Yesterday, Kotaku reported that popular Twitch streamer Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, the "shooter wunderkind" we profiled in May, had spent some time playing Playerunknown's Battlegrounds with a hacker. He rode in a flying car, for instance, and scored at least one kill thanks to being told where an opposing player was hiding. The cheatin' action was captured and shared in the video above, which includes a moment at 6:19 where Grzesiek laughs and says, "I'm getting banned."
As it turns out, he was right. In a stream last night Grzesiek stated that he has indeed been temporarily banned. "I was trying to have a good time. Obviously I knew what the fuck I was doing. It wasn't a great idea. It seemed like a great idea. But it wasn't a great idea. I'm sorry to those peeps that are really upset with me, with all the, you know, flying around with the cheater and stuff," he says in this Twitch clip. "I got banned for a month."
Grzesiek clearly isn't heartbroken about the ban, but I suppose he deserves some credit for at least acknowledging that he knew he was breaking the rules. Not that there's any question about that: Near the end of the first video, around the 8:50 mark, the hacker says he sells the cheats and Grzesiek immediately shushes him, telling him, "Don't say a word." Clearly he knows that he's way over the line.
The reaction on Reddit was predictably mixed between players unhappy that high-profile streamers like Grzesiek can seemingly flout the rules and get away with it, and those who believe that he was simply highlighting a serious and ongoing problem in PUBG. Grzesiek himself suggested, once the match was over, that he was at least partially motivated by PUBG's failure to address persistent cheaters once the flying-car session had ended.
"It really goes to show that PUBG, full offense to you guys, don't give a shit because that guy should have been banned immediately," Grzesiek says near the end of the video. "He ran into me twice. The first time he ran me over fine that was kind of quick, whatever. Second time, he parked his car and I killed him when he was flying his car into the house. At that point, he should already be banned. Third time, I said fuck it, I'm gonna have some fun with him. Let's see how long this lasts. We're riding around together, he's still not banned."
(He also described the round as "the best game of PUBG I've ever played," though, so it's kind of a mixed message there.)
Fair or not, PUBG Corp has previously demonstrated that it has no compunctions against dropping the hammer on its most popular players when they get too far out of line: Dr. Disrespect ate a temporary ban last summer for killing a teammate and lipping off about it.