The Minor qualifiers for the upcoming ELEAGUE Major in January came under criticism over the weekend for technical issues and a perceived failure to prevent cheaters from entering.
During the European qualifier, Aleksej “sodaH” Aristarhov from PlanatenOG was banned mid-match Saturday for cheating, only for it to be found out he had been banned twice previously on the CEVO platform for cheating. That same day, an opponent of Team Dignitas was also banned during a match. The qualifiers were “open,” which meant any five players could play in it. No team was exempt, even if formed just prior to the start of the event. That combined with an understaffed and unprepared CEVO contributed to the problems, as the open qualifiers for EU, North America and South America all took place simultaneously.
The weekend cheating allegations followed after Spirit Academy appealed to CEVO last week after losing a match in the CIS Minor qualifier to FONTAN, a team with two players allegedly banned in FaceIt for cheating.
CEVO issued a statement Sunday on Reddit in attempt to address some of the problems. The statement clarified the technical issues, explaining that CEVO’s back end servers couldn’t handle the demand of every match.
“We have run hundreds of events successfully in the past but the aggressive event schedules, format, and unprecedented scale of the event overloaded our systems,” the statement read.
Additionally, CEVO stated that all bans are backed by technical evidence and are not purely manual. Some within the Counter-Strike community and even one team, Invictus, claimed CEVO had banned its player manually without sufficient evidence.
CEVO also called for a third-party entity to handle cheats and bans so the information could more easily be shared among platforms and not subject to change based on each one’s anti-cheat system.
“With respect to the cheating bans in the EU bracket, CEVO only bans users that have been detected as cheating by our anti-cheat system,” the statement read. “We do not ban off of demo reviews – all bans must be backed by sufficient technical evidence. However, like all other anti-cheat vendors, we also do not disclose the specific details that led to a ban being issued.
“We cannot issue a ban for a user until we are 100 percent certain that the data gathered is indicative of a cheater. We cannot ban a player on suspicion alone. It takes some time for the anti-cheat systems to gather sufficient data before our staff can make a reliable determination. However, we also cannot prevent the bracket from advancing in a rush-style bracket event on tight deadlines. Therefore, while data is being reviewed, we have no choice but to let teams continue to play. To delay the entire bracket for every dispute would be unfair to the rest of the teams playing.”