Notable COD streamer NICKMERCS announced that he will be stepping away from playing competitive Warzone matches. His reasons for leaving the competitive scene was revealed on a recent stream of his in which he states that hackers have ruined the game for him. According to him, there is no pride in victory when there are cheaters willing to do anything to increase their odds of winning.
Other big Twitch personalities are making light of the amount of cheating in competitive matches as well. Tommey recently flagged a Warzone competitor named HNLPacesetter for being suspected of using a wallhack during a 2v2 match with a cash prize of $1000. During the competitive match, Pacesetter appeared to be playing very carelessly while achieving an impressive kill count. People claimed that when his play style changed mid-game, his kill count dropped significantly. This could be due to the fact that cheaters can toggle their hacks in order to keep some suspicions at bay.
The fact that highly skilled big-name streamers like NICKMERCS and Tommey are staying away from competition because of these hacks makes it a really serious issue. The Warzone community sees nothing wrong with the reasons for why NICKMERCS has decided to quit playing competitively. In fact, the majority see cheaters as a very real problem relating not just to Call of Duty: Warzone, but other battle royale communities like Fortnite. NICKMERCS went on to say on stream that cheating is almost like a natural part of the evolution of battle royale games.
But what can be done about it? Every player has the option of reporting others suspected of cheating, but that action can only go so far. Cheaters can be called out by high-profile streamers in order to flag those players and bring more awareness to the current state of in-game exploitation, but that is quite inefficient. The game developers can implement more anti-cheat protocols and increase the magnitude of punishments for hacking, but skilled netrunners will still have the savviness to work around any barriers.
NICKMERCS’ departure from playing competitive Warzone matches will spark more conversation about the ethics of playing prize pool matches. Maybe by supporting NICKMERCS in his decision and focusing more attention on dealing with rampant cheating, the battle royale community will start taking steps towards restoring the level of dignity it once had.