Analysis: Data supports FACEIT investigation into VulcaN boosting FPL-C
Daniel "Scoobster" Khurgin assisted with data analysis for this article.
As previously reported on August 27th, Andrew "VulcaN" Dominguez and Jonathan "woajar" Fruncek were both suspended from competing in FPL-C due to allegations that the duo were engaging in boosting while playing in the hub. While FACEIT has issued a suspension following their own investigation into the allegations, Dust2.us also undertook an independent investigation of VulcaN's performance in FPL-C, focusing on matches where woajar was VulcaN's opponent.
Based on Dust2.us' analysis of 125 matches played by VulcaN in FPL-C over the course of July and August, the data suggests, with almost certain confidence, that VulcaN's improved performance in FPL-C when playing against woajar goes beyond what can be considered a coincidence or exceptional performance.
For the purposes of this analysis, Dust2.us compared the winrate, kills per round (KPR), and HLTV Rating (calculated by Faceit Analyser) of VulcaN's matches when he was not playing against woajar, when he was playing against woajar, and all 125 matches over the past two months as a baseline. It is worth noting that matches were excluded with unusual outcomes like matches that finished early or matches that did not feature five players on both team, for example.
Here's what the data can tell us:
From July 1st to August 25th, VulcaN played a total of 125 matches in FPL-C. During this time, he posted an overall win rate of 59.20%, winning 74 matches and losing 51 matches. Breaking this data up into two categories: matches played without woajar on the opposite team and matches played with woajar on the opposite team, an interesting discrepancy emerges.
In the first category, VulcaN posted a slightly lower 51.04% win rate over 96 matches, winning 49 matches and losing 47 matches. However, when VulcaN played matches with woajar on the opposite team, his win rate rises to 86.20% over 29 matches, winning a staggering 25 matches while losing only 4 matches.
It's also important to note that VulcaN's win rate against woajar cannot be explained by woajar playing terrible Counter-Strike, essentially giving VulcaN a 5v4 every game playing against him. When playing on the same team, VulcaN's winrate actually goes up as compared to woajar being absent from the server, from 47% to 73.3%.
Total Matches Played: 125
Overall Win Rate: 59.20% (74/125)
Win Rate without woajar on Opposing Team: 51.04% (49/96)
Win Rate with woajar on Opposing Team: 86.20% (25/29)
Win Rate with woajar on Same Team: 73.33% (11/15)
The difference here is staggering as when VulcaN is not playing against woajar his win rate over the past two months is essentially a coin flip, while his win rate against woajar is creeping up on 90%. This alone should arouse some degree of suspicion, however, when we also look at KPR and HLTV Rating it helps to paint a more complete picture.
Kills Per Round (KPR)
KPR and HLTV Rating are interesting data points as it allows us to evaluate the claim of boosting against VulcaN with non-binary data. As such, it can be tested using a two-sample t-test to determine whether an improved result by VulcaN was a coincidence or points towards woajar helping boost his performance.
Looking at the total dataset once again, over the course of all 125 matches, VulcaN posted a 0.90 KPR. When he was not playing against woajar, VulcaN's KPR drops down to 0.81. As for when he did play against woajar, we see a marked improvement once again, with VulcaN's KPR jumping all the way up 1.19 KPR.
While this massive improvement is already suspicious on its face, using a two-sample t-test, when we compare the two values there is a P-value of 0.0000001. A P-value is the probability under the assumption of no effect or no difference (null hypothesis), of obtaining a result equal to or more extreme than what was actually observed. Here's more info on how P-values work if you're interested.
For those who are less mathematically inclined, a P-value can essentially tell us whether the difference in the two data points is a coincidence. In this case, this P-value tells us there is a staggering 0.00001% chance VulcaN's improved KPR against woajar is a complete coincidence — a one in ten million chance.
Total Matches Played: 125
Overall KPR: 0.90 KPR
KPR without woajar on Opposing Team: 0.81 KPR
KPR with woajar on Opposing Team: 1.19 KPR
P-Value as Percentage (Chance of Coincidence): 0.00001%
This alone is pretty damning, as it suggests there's no reasonable coincidental explanation for VulcaN playing as well as he did with woajar on the opposite team compared to his normal performance. However, his HLTV Rating drives this point further home.
Looking at the total dataset, over the course of all 125 matches, VulcaN posted a 1.27 HLTV Rating. When he was not playing against woajar, VulcaN's HLTV Rating dropped down a fair bit to 1.13. Likewise, as can be expected at this point, his HLTV Rating jumps to a staggering 1.74 when he was playing against woajar.
Looking at the P-value for this situation, it is a miniscule 0.00000003 or, in other words, there is a 0.000003% chance that the discrepancy in VulcaN's rating when playing against woajar is a coincidence — otherwise a 3 in 100,000,000 chance.
Total Matches Played: 125
Overall HLTV Rating: 1.27
HLTV Rating without woajar on Opposing Team: 1.13
HLTV Rating with woajar on Opposing Team: 1.74
P-Value as Percentage (Chance of Coincidence): 0.000003%
Along with it being almost impossible that the discrepancy in HLTV rating comes about as mere chance, it is also worth nothing that out of all 125 matches played, 14 out of 15 of VulcaN's highest-rated matches came when he played against woajar.
Overall, as the data shows, VulcaN is either the unluckiest person in history, or, as the data strongly supports, VulcaN and woajar conspired to engage in boosting in FPL-C. While data can never tell the whole story, if one takes this data and thinks back to VulcaN's history of amoral, anti-competitive, and fraudulent activity there is strong data-driven and circumstantial evidence to suggest he did it.