Update on 31st July 2022 at 15:47 GMT: According to a Tweet by Jake Lucky, FACEIT concluded that there was no foul play; still, Kephrii was removed from the tournament "due to multiple other player complaints so the event could be finished." Lucky contends that "several other players [...] remain very suspicious of the alleged teaming." An official statement has not been released yet.
Original story continues: Cheating is highly frowned upon in the esports community. With hundreds of tournaments comprising thousands of dollars in prize pools, cheating can be a severe offense resulting in an instant ban from the competition and future events. Still, this doesn't stop esports players from testing their luck.
On 30th July 2022, Twitch streamers Brian "Kephrii" St. Pierre and Gale Adelaide, popular in the Overwatch community, were caught cheating in the $100,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) ReadyUp Invitational tournament. The allegations arose after two opposing players noticed Kephrii's seemingly suspicious in-game actions.
Streamers Kephrii And Gale Caught Teaming In $100K CSGO Event
The ReadyUP CSGO Invitational is a tournament organized by Twitch in partnership with Sony’s INZONE gaming products. The competition featured a grand prize pool of $100,000, alongside many rewards for players to earn by competing against other teams.
Glad that blatant teaming and cheating is allowed in a 100k CS:GO tournament and nothing is being done about it— psalm (@psalm) July 31, 2022
Although not entirely clear regarding rulings, the tournament featured a point system where players and teams could win by earning the most points. The gist was that players who killed an enemy received one point, while assists earned them two points; knife kills, on the other hand, scored participants five points.
In a $100k CSGO tournament two players Kephrii and Gale are being accused of teaming and feeding knife kills to the other. This tournament is unique in that prize money is awarded to individual players based on points.— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) July 31, 2022
1 kill = 1 point
1 knife kill = 5 points pic.twitter.com/kQtH4zRPYJ
Kephrii and Gale were allegedly teaming and feeding each other knife kills. Purportedly, both were feeding each other five points every kill. Still, Kephrii didn’t know how it happened, despite knife eliminations being a tough feat, especially when footsteps are easily discernable, notwithstanding team communication.
After being accused, Kephrii said, “I genuinely did not hear him. I haven't played CS in about [three] years. Afterward, I begged my team to swap me to A side since he kept going B. [...] I am a huge anti-cheat advocate; I sadly just suck.”
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Both teams were playing on Mirage; Kephrii’s reasoning for the knife kill was that he didn’t hear Gale drop from Apartment and was “holding catwalk.” The Twitch streamer was “under the impression” that players make noise when they fall from Apartment.
Accordingly, Kephrii said he “didn’t hear the noise,” so he didn’t look. He said, “If I heard it... 100% I would have turned.” However, Kephrii’s primary reason was that he hadn’t “played in years.”
These allegations would’ve been easily dismissed if it was only one knife kill Gale got on Kephrii. But it wasn’t; instead, the players traded five knife kills in a single game. In the eleventh round, Kephrii had allegedly given Gale three knife kills, equivalent to fifteen points in the tournament.
As of the time of writing, Kephrii has been removed from the tournament. Additionally, both players have faced heavy backlash. Sony Corporation or Twitch has yet to comment on these allegations. We will endeavor to update you regarding any further developments.
For more on the game, please check out our section dedicated to CS:GO esports, guides, news, and much more.
Featured image courtesy of Steam and Instagram / Kephrii.