These are the most infamous Counter-Strike: Global offensive pros that have received VAC bans from Valve.
A VAC ban is the harshest punishment a CSGOplayer can receive. While the system may not catch every cheater, when caught they get banned for life. For pro players, this means that they can again never play in a major, the most important CSGO tournaments of the year.
Simon “smn” Beck was a German professional CSGO player who received a VAC ban in late 2014. At the time, he represented German organization Team ALTERNATE, which later rebranded as ALTERNATE aTTaX. He initially received a ban on ESEA and was VAC banned shortly after.
While not many people know the name smn, his VAC ban caused quite a stir in the CSGO scene. In a deleted Facebook post following the announcement of his ban, he confessed to using cheats and called out several other pros. He named the following players as cheaters:
His post triggered a witch hunt, with fans accusing these players of cheating and searching for suspicious clips. But while the initial outrage in the community was significant, things were about to take a turn for the worse.
Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian, a French CSGO pro, received a VAC ban a few hours after smn. While smn was a relatively unknown player, KQLY played for one of the biggest teams in CSGO at the time, Titan.
KQLY’s ban added an enormous amount of fuel to the ongoing witch hunt. As KQLY was one of the players named by smn, some took it as a signal thet all the other pros on the list must have been cheating as well.
While KQLY admitted to using cheats for a week, he claimed that he never used them in a professional setting.
When Nikhil “forsaken” Kumawat was caught running an aimbot on his computer during the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Finals, he did not just end his own career. He may have single-handedly killed the entire Indian CSGO scene.
At the time, India was considered one of the biggest growth markets for CSGO teams. OpTic Gaming jumped on the opportunity and signed some of the most promising players India had to offer, including forsaken.
But forsaken was using an aim assist. During eXTREMESLAND, his computer’s virus protection software marked the cheats, prompting the tournament admins to check his PC. forsaken comically tried to hide his cheats by calling the file ‘word.exe”.
forsaken received a five-year ESIC ban, meaning he can not compete in any tournament, Valve-sponsored or not, on top of his VAC ban.
Vinicius “vsm” Moreira is considered to be among the next CSGO superstars coming from Brazil. But there’s one problem that’s been holding him back. As a 13-year old kid, he used cheating software in matchmaking, resulting in his account receiving a VAC ban.
This VAC ban has had a massive impact on his career. While big tournament organizers have cleared his name and allowed him to compete in their events, Valve hasn’t followed suit.
Many pro players and figures from the CSGO community have spoken out against the ban. #freevsm is seen trending on Twitter every time the player hits an impressive shot.
In a similar situation to vsm’s, Elias “jamppi” Olkkonen’s name is linked to an account that received a VAC ban years ago. But jamppi denies that he ever cheated.
He says he bought the account for a friend who later received a VAC ban for cheating. While the account was registered under his name, jamppi claims that it wasn’t under his control at the time of the ban.
Valve decided to uphold the ban regardless of these claims. This prompted jamppi to sue the company in an attempt to clear his name. Even so, Valve still didn’t clear jamppi of the VAC ban, as he would have breached Steam’s terms of service for account sharing even if his claims were true.
jamppi remained banned and couldn’t compete in Valve-sponsored events. He recently decided to switch to Valorant as a result. After streaming the game for a while, he signed a contract with Team Liquid to play on its Valorant team.
Getting VAC banned is bad enough. Getting banned mid-game, with thousands of viewers watching, is even worse.
Joel “emilio” Mako is a former Swedish CSGO pro. In October of 2014, he and his team were competing in the Fragbite Masters. During a match against HellRaisers, emilio suddenly disconnected from the server. To everyone’s surprise, an automated message that the player had disconnected due to a VAC ban appeared on the screen.
The casters initially assumed it was an error. But as time went on it became clear the ban was legit. His team was disqualified and HellRaisers was given a forfeit victory. emilio denied ever using cheats and tried to clear his name. Once again, Valve refused to reconsider.