The topic of vigilantes always causes a division. On one hand, their methods are extreme and outside the law. On the other, they simply get the job done and produce results. While the subject of vigilantism will be explored in-depth with the forthcoming release of Captain America: Civil War, it seems one person in the gaming world has been inspired and taken matters into their own hands.
Long-time Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player and Reddit user AndroidL had clearly seen too much in-game cheating by other players and decided to put an end to it. The vigilant gamer designed several hacks for CSGO, which would enable users god-like powers, such as infinite health, unlimited ammo, and the ability to essentially see around corners. Of course, AndroidL knew full well that anyone who downloaded these hacks would be instantly detected by CSGO’s developer Valve and their Anti Cheat system. This mass-download by more than 3,000 users was instantly picked up and resulted in permanent bans for the cheaters.
AndroidL even discussed the exploits on a Reddit thread, stating that, “I’m incredibly humbled by the community’s response, thank you everyone for your kind words. I’ll look into doing this sort of thing again. Please stop gilding me, I do not need Reddit gold. Instead, donate to a charity and send me a screenshot and I’ll post it here.”
In an effort to keep gaming in an honest and purely skill-based arena, AndroidL’s actions have proven that people will do whatever it takes to win. However, just like some of the world’s top athletes succumb to performance enhancing drugs (Lance Armstrong, Tyson Gay, Marion Jones, to name a few), top gamers in the virtual world are apparently no different. In 2014, it was revealed that many professional CSGO players were found to be using third-party tools to assist with aiming in major tournaments. One of the highest-profile findings was Hovik Tovmassian, a.k.a KQLY. Tovmassian played for Titan, one of the major teams playing CSGO for a living. “I wanted to say that I’m really sorry for all the people who supported me. I’m aware that with this bull****, my career is over and that my team is in a really bad situation,” said Tovmassian in a statement.
And don’t think this event is taking place in an internet café across town; the CSGO tournament is held in major arenas across the world. Cologne in Germany set to host one in July – with $250,000 as the prize money.
While many users revert to building their own gaming servers using services like this one – a move that allows gaming leagues to be set up with your friends or those you trust – the crackdown on cheaters is a huge step in the right direction for gaming in general. As AndroidL displayed, if you play with fire, you’re going to get burned. Even if all cheaters can’t be found, it’s nice to know someone is out there patrolling the virtual streets.