Finnish Counter-Strike Players Banned After Tournament Win

Last Saturday, the Red Bull Flick Finland National Final tournament was held to see who would advance to the EU Closed Qualifier tournament this Saturday. The game was Counter-Strike: GO. The game mode was 2v2.  The winners of that tournament, going by the handles “woldes” and “jezayyyy,” have now been stripped of their victory.

The scandal occurred when FACEIT, a third party matchmaking service provider who’d contracted with Red Bull to handle the tournament logistics, released an update for their platform before the event. However, this particular update caused some issues with the platform’s ability to report specific methods of cheating. FACEIT is not divulging the practices in question, nor is it going into any significant technical detail about how those reports were being interrupted or blocked.

While the FACEIT platform might not have been reporting the detection of cheating, which would typically activate a protocol to kick and ban offending players, the Counter-Strike: GO community had no such constraints.  In a blog post, a spokesman for FACEIT acknowledged that several community members informed them about the potential cheating they’d observed. These reports prompted an internal investigation by FACEIT’s infrastructure team. It was found that the methods in question did not trigger the “kick&ban” protocol. A subsequent technical update corrected whatever had been impeding the cheat detection systems from functioning correctly. Once the update had been pushed out, “woldes” and “jezayyyy” were banned alongside 80 other players who were cheating in different tournaments.

The spokesman concluded the blog post saying, “Thank you to everyone in the community who helped to raise awareness of this case, and a sincere apology to all players who have been directly impacted by the incident.”  Because of the short time frame before the EU Closed Qualifier, FACEIT and Red Bull certified that the second-place team of “Mikzuu” and “ykis” will be advancing.

The EU Closed Qualifier will be held on May 30.

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