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Hacking allegations rock a $250,000 Warzone tournament, before descending into chaos

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Call Of Duty: Warzone’s anti-cheat protections have once again come under fire, after a player was ejected from a $250,000 trios tournament following accusations of cheating.

Last night’s Twitch Rivals: Doritos Bowl ft. Call of Duty Warzone finals stream came to an abrupt stop after Canadian competitor Metzy_B was accused of using an aimbot in the penultimate game of the series. The moment that raised suspicion was caught on-stream by fellow competitor Thomas “Tommey” Trewren (via Dextero), who dissects the clip to explain how Metzy’s aim “locks on” to an opponent right as they enter his line of sight.

🚨 Today’s $250K Twitch Rivals Warzone event has been overrun with cheating accusations.The tournament has been at a standstill ahead of the final map as players call for a restart due to alleged cheaters in the private lobby. pic.twitter.com/XIm2GUpJKhJanuary 22, 2021

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After only an hour of downtime, Twitch Rivals declared that Metzy had indeed cheated, removing him and teammates kyrptic_j0ker, & Unifyz from the tournament. In a statement to broadcasters and Metzy himself, Twitch claimed that the the gameplay footage was “unnatural beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Given the short amount of time and iffy quality of the footage, this call may have been made prematurely. Having watched the offending clip a dozen times, I’d be hard-pressed to make a call one way or the other. PC Gamer has emailed Twitch to describe its process for identifying—and subsequently removing—offending cheaters from the event. No response was forthcoming.

Following the exclusion of these competitors, Twitch Rivals opted to continue to the tournament’s final game with one less team—and, while even a last-place finish would net competitors a $1,200 share of the pot, Metzy and his team walked away with nothing.

Adamant that he hadn’t used cheats, Metzy attempted to clear his name by joining Tommey on stream to comb through his computer files. After a few contentions over suspiciously empty hard drives, he ends up granting Tommey unprecedented access to his rig via remote access—giving the would-be investigator free reign to search for evidence. By the end of the stream, he’s found little-to-none.

Following that search, the tide seemed to turn back in Metzy’s favour. As the catalyst for the accusations against Metzy, Tommey publicly apologized, saying that while he believed “something was off” there simply wasn’t enough evidence to have made the call.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit we were wrong. I’m sorry for letting a lot of you down. I don’t know what more to say, but I accept and deserve anything that comes from this.January 22, 2021

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The whole debacle raises big questions for various parties: the players themselves, and the way social media can turn an offhand suspicion or allegation into a flashpoint; Twitch Rivals, which seems to have acted hastily and without due diligence; and the COD community itself, which saw a questionable allegation of cheating as cast-iron proof that Warzone’s cheating situation is spiralling out of control.

On the last point, even if it wasn’t the case here, cheating is a problem for Warzone. High-level players have already found ways to hack their way into bot matches, while our Morgan Park reckons Warzone is well behind the times when it comes to effective anti-cheat. The Call Of Duty community mood has only gotten more sour as these allegations continues to spiral.

“Warzone cheating is completely out of hand,” YouTuber Drift0r tweeted yesterday. “There were people cheating in Twitch Rivals today. 2 of the 5 games I played tonight had cheaters.”

As for this situation, Tommey subsequently offered up his share of the tournament prize pool to Metzy as consolation for the withdrawn accusation. PCG contacted Metzy, but has received no response at the time of publication. We also contacted Tommey, but he declined to comment further on the situation, writing “it’ll only lead to more hate both ways.”

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