The First Person Shooter (FPS) genre has a lot of history behind it, and throughout it’s history, players and spectators alike are used are used to seeing many cheating accusations, or even pro players getting banned for cheating. However, have you ever seen a team getting disqualified from a tournament based on a TWITCH CLIP? That’s what happened yesterday afternoon to Built By Gamers (BBG) in the Pittsburgh Knights Before Christmas VALORANT tournament.
The event occurred in round 16 of the tournament in which BBG faced off against famous streamer Ninja’s team Time In. BBG defeated Time In 2-0, but everything changed when Ninja tweeted at the tournament’s organizer, stating “Follow pls! need to DM”.
Soon after, the Pittsburgh Knights tweeted an announcement.
“Team Built By Gamers are disqualified due to an on-going investigation. Ninja’s team will be moving forward.”
Immediately, fans and prominent esports figures responded with comments against the decision. The president of Pittsburgh, James O’connor shared another tweet to clarify the situation.
“After reviewing the clips I made the final call to DQ the team. With the tournament continuing tomorrow and us putting competitive integrity first, we suggested BBG decline to play and they agreed. Riot is currently reviewing his [fourth] cheating accusation in the past few months.”
The clip that was used as evidence is linked below. In the clip, BBG’s Critical is trying to protect his gun for the next round in the market position of Ascent, and his crosshair flipped onto the opponent’s silhouette over the wall. Riot Games had reviewed Critical three times due to cheating accusations, but the player has been found innocent.
While O’Connor stated BBG had agreed to bow out, BBG claimed this was not true, according to the team player robwiz. O’Connor pushed back, stating, “I spoke to your ownership Rob,” but robwiz tweeted back, stating BBG’s ownership didn’t agree with the decision either.
Robwiz published a “Twitlonger” about the occasion, mentioning that, “Apparently there was a request sent to Riot to review Vanguard info from our match, but since Riot is all on Christmas break it cannot be reviewed so we are removed from the tournament off of pure suspicion.” He also implied Ninja’s huge fan base was the factor of this decision.
“Critical has been cleared by Riot 3 times already, and there’s no way to hard prove he was cheating, and the evidence is just not enough. I have to think the fact that Ninja has such a big following is a factor in this, but who knows.”
BBG’s 18-year-old Critical only commented once on the issue. “People can’t handle that I’m simply just better but whatever.”
Despite thousands of calls to action against the Pittsburgh Knights, things seemed to cool off, until James O’Connor sent another tweet. Nearly 2 hours after the judgment, the president said, “Anti-Cheat Police Department did not detect anything so we are reinstating the team whether they chose to play or not. Ninja’s team will not move forward. Thanks for the fast response during the holiday.”
While this move appeased many fans, it also made others furious, since the Anti-Cheat department is an informal entity and with no bonds to Riot Games.
After the final call by O’Connor, Ninja shared a tweet and wished good luck to Built by Gamers. However, BBG decided not to accept their reinstatement, and have left the tournament.