into the esports scene as PUBG Esports has handed down a major ban prior to the 2019 season.
Dakota ‘Exko’ MacLeod, currently a free agent, was found to have used an unauthorized program in early 2018 and was handed a one-year ban from al esports competitions starting on December 7.
Competitive Ruling: Dakota “Exko” MacLeod pic.twitter.com/oEqM4RxC9i
— PUBG Esports (@PUBGEsports) December 7, 2018
The issue came to head when tons of evidence was made public by the community on November 30 that pointed towards Exko having cheated in the past.
PUBG Esports acknowledged that while the information came out days ago, they wanted to take the time to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
“Our investigation revealed conclusive evidence that Dakota owned two accounts which were banned for the use of an unauthorized program in early 2018. We contacted Dakota directly and he admitted to the use of cheats prior to April 2018 on both accounts. Dakota has cooperated fully with our investigation."
While no evidence was found that he cheated during the 2018 PGI Qualifiers or during the 2018 PGI LAN events in Burbank and Berlin, his offline cheating was enough to land him with a hefty ban.
PUBG Esports also made clear that in the future, players will face a one year to lifetime ban starting from the date of completion of an official investigation.