OpTic Gaming loses $12,000 PUBG prize after being disqualified for cheating

OpTic Gaming finished in second place at the recent PUBG Invitational tournament at IEM Katowice, earning it a tidy $12,000 in prize money. But that position and the prize have been stripped, as ESL has ruled that team member Ian "Bahawaka" Crowe took advantage of a bug that enables players to see through walls. 

Bahawaka's use of the glitch can be seen in the video below: 

It's quick, and doesn't appear to reveal anything of obvious tactical value, but ESL rules are clear: "Intentionally changing your character's angle to look through a texture or object is prohibited ... The intentional use of any bugs, glitches, or errors in the game is strictly forbidden and will be penalized. Any team found to be using any known exploit will forfeit their game upon the first occurrence of the exploit."

Bahawaka claimed on Reddit that he wasn't trying to exploit the glitch, but was actually just trying to hear what was going on outside. "We were playing with ear buds and noise canceling headphones on top. This leads to poor noise quality," he wrote. "I hopped in the corner to get as close as physically possible to their car rotation to track it's movement. If you watched the match live or are familiar with the terrain, there's no benefit to having vision of that hill during that scenario."

But ESL said that the bug can only be exploited "by following certain patterns," including moving in a particular way without a weapon in hand, demonstrated here by Scoom of Team Liquid. Bahawaka clearly puts his gun away before stepping to the wall. And regardless of the information gleaned by the maneuver, what's relevant is that it was performed at all.

The disqualification means that OpTic loses all the points it earned in that game. As a result, it slipped from second place to fifth, and out of the money positions, and teams that had placed below it all move up one rank: Cloud9 to second, Noble to third, and FaZe Clan to fourth.

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.