The hits keep on coming for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ esports endeavors, as more cheaters have been identified and banned from the game, including some professional players.
According to Kotaku, another wave of bans has swept across the competitive landscape of PUBG, which has claimed over 30,000 players and has upped its count of professional PUBG players to a total of fourteen since December.
PUBG Corp. has not revealed the details of the program used by the cheaters – referring to it only as an “unauthorized program” – but we have learned that the hack uses a VPN method to read game data packets that are sent over the game's servers, allowing cheaters to view opposing player locations on a second monitor. This differs from previous hacks that essentially read the game files themselves, which are easier hacks to detect.
The new bans follow suit with the ones that occurred at the end of December, when four competitive PUBG players were been banned for three-years from participating in the National PUBG League (NPL) for cheating. Ten more competitive players – along with two other players who knew of the hack, but did nothing – have been banned for durations of anywhere between a minimum of one year to the max ban duration of three years.
Unlike last year’s ban, in which the entire team was dropped from competition and replaced by the next highest-ranked team, some of the teams will get to retain their position, needing to only replace the banned player.
In its tweet, @PUBGEsports mentions that future competitions will include background checks on all involved player accounts in an attempt to weed out cheating players before they actually compete. It also acknowledges the fact that cheating and hacking “can severely damage the integrity of the game in an insidious manner.”
But isn’t that all common sense? At the very least, it is an issue that PUBG players have been putting up with for a very long time, and likely one of the main reasons why the one-time champion of the battle royale genre has seen such a drop in players.