Warzone 2 cheater gets delicious comeuppance live during $100K tournament

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(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
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Professional Warzone player Exoniz recently competed in the Warzone World Classic tournament, which has a $100K prize pool, representing Turkey. Exoniz is a player that has previously attracted the wrong kind of attention, with various of his fellow professionals having posted odd-looking clips of his plays and suggesting he might be a bit of a cheating old cheater. This accusation is not uncommon in the Call of Duty esports world, to be fair, but here it was widespread and backed up by proof.

Here's one of the clips that was circulating pre-tournament, apparently showing Exoniz 'snapping' to and tagging a player that is not visible (though apparently he doesn't have any aiming cheats on).

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It has to be said that this doesn't seem like definitive proof, but then Exoniz decided to just go ahead and prove it himself. Annoyed at the claims he'd been cheating, Exoniz decided to stream his monitor to Twitch during the tournament (as noticed by Dexerto (opens in new tab)). At one point Exoniz moved the monitor on its mount, whereupon an unusual looking menu popped up slap-bang in the middle of the screen. Exoniz quickly claimed this was a glitch but, y'know, it looks a lot more like a cheat menu for some dodgy software than a glitch.

It is also pretty hilarious watching the player desperately move his monitor back-and-forth as he realises what's just happened.

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Exoniz stopped streaming shortly afterwards. The reason I used the above video is because subsequent to this, the clip began circulating around the Warzone 2 community and Exoniz deleted his Twitter (opens in new tab) and Twitch (opens in new tab) accounts (including the stream), which certainly screams innocence to me.

The tournament has now disqualified the player, and Turkey, whose results are now shown as a clean sweep of losses (opens in new tab).

A teammate that had defended Exoniz when the accusations initially surfaced was also forced into eating some humble pie. İsmail Tahsin Çelik explained he'd once been falsely accused of cheating himself, and had some sympathy for Exoniz: "But when I see the screenshots and clips, I got shocked and blocked [Exoniz] immediately. I'm sorry for everything."

While this is a story about one cheater getting their deserved comeuppance, the bigger picture for Warzone 2 is simple: players remain suspicious of Activision Blizzard's much-vaunted Ricochet, a kernel level anti-cheat system, and this shows that there are cheats still slipping through the net. Pair that up with recent reports (opens in new tab) that Ricochet may be banning innocent players, and it looks like there's some explaining to do.

I've contacted Activision Blizzard for comment, both on this incident and Ricochet in general, and will update with any response.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."