By: Rosa Lilly Melendez
Esports, what is it? Well, esports means electronic sports and it is a form of sports competition that involves video games. Esports doesn’t have to include a game with an actual sport in it though, any video game (adventure, first person shooter AKA FPS and of course sports games) can be entered into tourneys (tournaments). Esports has recently became very popular. The rise of popularity with gaming took the spotlight when a teenager from Pennsylvania won $3 million after winning the Fortnite World Cup. Needless to say, people became extremely interested in how someone could win so much money by just playing video games.
Of course, video games can be played causally and just for fun, however, when talking about competitive esports, it is a whole new world. Gaming can be extremely competitive, especially when such large sums of money are involved. Competitive esports can include teams of duos, trios, quads as well as competing as a solo (individual) player. So, what lengths would some people go to in order to win an esports tourney and make a name for themselves in the competitive world of gaming?
This brings us to Nikhil Kumawat AKA Forsaken was 23 years old in 2018 and prospering in the world of esports. He was a professional esports gamer for OpTic India. At the time, OpTic gaming was a very well known organization (org). The organization unfortunately met its demise once it was acquired by Immortal Gaming Club, they were an org from 2006 to 2019. So what happened with Forsaken, where is he now and most importantly, what did he do?!
Forsaken was part of team OpTic India and was competing in eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals which was a LAN event in Shanghai which had a prize pool of $100,000. This particular event was best of three elimination type of competition and he and his team (team of 4) were competing against team Revolution. The game that was being played in this tourney was CSGO which is a multiplayer FPS. Officials at the event were walking around checking everyone’s computers when they came upon Forsaken’s setup. He quickly tried to delete a program off of his PC. Needless to say, he was caught red handed. What he had tried to delete so desperately before officials checked his PC was an aimbot hack. Aimbot is pretty much what it sounds like, it is a program that can be installed into the game/PC that allows for auto aim with FPS type of games. That way, the player doesn’t need any skill per se because the aimbot does the aiming onto the intended target allowing for ease of eliminating the target. This is obviously a very unfair advantage and is definitely cheating in the gaming community.
Since Forsaken was caught in the middle of trying to delete the hack, there was no question as to whether he really was cheating or not. He was guilty 100%. He was promptly disqualified from the competition, however, he didn’t just ruin this opportunity for himself as his entire team ended up being disqualified as well. Further investigations found that Forsaken had also cheated at a previous tournament. Not only was Forsaken disqualified from the eXTREMELAND tourney, he was also permanently banned from ever competing professionally in any CSGO competitions. When attempting to find out what happened to Forsaken, all there is, are rumors, speculation and talk on forums online but no one knows what really happened to him. Obviously, him being caught cheating was not something that was just simply going to go away. It’s definitely obvious that he is no longer competing in esports and perhaps has decided not to try and return? This is of course speculation as there currently is no word as to his whereabouts.
Forsaken is not the only one who has been caught cheating in esports or in the gaming world. There have been others, one other example was 17 year old FaZe streamer Jarvis Khattri who was a very popular Fortnite streamer. FaZe Jarvis received a lifetime ban from Fornite after he uploaded a video to YouTube which blatantly showed himself cheating in solo rounds playing Fortnite. What he did was he was using aimbot and showing people who watched his YouTube how aimbot works. He subsequently issued a tear filled video to his Youtube apologizing for the use of aimbot (watch the apology video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN3ttHug-BU) He had also stated that he was not aware that using aimbot went against the TOS (terms of service) of the game. Now, whether this is true or not, we’ll never know. Only Khattri knows the truth, however, any gamer out there knows that using any kind of cheat, hack or software to enhance your gameplay and give you an unfair advantage against other players is shunned upon in the gaming world. So, do cheaters really prosper? It would seem they do not, unless you don’t mind being publicly humiliated and receiving bans from games that you love to play and perhaps not even being allowed to make a career out of professional gaming. You can read more about Forsaken here: https://liquipedia.net/counterstrike/Forsaken