Dirty dozen PUBG esports pros get banned for cheating

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

No less than 12 professional PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) players have been banned from competitive play because they cheated at the game, or were aware of teammates cheating.

Cheating is a big issue with PUBG, as we saw at the close of last year, when a massive 30,000 players were banned, including four professionals.

How were this latest dirty dozen pros cheating? The ruling from PUBG Corp only states that the bans have been handed out for using an ‘unauthorized program’, or in the case of two of them, being aware a teammate was doing this and keeping quiet about it.

As Eurogamer reports, though, seemingly some of those who have been suspended have been talking about the affair online, and have admitted they were using ‘radar hacking’. This is the practice of reading game data packets (using a VPN connection) sent to the server to extract information on the location of other players as the match is unfolding.

Six professionals who were found to be cheating in pro games have been suspended from competitive PUBG play for three years, with four pros who were cheating in public (non-competitive) games getting banned from competitive play for two years.

The two players who didn’t cheat, but had knowledge of someone in their team cheating, were made an example of with a three year ban from competitive play – the same as the cheaters themselves.

PUBG Corp noted that: “We believe that condoning the cheating activities of teammates to share the common benefit should be as severely punished as performing the activities itself.”

Team trauma

A European squad, Sans Domicile, had four players involved in these cheating shenanigans, and as a result the team has lost its spot in the Contenders League. Furthermore, the team will only be allowed back in to join future events when it has an entirely new roster of players.

PUBG Corp also made it clear that it intends to clamp down further on cheating pros, and that going forward, with any official esports competition, every player taking part will be subject to a “comprehensive background check on all their accounts”. If any evidence of using cheating apps or methods is found, they will obviously be suspended and banned from competitive play.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).