The legitimacy of a popular Call of Duty: Warzone streamer was called into question this week when Charlie "MuTeX" Saouma, the former Call of Duty pro player who holds the record for the most Warzone kills in a solo squads match, was accused of using third-party hardware and software that allows him to cheat.
Saouma categorically denies the allegation, and to prove there's no nefarious hardware or hacks at work, he streamed this morning with an absurd, panoptic five-camera setup: one to watch his controller, one for his monitors, one for his PC, one for his entire desk, and a standard facecam.
"I want to see somebody call me a cheater now. They're going to look absolutely f—ing oblivious," he said at the start of his July 9 stream. "If you call me a cheater, you're f—ing deluded. It's as simple as that."
You can watch Saouma play with the unorthodox streaming setup below.
The challenge to Saouma's integrity began this week when YouTuber BadBoyBeaman, who analyzes clips (opens in new tab) of streamers he thinks are cheating, released a video (opens in new tab) calling Saouma out for having the program Cronus Pro installed on his PC. Cronus Pro is the companion program to the CronusZen, a $160 controller passthrough box that plugs into a PC and allows users to load controller scripts and mods for certain games that can, for instance, eliminate recoil in your guns or track targets better on-screen. It's hardware-assisted cheating, and for a controller player like Saouma, it looks suspicious.
Saouma responded to Beaman's video with his own video on Twitter (opens in new tab), explaining that the Cronus Pro program on his PC is a holdover from when he used a Cronus device at professional Call of Duty: WW2 LAN events in 2018. Apparently, Cronus devices were officially sanctioned hardware used to create wired controller connections on consoles and prevent Bluetooth interference between controllers. Saouma said the program was spotted on his "outdated" streaming PC that he doesn't use to play games. "I promise you guys I'm not cheating. Just tune into my streams and you will see."
Beaman returned yesterday with a second video (opens in new tab), pointing out that Saouma's PC lists the Cronus Pro program install date as March 2021, months before his world record would be set in June. Saouma contends that a number of factors, including automatic program updates and Windows updates, could explain the install date. (Out of curiosity, I checked my PC and program install dates don't appear to have been altered by the last two years of Windows 10 updates.)
To all the Cronus accusers from today part 1 pic.twitter.com/BfYZagCFYKJuly 7, 2021
Watching Saouma play, it's at least evident that he isn't using a traditional cheat, like a wallhack that lets him see players through walls. He's clearly good at the game, but the extent of Warzone's cheating vulnerabilities (and the game's history with actual cheating streamers (opens in new tab)) means that not even an elaborate five-camera surveillance system can completely rule out unfair play. As cheating operations have continued unabated and Activision hasn't adequately countered cheating methods, paranoia about illegitimate players feels like just another symptom of the larger problem.
Of course, not every case of cheating in Warzone is this murky. You don't have to look far to find aimbotters making no effort to hide their antics, like this recent hack that means Warzone cheaters don't even have to aim at players anymore (opens in new tab).