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The ways cheating could destroy esports

Cheating in esports is always a dilemma for the community.

Esports is now developing very fast and got worldwide attention. In some countries, it has even become a promising monetize industry. However, besides the development of esports, it still exists the negatives that harm the esports publisher and the community.

Using the cheating app: Hack, Cheat,...

There is always a small group using the cheating app when playing games. These behaviors directly interfere with the game’s system to give advantages to the intended user. It destroys the equity mechanism that makes fun when playing games and it can cause anger and upset, the negative feelings that make gamers do not want to play anymore.

Hacking and cheating happen even in the competitive scene. A famous instance of cheating in esports competition is the “word.exe” of forsaken. During the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Finals, forsaken, a professional CS:GO player who played for OpTic India was caught using cheating software which resulted in the immediate disbandment of the team. This resulted in the player receiving a 5-year ban.

ELO Boosting

ELO Boosting is an act where a player (The Booster) logs into another player's account (The Boostee) to play a ranked game. ELO Boosting may sound like a victimless crime, but it can have numerous negative effects on the game and other players.

On the one hand, the game system has been carefully tuned so that players are placed in the proper tier with others who are within a similar skill level. An ELO Boosted player will most definitely falter when they begin to play ranked at their new tier. Then the ELO Boosted player who cannot keep up with the other higher tier players in their match will most certainly degrade the game experience for everyone involved.

On the other hand, ELO Boosting endangers account security. One should never share their log-in information with another player, no exceptions. Many players have shared their information with a potential booster, hoping to get a higher ELO, only to find their account was stolen and sold/traded to another player instead.

Manipulation and match-fixing

We can regularly see the presence of match-fixing in traditional sports, but now it occurs also in esports, especially motivated by gambling.

Major scandals have included those of the iBuyPower Counter-Strike teams, where it was found that the iBuyPower team had received around $10,000 worth of items via skin gambling—the practice of wagering CS:GO weapon skins in a similar manner to sports betting, based on real-world market values, after they threw matches in a major tournament.

South Korean StarCraft II player Life was also convicted of having partaken in match-fixing. He was convicted and sentenced to eighteen months in prison, suspended for three years, and fined 70,000,000 South Korean won (nearly $60,000). His WCS Championship was also stripped from him by Blizzard Entertainment, the publisher of Starcraft. ESPN named his match-fixing the most disappointing event in ESports in 2016.

These violations not only ruin the quality of esports competition but also can destroy the reputation that the whole esports community had built before.


Esports is now becoming a billion-dollar worth industry. Besides the rapid development in fame, sponsor and public welcoming, the community also has to face the negative sides of this rapid development. If the community cannot restrict and handle these issues, it can be a double-edged sword to the development of esports.

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