Complexity suspend Halo player Spartan after being disqualified from Halo London Major for hardware tampering

HCS Hall of Champions LAN

Complexity have suspended one of their Halo players after being disqualified from the Halo Championship Series (HCS) London Major.

The HCS admin team found that, ahead of their match against Faze Clan, North American Complexity player Spartan had used an SSD that was not the official one provided for the tournament (which is taking place at Twickenham Stadium this weekend).

“Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the software on the SSD was not provided by the administration and furthermore contained new, unapproved software as well as other changes to the existing software in an effort to increase the performance of the PC,” read an official HCS ruling.

“No software of any other nature was discovered. When talked to, Spartan cooperated with the investigation.

“Competitive integrity and fairness are paramount to the HCS, our partnered teams, players, and community.

“Due to the tampering of official league provided equipment and the nature of gaining a competitive advantage in the tournament as a result of tampering, Complexity have been disqualified from the tournament. Further rulings against Spartan will be determined after the tournament.”

Halo Championship Series

The ruling also stated the rule violations, including section C (cheating) of the HCS 2024 Program Handbook v2, which states: “Any form of cheating, whether intentional or not, by any participant is strictly prohibited.”

Spartan – who only joined Complexity a week ago – also breached section 6 (League Required Equipment): ‘Failure to use provided equipment’ and ‘using unauthorised or unapproved equipment’.

He also breached section 3.1 (general) of the HCS Major London 2024 Official Rules v1.3: “Any violation of the rules set forth in the Handbook, Code of Conduct, or in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, any form of cheating, may result in a forfeit of the Game/Match and/or disqualification from the Tournament.”

Complexity respond to Halo London Major disqualification, suspend Spartan

Complexity initially released the following statement regarding the incident:

They later followed this up with the following more in-depth Complexity Halo statement.

Complexity have suspended Spartan from their Halo Infinite roster pending final ruling from HCS after the London Major, and they apologised to HCS, event hosts Quadrant, their fans and the Halo community.

“During scrimmages, Spartan was experiencing PC performance issues including lower than anticipated frame rates,” Complexity explained.

“Spartan did not notify a tournament admin of these performance issues, instead opting to take actions in an effort to improve the performance of his SSD/PC. (note: Spartan has significant technical expertise in computer optimization for Halo Infinite and has previously helped the HCS to establish a standard set of steps for optimizing PCs at HCS events.”

The org said he reformatted the provided SSD using a USB Windows image of his home PC setup, featuring MSI Afterburner, various Windows settings and registry changes.

Ahead of the Faze match, Complexity said: “Tournament admins went to each player’s PC to ensure that a white noise program was enabled. When the tournament admin performed this check on Spartan’s PC, it was discovered that the white noise program was not installed as Spartan had reformatted the Windows installation on his SSD. The tournament admin decided that Spartan’s SSD would be swapped for a fresh SSD as a result of the above discovery.

“Spartan’s computer had a fresh SSD installed and the tournament admins retained Spartan’s initial SSD. Spartan subsequently set up on this new SSD by updating the display refresh rate, changing a controller input setting in Steam, and utilizing a tuning preset in AMD Adrenaline program.

“The team and Spartan played the match vs FaZe Clan on the main stage with the newly issued fresh SSD – not the reimaged SSD.”

“Our belief is that the spirit of Spartan’s actions were not intentionally malicious or deceitful, but his actions were careless, unprofessional and violated rules outlined in the HCS statement. Our finding is that Spartan, without informing a tournament admin, took significant and unusual steps to modify software on his SSD in order to increase PC performance, resulting in a competitive advantage.”

Complexity

Complexity say that ahead of the Cloud9 match, Complexity coach Ashes and player Spartan were informed an investigation had been carried out into equipment tampering, and there appeared to be a competitive integrity issue, with Complexity to be disqualified.

Complexity added: “Spartan maintains that he at no time brought an outside SSD to the event and swapped it for the tournament issued SSD, only that he reimaged the SSD provided by the tournament. HCS tournament admins are confident the SSD is not part of their competitive fleet because it is a different memory size as compared to their normal SSDs. To the extent of our knowledge, this is the only point where Spartan’s and HCS perspectives materially differ.”

“First and foremost, Complexity respects the competitive ruling issued by HCS and we appreciate their cooperation to determine the facts and outcomes in a timely manner. Competitive integrity is paramount to our industry and actions that detract from fair play cannot be tolerated at events of any size.

“Our belief is that the spirit of Spartan’s actions were not intentionally malicious or deceitful, but his actions were careless, unprofessional and violated rules outlined in the HCS statement. Our finding is that Spartan, without informing a tournament admin, took significant and unusual steps to modify software on his SSD in order to increase PC performance, resulting in a competitive advantage.”

“Our finding echoes the HCS statement that no additional prohibited software outside of the PC performance modifications was detected on Spartan’s SSD. We appreciate that Spartan cooperated fully with the HCS and Complexity fact finding missions, but that does not absolve him of the actions detailed above.

“We are disheartened that this incident caused a premature end to our promising London Major appearance, but we hope to continue our work in the Halo community to set a positive example through our competitive team, community events, and more. We appreciate your continued support of Complexity Halo.”

Spartan reacted with the following tweet:

Complexity originally qualified for the London Major by placing 6th at the Arlington Major back in March.

The disqualification guaranteed that FaZe Clan, Cloud 9 and Open Bracket qualifying team – Reversal Perfy – made it into the playoff bracket.

UK org Into the Breach were also competing at the HCS London Major this weekend, but were eliminated on round difference.

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