Recently, Online Sports Championship (OSC) organised Masters Cup #108 (a regular twice monthly $1000 cup) and held 4 qualifiers for the event. It appeared that OSC regular pukub (Thai Zerg player, with 36 tournaments for the year) signed up for Qualifiers #2 and #3 as pukub1. However to many players disbelief, pukub qualified for Masters Cup #108 Groups via Qualifier #3 after defeating several notable players far above his MMR level and results, then forfeited the first place prize. These unexpected results and actions, lead to several players to suspect/accuse pukub of cheating, or having someone else play on his account.
Some players chose to take the initiative/matters into their own hands, and conducted their own replay and hotkey analysis. The analysis indicated PenguiN (South Korean Zerg) as the player playing under the handle of pukub1. A claim that PenguiN soon admitted to when questioned privately by a respected opponent. Pukub (Thai player) publicly denied any involvement via a tweet.
When required throughout the season, OSC has processes in place to conduct reviews of incidents that occur within the League. A review panel, usually consisting of 5-6 staff/community representatives is assembled to review all evidence, data, statements, etc, and work together to determine a recommendation/outcome, or penalty if required. This review panel consisted of 2 League Managers, 1 Project Manager, and 3 Community Representatives, including a Korean Rep.
It is OSC policy that even if someone/a party is found to break the rules/cheat, OSC does not reveal private information, conversations, statements or data from reviews. Indeed, quite often outcomes are dealt with privately, and not deemed necessary to be brought to the casual public’s attention, however, in this case, we felt it was appropriate to share the process, and outcome. Review Panel rulings are final, and have the full support of OSC Management.
This investigation reviewed all evidence provided from the players directly involved, and has confidently established that it was indeed PenguiN playing under the handle of pukub1. We reached out to PenguiN directly and he confessed to the act (In both Korean and English). pukub (Thai player) has also given a statement that he is an innocent party in this, and there is no reason for OSC to doubt him at this time.
At OSC, sportsmanship and fair play is of utmost importance! We invest a lot into growing and supporting regional events, which in turn we expect to help grow the game as a whole, and benefit all. PenguiN’s actions went against these values and event rules. He is very much an OSC veteran, with 111 events played in 2017 (Earning himself a spot in the Leagues Hall of Fame), and is familiar with the Masters Cups format of 1 edition Open, 1 WCS Circuit Only, so unfamiliarity was not a factor. It would seem some premeditated thought went into impersonating another player (of the same race), with the intent of bypassing the events regional lock ruling.
It is quite disappointing and baffling to see such an experienced player do this, and jeopardize all he has achieved throughout the year, the $1000’s he stands to make over the next month alone, and whatever was to come in 2018!
While this incident might not be as serious as something like match fixing or hacking, a harsh but reasonable punishment with regards to our League is needed. Taking PenguiN’s quick admission, and good record into account, the penalty for this incident will be:
- A 500 point penalty for 2017 OSC Championship points
- Disqualified from the 2017 end of season OSC Championship
- Unable to receive any remaining 2017 bonuses (participation prizes)
- Receive a 500 point penalty towards 2018 OSC Championship points
- Be ineligible to earn points, $, and any bonus competition/reward from any OSC partnered tournament until May 2018
If PenguiN is found playing under another ID during this period in an attempt to bypass the penalty, he will receive a lifetime ban from any OSC League, across all current and future sports and competitions.
We do not condone what PenguiN did, and hope there won’t be a repeat of this type of incident from other players again. We would love to see PenguiN return and rebuild his reputation from May next season, as believe he has a lot of talent to go far in the sport, as displayed throughout the majority of season 2017.