Natus Vincere’s disappointing sixth-place finish was strange, but it wasn’t the weirdest thing happening at EPIC CIS League Spring.
According to all-star Na`Vi AWPer Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, tournament host EPIC League skipped out on several basic security measures that are meant to ensure fair play. The CIS Regional Major Rankings event lacked anti-cheat, team voice recording, and replays. Those features are considered the bare minimum for security at most competitive CSGO events.
Epic League : no anticheat, no TeamSpeak record, no replays, no info about future matches for 5th-6th place
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) May 29, 2021
s1mple aired his grievances on Twitter as a response to journalist Duncan “Thorin” Shields. Thorin was previously critical of Flashpoint Season 3’s rematch issues, but he considered EPIC League’s event to present an even bigger affront to competitive integrity. s1mple’s response has drawn further interest in the event’s dubious security standards.
Official information about the situation with the 5-6 place and the distribution of RMR points will appear very soon.
Stay tuned!#CISRMR pic.twitter.com/f4OZWnG43g
— EPICENTER (@epicentergg) May 30, 2021
To make things even stranger, Natus Vincere and Entropiq mutually decided to cancel their fifth-place decider match. The exact reason was not given, though it likely stems from frustration with EPIC CIS League’s subpar standards. The match would have affected the amount of Regional Major Rankings points earned by both teams, but now Navi and Entropiq will split the potential gain evenly. The official RMR rulebook includes a point distribution clause for canceled matches, but this is the first time teams have mutually agreed to not play a tournament match.
Akuma faces cheating accusations after EPIC League run
EPIC CIS League Spring also featured a number of unanticipated upsets, including Natus Vincere’s quarterfinals loss to relatively unknown stack Akuma. The new team also defeated Virtus.pro, K23, and other renowned CIS squads. Akuma has been accused of several cheating techniques ranging from hardware-based radar hacks to external aimlocks. Valve Anti-Cheat was disabled for EPIC League matches with no other anti-cheat applied. But there is currently no conclusive evidence that Akuma is cheating at EPIC CIS League Spring.
Outside of automatic cheat detection, team communications and player perspectives are vital tools in determining if a player is hacking or not. Since all three of those measures are absent from EPIC League, it will be close to impossible to verify fair play.
EPIC CIS League Spring was organized by Epic Esports Events and the Russian eSports Federation. The RESF is a state-acknowledged esports regulatory body that oversees Russian esports tournaments, youth leagues, and accreditation.
The Regional Major Rankings system is Valve’s way of organizing third-party CSGO events. RMR events award points to competing teams, which ultimately determines who will attend the $2,000,000 PGL Major Stockholm in October. Considering the lax security standards displayed by Epic Esports and its partners, Valve could rescind Epic’s ability to host future RMR events.