Most Famous Cheaters in CS: GO

The popular first-person shooter video game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), has been around for two decades and has seen its fair share of cheating over the years. However, a few of these cheats have taken the cup as some of the most famous CS: GO cheats because of how well known and celebrated the cheaters had been. Cheating is common among e-sport games, and although difficult to totally eradicate, the game's developer, Valve, has been on its heels to try to address the problem.


Cheating is common among non-top players, but for top players, given the work it takes and notoriety you get for being a professional CS: GO player, you’d think the cheating stops there. Cheating does take away the fun and camaraderie that comes out of competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, despite the status and admiration of being a pro player, you can still find cheating at these higher levels in the gaming community. There are a few common cheats used by players:


  • Some players use WallHack to see the position of other players.


  • Aimbot and its more subtle modifications is a program that automatically shoots an opposing player who comes in field view.


  • Other cheat software improves a player’s recoil, a skill difficult to master by most players.


  • The Aimlock is a cheat that is difficult to detect that moves a crosshair in the enemy's direction. Pro players are known to use this cheat.


Cheating does bring esports into disrepute. The stakes are higher at professional play levels, where tournament champions can stand to win prize money of up to US$2 million. One major cheating incident saw the ban of 37 esport coaches being banned from the tournament for varying lengths of time from a few months to three years last year in September 2020.


This ban was unprecedented and meant to serve as a deterrent to uphold the sport's integrity, attracting many investors to its forefronts. Investigations by Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) revealed that some top-level coaches utilized a spectator bug to gain an unfair advantage by viewing the gaming maps of opposing teams and relaying the privileged information to their teams.


Some other cheating incidents that drew attention to how widespread cheating was involved professional players cheating during competitive tournaments. The players were caught cheating and inevitably banned from the game.


  • Joel Mako, who went by the name Emilio, is a former Swedish pro player was banned from the esports in 2014 for cheating.


  • Another professional player who received a VAC ban was the French player Hovik Tovmassian (KQLY). He played for several well-known esport teams. He did give rise to a shot known as the KQLY shot before leaving the competitive arena.


  • Former Russian pro player, Mikhail Lakhvich better known as S3mig0d, got a VAC ban in 2013 and was barred from Valve tournaments.


  • Nikhil Kumawat, or Forsaken, who played as an Indian pro player, was caught hacking in a 2018 tournament. He subsequently received an indefinite VAC ban and an ESIC five year ban.


The Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) software is there to detect cheating players and issue a permanent VAC ban on their steam accounts. There is still a lot of work to be done as programmers are continuously coming up with new cheats, and with the game becoming free to play, the number of VAC bans has significantly increased.