The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has handed a 5-year ban to Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat for cheating in the EXTREMESLAND Asia Finals, and on further investigation, the ESL India Fall Premiership as well.
Our statement on Forsaken's cheating in the ESL India Premiership: https://t.co/egZ6UOGpRM
— ESIC (@ESIC_Official) October 24, 2018
Whilst such a blatant case of hacking on LAN and being caught as well would have called for an immediate lifetime ban, ESIC has justified its decision by allowing the case to follow its “due process and natural justice” and not taking a decision impulsively.
The statement read:
We considered the nature and extent of his cheating as a level four offence under the Code (Art 2.4.4). For a second offence, the maximum sanction is a lifetime ban, but we took the view that this was not proportionate as his first offence in 2017 was only very indirectly related to this offence and that a lifetime ban would have been disproportionate. We are conscious that many in the CS:GO community will disagree with this and we understand their feelings, but do not agree and feel that sanctions in esports ought to reflect what is accepted practice in traditional sports as our industry professionalizes.
Integrity Commissioner, Ian Smith, said,
It is always desperately sad when something like this happens in esports, but this case is particularly disappointing as we have previously shown compassion and consideration for Kumawat in our prior dealings with him. Additionally, he has caused great damage to Indian CS:GO and esports and devalued an excellent competition. There is no place in esports for cheats like Kumawat and, at a personal level, I hope we never see him back in CS:GO or any other game again.
This statement is in stark contrast to the length of the ban given, as at 27 Kumawat would be eligible to play again. They have proved to be two-faced in the past as well, as they were very heavy on the IBuyPower Roster in 2014 for throwing a single game, but on the other hand were very lenient towards forsaken in 2016 when his original 2 year ban for violating Account trading rules and being in possession of VAC Banned accounts was reduced to 6 months.
Forsaken has yet to respond and has 48 hours to do so, which will likely go uncontested, as a majority of the community would surely feel that the ban was way too lenient. This will also cause the integrity and the fairness of ESIC to come under huge question, as it is not the first time their decision is heavily against popular sentiment.