Setting Things Straight
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Thresh's comments in BLACK
Kenn's comments in BLUE
One of the more frequent questions we get, especially from players who compete around the globe is - "What settings and modifications are considered cheating?" I find I have a spank of a time trying to answer this question, simply because there are no clear-cut answers. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has different opinions on what is considered "cheating," from miscellaneous client-side console commands to display adjustments, all the way to hacked players models and 3rd party programs and proxies.
That's definitely true. There are "acceptable" modifications to the base game (such as sv_aim) and there are your obvious unfair advantages. Unfortunately, most everything else falls under that gray area of subjectivity. First, let's clear out what we really consider "cheating." Modified models and skins? Map re-compilations?
Hacked player models and modified skins are definitely cheating in my book. Anyone who claims that it's okay to have glowing enemies who leave green trails behind them and have sticks coming out of their bodies need to have their head examined. In one rather strange situation almost half a year ago, it became known that many of the European players used such cheats. It got to the point where using these hacked models became the de facto standard in certain parts of Europe. So, is that still considered cheating, when all their peers are using the same cheats? Now you see the problem.
While using these cheats to play against people in their own clique arguably could have been okay, using it to play against players from other countries who do not use them is a different beast altogether - and this is where the issues arose. These players honestly felt they didn't do anything wrong, and everyone else thought they were "bloody cheaters." Fortunately, when word spread about the rampant cheating, these players backed down from their stance and no longer used these cheats.