Halo Infinite Championship: Royal2 accused of cheating, Sentinels punished with penalties
Senitinels’ Royal2 has been suspended by Halo Championship Series officials until January 28 from all competition after being caught cheating during the series’ qualifier.
The North American team Sentinels is a prominent organization and is known for having one of the strongest rosters for both Valorant and Halo. Mathew Fiorante, more famously known as Royal2, however, did not live up to the team’s reputation as he was found to have used geo-filtering, using the software Geofilter.
How Royal2 cheats
Geo-filtering is a server manipulation technique by the means of forcing a game to be played on a specific server. The server used by Royal2 was located in Seattle, known as westus2. The forced use of the server apparently gave all players a higher ping, which resulted in reduced overall responsiveness of the game, thus, harder control. The ping, however, was significantly higher for other players compared to that of Royal2.
The officials launched their investigation on December 3 after a four-hour delay upon entering the game due to “lobby connection issues. HCS officials said that multiple players from other teams, including OpTic Gaming, reported the issue to be linked to Sentinels. Upon investigating the Sentinels through their players’ streams, the HCS team “categorized the perceived changes and abnormalities in player pings directly in the game client”.
HCS officials’ next step of the investigation was then to replicate a popular method to remove servers from a players’ list of accessible servers in which their data are shown to be matching that of Royal2, but not the other Sentinels players. The internal development team at HCS determined that there were no disruptions in the operation of the servers the day the delay and the high ping took place and the team determined that Royal2 must have manipulated the servers himself.
As a result, Royal2 was suspended from all Halo Championship Series until January 28. In addition to that, Sentinels have been stripped of their seeded position and their points have been deducted. This means the team would also not be able to place the same, full roster for the tournament they had qualified as the top seed for, HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021. The team is now ineligible for a Pool Play position at the Raleigh event, despite “the rest of the roster is eligible to compete in the Open Bracket”.
Sentinels players have voiced disagreement towards the ruling. Player Tony “LethuL” Campbell Jr. said in a statement released on Twitter that Sentinels were “100% not going” to Raleigh following the decision.
Sentinels were “100% not going” to Raleigh also voiced his criticism, saying that the HCS investigation ignored evidence submitted by Sentinels which they believed would have cleared the player of any guilt. He also criticized the fact that his team knew about the ruling from Twitter before the officials.
“We live in a world where you can be accused of something you didn’t do, show proof and evidence you didn’t do it, fully comply with all of the investigations, and then just have the investigator ignore all of your evidence and make their own decision. DISGUSTING,” the coach said in a statement released on Twitter.