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Common forms of cheating in esports

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2019 | Business Law

With esports tournaments now holding millions of dollars in cash prizes for the competitors, many gamers try to find an easier and less ethical way to win. Just like with any competitive sport, cheating is prohibited in major tournaments and will result in severe consequences for the guilty player. Typical punishments include a ban that can last from one year to a lifetime, disqualification and forcing a player to forfeit their prize money.

It can feel difficult to catch these dishonest gamers in action due to the quick and sometimes chaotic nature of the competitions. Regardless, it is important to be aware of these types of cheating so you can avoid succumbing to similar habits yourself and to help you keep an eye out for suspicious behavior while you play.

Software and online cheats

The most popular esports titles usually involve playing online, which means that not all major competitions have to be in person. Some players take advantage by implementing hacks that are sometimes difficult to catch by their opponents and the tournament organizers. This could range from using an Aimbot to provide precise targeting in shooting games or having some way to slow down another player’s internet connection. Even though publishers and tournament organizers have gotten stricter about this online behavior, it doesn’t take long for someone to take advantage of the game’s coding.


There has been an ongoing debate on whether Adderall should count as a performance enhancing drug for gamers since many use it to stay awake and maintain their focus on the screen. Until a more definitive verdict is reached on the issue, it’s best to avoid abusing this substance for the safety of your esports career. Many esports tournaments rely on oral fluid tests instead of urine since they better target the drugs players are concerned about.


It’s hard to tell if a player is throwing a match since a lot of their actions on screen can be interpreted as honest mistakes, but it still happens. Many competitive gamers in the past have convinced their opponents to purposefully lose so they can win a bet or advance further in the competition. Recently, a top competitor for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was banned from several tournaments after admitting that he convinced another popular player to lose several matches. While his reasons for doing so were more personal than financial, the Smash Bros. community still strictly forbids match-fixing regardless.

Cheating in esports can cost players thousands of dollars and ruin the fun of the game for competing gamers and viewers. If you believe you lost a major esports competition due to a dishonest player or are wrongfully accused of cheating yourself, contact an attorney that specializes in esports to get the legal representation you need.

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