ESEA Open Grand finalist banned for cheating
ESEA have announced that the grand finals of ESEA Open Season 44 have been overturned due to "Mbapnaldo", a player for waldelocker being banned for cheating on the platform. His ban comes after numerous players, including Brandon "YuZ" Cyr, raised red flags and presented circumstantial evidence that Mbapnaldo potentially cheated in league matches.
Dust2.us was made aware of these suspicions by a number of players in the days leading up to the grand finals of ESEA Open Season 44. These sources informed the publication that Mbapnaldo's FACEIT account, CoioroE, is currently banned on the platform for cheating. The account is confirmed to belong to the player as it shares the same Steam account as the one used by Mbapnaldo in ESEA Open.
Unfortunately, while this ban prevented Mbapnaldo from playing on the FACEIT platform, it still left the door wide open for him to compete on ESEA, despite ESL FACEIT Group's long-stated goal of mirroring the bans on both platforms.
Along with the FACEIT ban, Dust2.us was presented with a large number of clips showing Mbapnaldo having an uncanny amount of in-game knowledge and "lucky shots" through smokes. While clips at the best of times are incredibly circumstantial due to the way CS:GO interprets players actions differently on different clients and on GOTV demos, the large number of occurrences is disconcerting when combined with other evidence.
There was also another longer highly editorialized YouTube video made by summertime showing more clips of Mbapnaldo playing, however it was taken down by a copyright strike on the platform by "Rezpy". A Dailymotion backup of the video is available here.
To further add to the suspicion, one of Mbapnaldo's teammates, waldelocker has a Steam account that seemingly shows Mbapnaldo using cheats all the way back in 2018. The most relevant screenshot, shown below, shows waldelocker playing with a player named "b▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮ag▮▮" that is seemingly using an aim bot. While it is impossible to determine definitively whether this is Mbadnaldo, according to SteamID, Mbapnaldo has previously used a number of aliases called "bag", dating all the way back to 2018.
Even more interestingly, if one looks in the top-left corner of waldelocker's screenshot, the phrase "[EAGLE] hit resolved backtrack shot" appears. A quick google search of that phrase points to a thread on Russian cheat development website YouGame.biz. While once again circumstantial, it potenitally points to waldelocker also having a history of cheating and advanced knowledge that his teammate is less than legit.
The final piece of evidence to note is that Mbapnaldo has a long history of playing with VAC and Overwatch banned players over the past five years. While this is once again circumstantial, it points to someone who is either: incredibly unlucky, has an abysmally low trust factor, or knowingly plays with cheaters in pickup games.
Overall, this collection of evidence explains why multiple players Mbapnaldo and waldelocker faced in their run to the ESEA Open finals were frustrated with the slow outcome of ESEA's investigation. This is especially true with ESEA announcing that due to Season 45 being right around the corner playoffs will not be replayed, denying dozens of players the experience. While ESEA of course need time to complete a proper investigation one can feel bad for the 100s of players who potentially had their season ruined against a cheater and a team that likely knew something was up.
For Mbapnaldo's part, he seems to not be too conscious of the impact of his actions, celebrating his win on Twitter hours before being banned: