20,000 Call of Duty: Warzone cheaters were banned on Monday

(Image credit: Activision)
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Call of Duty: Warzone (opens in new tab)'s sixth season started today, and roughly 20,000 players are going to miss out on it. A Vice (opens in new tab) report says Activision dropped a big hammer on cheaters yesterday after the company detected them using a popular cheat.

People "familiar with the matter" told the site that one user banned from the game, Twitch streamer Nick Wagner, was shown the door for using EngineOwning, a subscription-based cheat service. 

It's not confirmed that other cheaters caught up in the banwave were using the same thing, but the EngineOwning website (opens in new tab) now lists its cheat for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019, which also covers Warzone, as "detected," meaning that developer Infinity Ward is able to tell when it's being used and, presumably, do something about it.

Complaints about the bans, and a certain amount of glee (which I assume comes from non-cheaters) are now making the rounds on the EngineOwning forums.

At least this guy is maintaining some perspective on the whole thing.

(Image credit: EngineOwning)

EngineOwning is the same cheat that streamer MrGolds was using in August when he was caught cheating (opens in new tab) in Warzone and subsequently lost his Twitch channel. (It has since been returned.) 

Infinity Ward dropped the banhammer on roughly 70,000 Warzone (opens in new tab) cheaters in April, and in July it warned that "more banwaves are coming," a statement that drew some derision from players who viewed it as toothless (opens in new tab). Activision got heavier in August, however, when it took legal action (opens in new tab) against cheat maker CxCheats in August, forcing it to stop selling its software and apologize for the trouble its caused. 

An Activision rep confirmed that it had begun issuing bans on Monday, while EngineOwning sounds like it's not ready to give up just yet: Site administrator AimBRoT said the developers will continue to "work on the detection." 

Update: Infinity Ward said on Twitter that it has now banned more than 200,000 accounts for cheating. 

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.