The UK CSGO scene has been pretty crazy this past week, with one player being banned for cheating and another admitting to taking drugs at epic.LAN.
Vatic drops player over drug use
Firstly, UK player Charlie “K1NDEADLY” Weber (pictured right) has been released from Vatic’s roster due to taking drugs at epic18 earlier this year.
According to Matt Litherland of Vatic, Charlie apparently was smoking marijuana, because he heard this stuff is great for anxiety. He was also snorting cocaine and drinking at epic.LAN, and upset several people at the event.
While Charlie has since publicly admitted the drug use to the UK CSGO Scene Facebook group and in a tweet, he has refuted some of Matt’s claims. It’s worth pointing out there is no proof of Matt’s claims that we’re aware of.
— Charlie Weber (@K1NDEADLYCSGO) August 9, 2016
He has admitted he had ‘serious drug issues’ but says he has taken some rehab-type sessions to sort himself out. While he said he was in full control while on drugs, he admitted it was wrong.
Charlie told eSports News UK: “I was homeless during those years and as a result I turned to drugs. It isn’t an excuse but it gives you an idea of where I was at during my addiction and how hard it is to break a three-year addiction.
“But yes, since epic.LAN, I have since taken my self to rehab and other drop in sessions to fully fix my issues and sort my life out… I would love to play in the scene still but I have had some interest from EU teams. It all depends if people still want me to play in the scene and if any teams would take the risk with me… we shall see.”
Vatic said in a statement on their website: “We chose at the time not to publicly explain this decision but we shall shed light on the matter now.
“Charlie represented himself, Vatic and our partnerships during his time in the team, most importantly he is representing us in person and is an ambassador of our brand. Unfortunately despite the reasonable requests made by his team mates and Vatic at epic.LAN, Charlie was unable to conduct himself in a professional, adult manner. Subsequently the removal of this player was the only reasonable choice he left us with. We wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Vatic have also dropped their CSGO roster entirely following ‘several weeks of inactivity’ – and are now on the lookout for a new line-up. “We will not be rushing this decision and will be waiting to see how the forthcoming Multiplay event Insomnia58 plays out,” Vatic added.
ESL hits cheater with two-year ban
The other shocking piece of UK CSGO news this week was that of UK player Joseph “Joee” Leigh (pictured left) being banned for cheating by taking kratom capsules to improve his performance during an ESL UK qualifier match against Rize Gaming UK, as reported by UKCSGO.com. He’s been hit with a two-year ESL-wide ban.
You can check out a video of the moment he gets banned below, along with a picture of his ESL page and a tweet confirming it.
— Joseph (@Joeecsgo) August 8, 2016
Joee has since received a VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat system) ban and a ban from Multiplay for all Insomnia events for a year.
Mark Buckley, Esports Community Manager for Multiplay, said: “Multiplay has come to the decision to ban Joee from participating in prized events at any Insomnia event for a minimum period of 12 months, at which point the player is welcome to appeal the ban.
“We would like to stress once again that players cheating in any form will not be taken lightly and we will continue to remain vigilant against cheating at our events. We would also like to reiterate that any players with a VAC ban for CSGO on their account will not be able to compete in any prized tournament for 12 months following the ban.”
Unbelievably, Joee said cheating ‘was worth the risk’.
“It’s just a game, It was fun and it’s still fun looking at the tweets, no harm done to anyone so what’s the problem,” he said. “This is the first time I cheated I’d like to clarify, we got given a offer and we decided to take it, it was worth the risk.”
It’s not the first case of cheating in UK CSGO. Last month UKCSGO.com reported that Ben “krbY” Kirby has also been banned by Multiplay for trying to cheat.
Analysis: This will happen, but punishments are there for a reason
The UK scene isn’t the most well-respected area of eSports at the best of times, so to report on news like this is disappointing, but it’s part of eSports, just as illegal drug use is still around in athletics and cycling.
ESL was right to ban Joee for two years. Cheaters in my opinion must be punished accordingly, to send a message to anyone else out there who’s cheating and getting away with it, or anyone else thinking of cheating.
Stuff like this can put a downer on UK eSports, but it’s going to happen. I also think there’s something to be said for forgiving and forgetting. People make mistakes, let them take their punishments and let’s all move on together.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.