The Women’s Cyber Games 2020 organized by Gamer.lk was the biggest online eSports event in the country that hosted female eSports athletes from across the island and provided a platform for these gamers to go head to head to win the coveted title. However, this event was in turmoil after accusations were made against our eSports athletes.

The Accusations

Two complaints were made against representatives of Noob Alliance that were made in the following titles

CS GO – nA. Vendetta (Team)
Dota 2 – nA. Cherry (Individual)

Investigations for DOTA 2 have been concluded, and Cherry has been unable to prove her playstyle, due to a broken PC, although she still adamantly claims that it was her. Since she has been unable to prove her playstyle we will not be allowing her to take part in future tournaments under Noob Alliance, however we still would like to see if she can prove her playstyle.

Click here for Gamer.LK Statement

Noob Alliance would like to disclose the information and responses we have received over the week regarding the CS GO allegations as investigations have finally concluded and official results released. 

The following represents the accusations made regarding the women’s league CS GO team

 Phoenix Gaming (PNX):

The 3 Noob Alliance players Hima, Meduza & teehee who supposedly played in the lower bracket match against PnX were not the players nA claims they were.

Tech Morph (TM):

The 5 Noob Alliance players Hima, MeduZa, tee-hee, Udi_Darve, Miss_Detective who supposedly played in the WCG CSGO team finals were not the players nA claims they were.

Upon receiving these allegations, We decided to undertake an internal investigation to identify the truth behind these allegations for which we identified the following evidence against these accusations. 

Preparation

In order to prepare for their WCG CS:GO matches, the girls and Noob Alliance approached one of the most reputable CS:GO players in Sri Lanka; this player and his team has represented Sri Lanka multiple times in reputed international tournaments, bringing fame to their mother country. He agreed to coach the team, on the condition that they attend regular practices and follow through with the practice drills he assigns.

Since the team had only two weeks to practice, the coach decided to get the team to only focus on three maps in the map pool: Mirage, Inferno and Dust 2, the three most common maps in CS:GO. He taught them smokes, positioning, boosts and multiple other things, including team communication. The players took these practice sessions to heart and gave their absolute best during the matches

How Team Vendetta got 16-0’d in Nuke, the first match of the tournament.

The format of WCG CS:GO was a double elimination knockout bracket, where Team Vendetta from Noob Alliance first faced off against Team Sparkles from Tech Morph. Whichever team won this match would potentially face the losing team again in the Grand Finals, and since Team Sparkles was considered the favourites by many, our team knew this was definitely a possibility. Considering this plus the fact that they knew and practiced only three maps, they decided to take a gamble by not playing their best maps –  Mirage, Inferno and Dust 2. In the end these were banned from the map pool and Nuke was played. 

Nuke was a map that the majority of the players in the team had not played in matchmaking before, let alone practiced. This gamble was taken with the hope that the opposite team would be unfamiliar as well with Nuke, and ultimately this didn’t pay off, the team got 16-0’d since they didn’t know how to play the map. 

TM and PNX both state that the team looked uncomfortable in this match: failing nades and smokes, poor corner checking and weak movements. This is partially true, mainly because the team was very uncomfortable with the map Nuke, but the team retains a moderate to good amount of aim and recoil control. You can’t be expected to have good corner checking and equipment usage when you don’t know / haven’t played the map.

We’ve included match histories of the players to prove and corroborate this statement in the report, the videos include matches from up to early 2019, they have been submitted to the Sri Lankan Esports Association, where all esports organisation heads have access to it.

Visit this link to learn about SLESA.

 

The start of the comeback – Mirage vs PnX Red Wings in the Loser Bracket

After dropping down to the loser bracket, Team Vendetta had to face off against Team Red Wings from Phoenix Gaming. This time around, the map chosen was Mirage, their best map from the pool of three maps they practiced with their coach. They were comfortable on this map: they knew what nades/smokes to throw, where to position themselves, which corners to check, and more importantly knew where both bomb sites were.

At this point, when the team started performing well, PnX requested a video call verification from HIMA – which Gamer.LK carried out. The team complied with the request and HIMA from Team Vendetta was on a live video call for almost 20 minutes.

The team ended up performing well and was able to secure the victory, but they were far off from the standard of professional as accused by Phoenix Gaming. They performed to the level expected of a team that was put together in a short period of time, with players that have 6 months to a years worth of experience and coached by a reputed player for two weeks. The difference between the first match and this was the confidence gained by playing a map that they knew and had at least played before.

It is insinuated that HIMA might have switched back to her account before she got the video call, but this couldn’t logically happen since the player has to disconnect from the server before someone else can login to the same account, and we don’t see any disconnections in the demo.

The video below will further corroborate our statements.

<LINK REMOVED DUE TO SLESA RESTRICTIONS>

This is a good example where Medusa displays the skills she learnt from the coach, she boosts on to the bomb site, which takes her six attempts, and ends up killing four people as they literally walk into her aim. A veteran would be able to do that boost in one or at most two attempts from muscle memory, and would be aiming at their head/body instead of body/legs like she did. We wouldn’t describe these movements and aim as professional plays, but rather plays of someone that’s still learning the game. Further to this, her headshot percentage for this match is 14%, a professional player would have a much much higher percentage.

The unfinished Grand Finals, the rematch the team was waiting for.

After beating Team Red Wings from PnX, the team moved into the Grand Finals, where Team Sparkles from Tech Morph was waiting for them. This time, Team Vendetta didn’t hold back, this was their last chance to prove themselves, so they didn’t bother banning their best maps – Mirage, Inferno and Dust 2. The first map was Inferno, one of three maps they had actually practiced and played countless times previously. 

The team executed everything their coach taught them over the last two weeks, and since Inferno is a CT sided map, they were able to dominate and come to the score of 12-3. At this point they figured out someone had joined their channel, the team was alarmed and disrupted since they were waiting till half-time was over and were talking strats for the T side, so they called for the Gamer.LK refs to kick the user out. This is when the user started to spam ping (poke) the players of Team Vendetta on Teamspeak, causing much annoyance and disrupting the gameplay of the Team until the score got to 15-15.. 

We would later learn, through the investigations carried out by Gamer.lk – who had to pause the game for more than an hour in order to carry out the investigation – the user who had joined the channel was a member of Tech Morph, a close friend of the opposing team. He claims that his actions were due to his suspicions of unfair gameplay, whereas the correct action would have been to complain to Gamer.LK – who would have taken a live video call, in order to ensure the legitimacy of the players. The grand finals and the title itself was cancelled due to this disruption causing major time delays plus distracting the players of the team.

General Evidence Against Accusations 

  • The players couldn’t have possibly switched accounts / gotten someone else to play because Gamer.LK did IP verifications on Teamspeak and against CS:GO custom server player IPs (CS:GO custom server is hosted in a VPS where the hosted person have full control on the server logs where the IPs of the players also can be referred to) across all matches, and they all matched. Further to this they also did voice verifications on Teamspeak, making sure that the same person on Teamspeak was on the server.

 

  • Upon further investigation of demo’s it was clear that these players showed a pattern of improvement in their favoured maps (Mirage and Inferno) which was evident from players following pre-practiced strats and rotations.

 

After conducting a preliminary analysis by Noob Alliance, Phoenix Gaming and Tech Morph, the investigation was handed over to an international panel of CS GO veterans to independently verify whether the accusations carried any basis. The international panel conducted their investigation over the weekend and came to the following conclusions.

Link to Investigation Details.

*Names withheld due to SLESA restrictions

Undue Harassment and Backlash Over Unproven Allegations

The team’s players have endured harassment from both opposing clan’s members on social media over unproven allegations. Their family members have seen the posts they were tagged in, and they have been forbidden to take part in Esports in the future. This is a very very sad outcome, considering that women rarely enter Esports – mainly due to toxic situations like this. Any women who see these posts would be fearful of taking part in tournaments, because if they perform well, this is what they would have to look forward to.

Moving Forward

Noob Alliance would like to affirm to the entire community that we are dedicated to the betterment of eSports in Sri Lanka and will strongly back the talented men and women that take the title of Esports athletes. Noob Alliance remains to be the home for one of the largest groups of Sri Lankan Esports atheletes with a very high concentration of talented women and men. We have seen them come a long way, therefore we strongly condemn the undue harassment that was made against them for simply performing above expectations and breaking the notion that women in eSports cannot rise to the occasion. In the meantime, we will be trying to keep the girls motivated, trying to talk to their families and hopefully get them back on to the big stages of Sri Lankan and International Esports in due time. If this is what they can achieve in less than a month, we are looking forward to seeing what can be achieved in the long term, with the help of everyone involved. We would like to thank Raveen from Gamer.LK, Isuru & Dinuwan from Tech Morph, CB & Abith from Phoenix Gaming, and the rest of the SLeSA members for going above and beyond to find the truth behind these accusations and providing a transparent investigation with all the clan heads.

 

*The below video was made using demos from practice sessions before these tournament matches took place