Steven R. May 31, 2019
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a big problem with players cheating, but at least one infamous alleged hacker might just have gotten his comeuppance.
YouTuber Zuhn has received a permanent ban from CS:GO. The bans are visible on two of Zuhn's Steam accounts and were delivered simultaneously.
The player has built a sizable social media following, including over 300,000 subscribers and tens of millions of views on YouTube with his highlight reels of wild bunny hopping and jumping headshots. Those plays have long led to accusations of the use of scripts or hacks.
Though his frequent wallbang Desert Eagle headshots and lightning quick leaps through choke points suggests he had extra help, he did not receive bans through anti-cheat measures.
While aimbots and wallhacking are often caught through Valve Anti-Cheat, that wasn’t the case with Zuhn. The flags on his accounts stemmed from Overwatch bans, which are manually delivered by a crew of investigators from the community after a player receives a disproportionate number of in-game reports on an account. These bans can be applied for anything from disruptive behavior to suspected cheating. More information on CS:GO’s Overwatch system can be found on the Steam Support page.
Though it is unclear what Zuhn was reported for, he denied any and all wrongdoing on Twitter.
Can you get unbanned on Steam?
Officially, once a player is banned on Steam, nothing can be done. Support pages for both VAC and Overwatch bans state they are “non-negotiable and cannot be removed or reduced by Steam Support.” This would suggest that Zuhn is simply done in CS:GO on his main accounts, and will have to start over from scratch.
In reality, there is a small chance the bans could be overturned. Fellow CS:GO YouTuber Foekroka received a VAC ban while playing the game in December. He challenged the ban by claiming he was using a cheat engine for NBA 2k19 which he had left open while playing CS:GO, resulting in a false positive from VAC. He received some community support in the form of other players experimenting with cheat engines for other games, which proved that cheat engines that confer no competitive advantage in CS:GO can result in VAC bans in the game. The ban was overturned weeks later.
That said, Overwatch bans are an entirely separate matter and odds are that Zuhn will find no help from Steam Support. He has been openly tweeting about creating a new account, so expect more suspicious videos to arise in the near future.