Esports has the capacity to give gamers a great many things. From allowing those who are incredibly good at a game to pursue playing that game as a career, to legitimising gaming as a hobby by validating eSports through the Olympic Virtual Series. With increasing prize pools and millions of dollars to be won through playing games competitively, eSports has become a pillar of gaming, with plenty of players and viewers to keep the industry going.
However, as with any sport, cheating within eSports is something that does happen and can ruin entire tournaments, careers, and even the reputations of games. Studios and developers have taken to new measures to help prevent cheating, such as Valve’s VAC bans for CS:GO and the recent inclusion of the Ricochet Anti-Cheat system in Call of Duty: Warzone and Vanguard. However, these preventions aren’t always foolproof, and cheaters will find new ways of unfairly turning the tides in their favour. Halo pro player Royal2 was one such cheater who has been recently discovered.
Royal2, who was a player with Sentinels, was suspended from all Halo competition after he was discovered to be cheating in a recent qualifier for the Halo Championship Series Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021. Officials found that Royal2 was guilty of “geofiltering,” which allows a player block out servers that give them a high ping, causing opponents to often suffer from high ping. The Halo pro will be suspended from all competition until January 28, and penalties were handed out to the entirety of the Sentinels team as well, docking their points and removing their seeded position.
Furthermore, Sentinels will have to field an entierly different team for the Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021 if the team wants to play in that tournament. As with many other gaming communities, those involved with Halo take cheating incredibly seriously, and with the recent release of Halo Infinite, pro players are speaking out against cheating as they continue to see the practise in the free-to-play Halo Infinite multiplayer.
Many fans have blamed the pervasiveness of Halo Infinite’s cheaters on the crossplay feature of the game. Many believe that PC players specifically have easier access to cheats and modifications which will give them an unfair advantage. Some players believe that turning off crossplay or adding an option allowing a player to do so would fix the problem, though cheating in Halo Infinite and other titles is not so simple as to be fixed by a single option. With many cheats available, from aim hacking to “geofiltering,” fixing the cheating problem in Halo Infinite will take time and effort.
Halo Infinite is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.