How Do eSports Tournament Organizers Monitor Cheating?
As long as computer games were home entertainment, no one cared how fair they were played. Even when multiplayer modes started to trend, people didn’t care much more. But with the advent of eSports, everything has changed dramatically. Now the fairness of the game worries not only the participants themselves but also the organizers of the competition, sponsors, and numerous spectators. Indeed, millions of prizes and bets can be at stake in a serious competition. After analyzing modern eSports tournaments, we have identified 2 main aspects of monitoring cheaters in various game disciplines.
Separate Departments for Monitoring
It is worth noting that such fraud is not very common among well-known eSports leagues because they constantly monitor the player’s actions and detect the use of cheats quite easily. However, this does not negate the fact that the organizers provide special commissions and observers.
“Freelancers” can also include viewers in the stands or online broadcasts of Twitch and other streaming platforms. Having a few spectators backstage and broadcasting the players’ screens on the Internet can ensure a sufficient number of observers. And if there is any suspicion, then there is an opportunity to view and check everything instantly.
This is especially noticeable during broadcasts of tournaments. Dota 2 matches with the participation of pro players are always more interesting to watch since the level of teamplay is beyond imagination. Thanks to a convenient schedule, you can plan ahead to watch major tournaments to avoid missing the best moments and possibly catch someone cheating, as was the case with the Chinese team Knights quite recently. This case was just noticed by Troels commentator Lyngholt “syndereN” Nielsen right on the stream, but the final word is up to the organizers and Valve.
To ensure the accuracy of the received data, it is essential to have as many real-time analytics as possible. Now the world is very concerned about the issue of personal data protection, but collecting information about players is the price for the honesty of tournaments.
The main advantage of eSports is the ability to analyze the entire gameplay literally, frame by frame. On the servers of the popular Dota 2 and CS:GO, there is a game replay mode, thanks to which you can study the game in detail. In addition, despite the abundance of cheating software products that are written independently, downloaded from open sources, or bought from professional coders, they are all aimed at specific game parameters for monitoring, which the developers themselves provide resources and tools because, first of all, this is the image of their project.
Checking Gadgets and Devices
At serious gaming events, cheating with cheats is difficult, but sometimes some players still manage to do it. As a rule, players use the computers of the organizers. But, the most resonant thing happened to the CSGO player “forsaken” who downloaded the program files to the tournament PC, launched it, and used it right in front of the admins at the eXTREMESLAND ZOWIE Asia tournament.
After many other cases, the organizers remove their personal devices from the players for storage because some can install separate drivers to accommodate third-party programs. It also happens with gadgets like phones and smartwatches. In addition, team coaches are prohibited from using various tablets or other electronic gadgets during pre-match picks or preparations. Coaches and analysts may only use paper versions of pictures, statistics, or strategies.
Someone will say this is not modern and stupid, but these are the realities of eSports for monitoring and preventing cheats.
Also, cheating can manifest itself during offline matches, when players can eavesdrop on the words of commentators. If you follow eSports, you may often see players using huge headphones and additional small ones. It is also one of the tools to prevent cheating and foul play because large headphones drown entirely out external sounds so that none of the players hear important game information.
The Future of Cheats
No matter what competitive discipline you are dealing with, you cannot avoid dishonest players. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about traditional sports or e-sports. There were cheaters, and cheaters will remain – the organizers and developers will always have to deal with them.
In this case, the organizers bear a great responsibility to the community since eSports does not tolerate cheating and despises such actions.