We all saw this post coming. This story is right up my alley. It's tailor-made, a perfect fit, the fastball right down the middle of the plate.
Before we get to my thoughts, I wanted to aggregate different arguments across a couple forums. People have brought up good points in a few places, so I figured I might as well condense them in one place.
I assume everybody has heard about what happened, but if you haven't you should take a little time to read this post on Complexitygaming.com. Clown speaks out about the situation and, of course, the subsequent ban for cheating for him and Devour. I'm going to highlight a couple parts here that I think are appropriate, but as always you'd be better off reading the whole post.
"After everyone in #prosource (an invite channel of high caliber players from cal-I to cevo-p) basically explained to me that we have no chance, and how bad KBS cheats, and after experiencing it first hand on the first 7 rounds we played on train we realized that for us to be cheated out of 5 brand new computers that we knew they did not deserve, and everyone who knows glockateer and company(KBS) can agree with me when I say that I was sick of getting cheated. Especially after the long 15 hour day we had the night before, with all the arguing and complications with the servers, I talked to my teammates and we came to the decision that devour and I would try hacks for our FIRST time, no we did not cheat in the past."
"We didn't really try to hide the fact I had cheats, it was more of a statement to KBS and CEVO, I blatantly "amsged" on mIRC for cheats. After our train match when we came back and won we decided to take off the cheats for nuke, since our nuke was a lot stronger for us."
"Yes, it was a stupid thing to do, would I do it again? Yes, I would have found better cheats, because I am not sorry for what I did. I was basically fighting fire with fire, I know they were cheating and they know they were cheating, that's the bottom line. In result we are banned for the next year in CEVO, and I am pretty sure all CEVO events. We will be competing LEGIT in ESEA, and any other leagues we decide to enter. As for Sam and I personally we will be attending ETS in Montreal, Canada March 20-23rd."
Again, I encourage you to read the post if you haven't, but I think these catch the high points: clown admits to using the cheats, explains some of the circumstances around the match (including the delays), calls into question KBS's legitimacy (as have many others), and then sums it up.
clown also made a post on the GotFrag forums about it, which I'll post in its entirety:
"Long story short, yes we cheated in 1 cevo match ever, hence us getting caught, clueless on wtf we are doing, as for #3 rofl... cheating for a while you're an idiot haha did i also cheat in all the lan tournies i won? ur a moron, KBS the team we were playing in the finals blatantly cheats and cevo wasnt going to ban them, so instead of being victims of cheaters, we decided to do some payback... obviously I should have used the ones everyone pmed me about those 20$ a month ones, instead of free ones."
- clowN, via GotFrag forums
Now for some reactions...
"wtf is with everyone supporting clown and devour?
i knew clown hacked b4 this.
since when was it cool to hack against hackers, either your legit or your ****. how do you prove a point to a hacker by hacking against them? stupidest thing i have ever heard. wouldnt you want to try and beat them legit. everyone get off clowns ****, u know what he did was wrong, everyone will get caught sooner or later, all he did was fuck himself over"
- Blue, Complexity Comment #18
"I don't think what Clown did was right at all. If you know they're cheating, you do what you can to get them banned. You fight it, you prove it as much as you can, and you get them banned.
Cheating to fight against other cheaters is the most unsportsmanlike move you can do. What good did it do? Now they're both banned until 2010 from CEVO (Arguably the ONLY league to run CS:S for 2009), so what now?
I think he should of thought before he performed his actions."
- Gillz, Complexity Comment #27
"Why all the love for clowN? To be perfectly honest you sound like a baby. A few techincal mishaps that were out of your control is no excuse for you to cheat.
And since you are so desperate to say this was your FIRST and ONLY time to cheat makes it even less believable. You're really trying to sell a lot of bullshit here. Don't care if KBS are suspected cheaters, that is ALL they are. Suspected.
Now guess what you guys are? PROVEN cheaters. Now anytime you win anything there will always be that shadow of doubt, that little astericks that takes away your full victory.
Fighting fire with fire, that is balogne. Have you ever heard of taking the high road and not stooping to their level? We can't even really say that either because nobody even has any proof they cheated or have cheated before this.
Whatever message you were trying to send was pretty weak, and it's drowned out by your own lack of character"
- mmmapplesauce, Complexity Comment #31
Stop defending cheating. "well it's okay that I cheated, cause they were cheating first! THEY WERE GONNA WIN! I COULDN'T LET THAT HAPPEN!!!!" What kind of an excuse is that? So what if they were going to win some computers. That's CEVO's loss, if you invested so much time in it, you should have continued to play or left CEVO out of spite. But cheating? pshhh..
- Ozzy, Complexity Comment #48
"In my opinion, it was wrong. No gray area here. If it was true what they claim, I can understand the frustration. That does not by any means condone cheating in retaliation. Cheating is cheating. They made a mistake, maybe some good will come of it but I think they hurt their cause more than helped. I think they would have been much better served by appealing in a mature way to CEVO and the community."
- Singlecoil, GotFrag Comment #81
"good. im glad they did it. after seeing Glockateer pull off the biggest BS prefire on de_season On Volcano, i have always questioned him. sam and yaz proved a good point. look at that xploD kid and how blatant he is."
- phreaK, Complexity Comment #11
"Doin what needed to be done to get the attention necessary to help cure the problem. Mad respect. Sometimes the old fashioned way doesn't always work."
- Sryinex, Complexity Comment #35
"I dont blame them to hell with it they did the right thing at there level of play your telling me KBS is rolling them? Too bad they got the worse end of the deal though."
-- :::v3ng3^, Complexity Comment #39
"He cheated the prove a point to the admins, which they didn't get. He didn't cheat to cheat, so there is a difference.
They didn't cheat "just to get back" at the other team, it was also to show the admins how poorly they were doing their job.
So, technically, you can praise their actions because it let the community know how badly Cevo is at hiring admins and stuff XD"
-- Obelisk7, Complexity Comment #47
"fair play clown and devour.. even though a lot of people are saying they wouldnt i mean come on.. all your friends getting beaten by a bunch of cheaters (which they are).. and then you having to play them with $$$ worth of equipment on the line.. i know id cheat in their shoes.."
-- d:-x, Complexity Comment #75
The comments covered both sides pretty well, so I won't add too much. Plus, nobody really wants to read 3000 words. I'll leave some of the other issues, like the effect this might have on CEVO as a whole, for a later post.
As for clowN and devour, I'm going to say this as clearly as I can: I think they were flat-out wrong.
Don't misunderstand, I also think I, and every other player in the history of online CS, has an unbridled, undying hatred of hackers. It comes with the territory. On that matter it's easy to sympathize with them because we've all been down a road where something important is on the line (be it money, pride, or something else) and felt like the people playing against us weren't sticklers for things like "rules". I think even those that disagree with their methods, such as myself, can understand the root causes.
The problem is that the ends don't justify the means. Even if they were trying to level the playing field, call attention to KBS, or were just sick and tired of playing against suspected hackers, as Singlecoil said cheating is cheating. I understand why they were frustrated, but this was absolutely the wrong way to go about the situation. If they wanted to win, they should have played it straight, and trusted in their skills and/or the CEVO AC.
If they thought that wasn't an option and they'd lose no matter what, and wanted to go down in a blaze of glory so people would look at the situation, there were better ways to draw attention to the problem than cheating themselves. Imagine if they sat in spawn for the whole championship as a form of protest? Somebody from GotFrag or Complexitygaming would still come around asking questions, clowN still would have had the chance to speak his piece, and instead of the headline being "clown and devour banned from CEVO" it would be something like "OPTX Protest Championship Match". And, obviously, instead of the story being the banning, it'd be the reasons behind the protest.
The worst part might be the answer to this question: what did they actually accomplish? Let's look at it this way. In the comments there are three reasons put forth for using the hacks, as far as I can tell. They are:
Public Interest (calling attention to KBS and the possibility that they cheat)
Protest (making a point about the tournament's problems, and CEVO's anti-cheat)
Payback (punking the people that punked you)
Even if we assume they had the best intentions in mind, in the end I think the trade-off was this: in exchange for making their point and galvanizing the people that already agreed with them, they drew attention away from KBS, tarnished the competition more than it already was if KBS was cheating, got banned, and hurt their own reputations in the minds of many by stooping to the level of the same people they were railing against.
Not so good.