ETF2L Anti-Cheat Then and Now – Transparency Post

Date June 28, 2021

“Nothing stokes my ire like a cheater. Deception, duplicity, murder — these are merely tools in a toolbox one can use to ensure a job done well. But cheating? I cannot even wrap my head around the point of it. Wouldn’t you know you had cheated? How on Earth could you maintain crisp certainty of your superiority to all others? And if you’re unable to do that, what’s the point of anything?”
Text Source: https://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=6679

Why we are publishing a Transparency Post

Every now and then we receive questions about how the ETF2L Anti-Cheat team operates and how we have operated in the past. As most of these questions revolve around the same topics, we want to give the community a chance to gain a better insight by explaining some of our workflows as well as describe changes that happened over the years. This post was written by Head Anti-Cheat Admin Germany Samus with the help of former Head Anti-Cheat Admin Germany quintosh, who also had the main idea for a post like this, and former ETF2L admin Sweden ashkan.


We will start with the question that we probably receive the most:

“The ETF2L Anti-Cheat team has wrongly banned innocent people for cheating before, why should we believe that they can’t be wrong now too?”

Whatever your opinions on the more recent ban decisions may be, ETF2L unbanned Sweden BeaVerN in 2011 after a new set of Anti-Cheat admins re-opened an investigation into the case. They believed the evidence was insufficient and did not prove with any certainty that he was in fact cheating. After that case, actions were taken in an effort to minimize the likelihood of reaching an incorrect cheating ban verdict again for all future cases. If you want to read up on the staff response at the time you can find it here.
In order to understand what exactly happened and what changed after that event in 2011, we need to take a short look at the history of how the admin staff of ETF2L operated. Due to it being more than ten years since then, some things cannot be recounted with 100% accuracy, but the general progression seems clear.

Originally, even though ETF2L had cheating reports dedicated to Anti-Cheat Admins, some League Admins could see Anti-Cheat cases and respond in them, or at least this was the case with BeaVerN. In 2011 there already were some opinions on how to do good Anti-Cheat case work theoretically, but an issue specific to the BeaVerN case was that the people who were leading the accusation against him cheating barely documented the evidence and their review process, or even actively tried to interfere in a re-review being done on the case because they were evidently biased. League Admins decided to make a decision based on the limited analysis they received from the few Anti-Cheat members who looked at the case. Questions were raised if there were even enough active Anti-Cheat members involved and if you can make a valuable ban decision based on what was stated in the case.

Due to this, a policy was implemented on making neutral and objective statements when collecting and documenting evidence and we strictly enforce it in every single case. Over time, people voluntarily abstained from even reviewing a player at all if there was even the slightest chance that they could be accused of being biased (teammate, player in the same division, good friends, bad personal experiences in the past, etc.). Should members make statements that are clearly lacking in objectivity they would be reprimanded, as their comments could be poisoning the well for the other staff members who might have to disregard evidence, putting the case on ice for some time.
After the unban, ETF2L admin tasks were split into Anti-Cheat and League-related tasks with different forums for each, and access to League Admin and Anti-Cheat Admin forums became mutually exclusive except for the Head Admins. In addition to this, ETF2L now tries to ensure that there always is a certain amount of Anti-Cheat staff members on the team. All case verdicts are made via a majority vote and no single admin can make a ban decision all by themself.

For future admin applications, admins would now look for different types of skills that would fit either League tasks or Anti-Cheat tasks. At this point in time the players who were recruited mostly had high-level season experience. Some time after several more skills and requirements for Anti-Cheat applicants were included as a foundation of opening up the position to players with other beneficial skills and knowledge while still having high requirements on accepting applications.
Before being offered a trial period, all chosen applicants now receive a handful of demos to analyse on their own and are asked to send a review containing their documentation of evidence and their verdicts on each case. This was another big step in selecting qualified Anti-Cheat trials as it gives us a better representation of the skills they actually have, while also showing us what areas they might still have to improve in.

One last thing to bring up is that we have also unbanned France NiCO god's hand after he was able to prove that he could execute certain in-game actions without the use of a script. Script abuse cases are different from cheating cases in a way that it is easy to prove whether a script was used or not by player co-operation. To quote:

“We’d like to make it clear that this ban was appealed only because of the specifics of the script rule (if it is possible to prove that something is achievable without a script) and the cooperative attitude of the banned player. Most bans issued by our staff (e.g. for using cheats) are not subject to appeal.”

ETF2L Staff, 29. October 2013

“Why is there no appeal system for convicted cheaters? It was mentioned in an old news post!”

That news post, which concerns the unbanning of BeaVerN in 2011, does include a line that the ETF2L Anti-Cheat team “will have a policy that allows appeals for future and past cases”. However, none of the admins who were in staff during that time are still part of ETF2L today. After BeaverN’s unban, changes were made to how the Anti-Cheat team works on cases (read above). These policies helped create a system that ensures that players are not banned on a whim or based on flimsy evidence. Bans only happen after a thorough process of review, especially in high-profile cases.
While you could appeal script bans by proving that you can perform the actions manually in-game and you could perhaps even prove that you are not cheating right now via streaming, LAN participation and so on, it does not mean that you have not cheated in the past.
In addition to that, the choice of not going down the appeal route after 2011 was made by the succeeding admin teams, and following a recent extensive internal discussion we currently do not see any reason to provide an appeal system for cheating bans in the foreseeable future. We are aware that some people in our community would greatly appreciate if convicted cheaters were given a second chance – and the decision against an appeal system does not imply no one ever will be. However, our current procedures do not indicate any risk of mistakenly banning innocent players due to best practice policies not being complied with. Head Admins and the Anti-Cheat team will attempt to protect the level of quality that has been achieved over the years and that it will be maintained by those following in their steps.

“How do you make sure that personal biases don’t affect a ban decision?”

Like mentioned previously, if an admin is personally involved with the suspect in any way, for example by being rostered in the same team, being in the same division in an active season, or if they are friends or had some sort of personal falling-out with each other recently, they are told to stay out of any case discussion and they may not vote on a player.

“How can we know bans are trustworthy if some of the admins might not have played at a high skill level themselves?”

A player’s competitive skill level does not necessarily correlate with their understanding of Anti-Cheat work. While a player at the highest level will likely have more gamesense than a player who is playing in a lower division, that does not guarantee that they can also use that knowledge to analyse demos better than a lower level player.
Trustworthy and skilled Anti-Cheat applicants are already hard to come by, limiting it to Premiership-level players will only worsen the situation whenever staff members leave and we need to recruit new blood, causing bigger backlogs of Anti-Cheat cases. We are careful with who we pick as a trial and our trial test as well as the following trial period gives us a good overview of a person’s capability of reviewing evidence. Players who easily jump to conclusions, have a weak understanding of the game, or show other signs of untrustworthiness are filtered out early and will not make it very far within our system.

“Anti-Cheat case evidence should be public so that we can form our own opinions.”

Sharing evidence will let the cheater know what exactly they got banned for, giving them the ability to hide non-legit play the next time. It will also show other cheaters how to hide their own cheats better. Generally Anti-Cheat teams almost never share their evidence so this strict policy is not limited to ETF2L only. Other TF2 leagues do not share evidence. Valve will also not state which program or software led to the ban from their Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC): “We have detailed records for each VAC ban, however, releasing this information would only benefit cheat developers.”
Some of the evidence requires a more technical understanding of the game and might not be obvious to the average player which could create confusion; explaining the thought process or details behind the evidence leads to the formerly written point that cheaters will learn and adapt.
We cannot repeat this enough: cheaters would definitely adapt if they knew what evidence led to the ban and where exactly we found it! Especially in cases which did not revolve around a player rage-hacking in a scrim or wherever.

“How has the decision to implement permanent bans improved ETF2L so far?”

It has only been about three months since we started permanently banning players who have cheated more than once and so far it seems like it was the correct decision. Multiple bad actors have been removed from our community already.
We would like to state however to those players who have received a cheating or TF2 VAC ban that we have a zero-tolerance-policy on ban evasion and any players with active cheating bans attempting to evade their ban will be met with a permanent ban. Anyone who knowingly supports permanently banned players, for example by rostering known alternate accounts or playing in the same team, will receive harsh punishments.

“Why does it sometimes take a long time for a cheater to get banned?”

The Anti-Cheat team’s work could best be described as trying to slay a Hydra by cutting one of its heads off – you resolve one report, two new ones pop up. Over time this creates a backlog of cases, and depending on how much input a case needs the longer it will remain in that backlog.
To answer the question, it depends on multiple factors. Sometimes it is a matter of staff activity. This is a volunteer job and real life commitments take priority over game issues.
Other times the evidence might not be conclusive enough. As we want a solid case for every player it can take weeks or months to gather enough evidence, properly discuss it and vote on it.
Recruiting more members is not always the answer, as ‘quantity does not equal quality’ applies to Anti-Cheat work too. A core group of four to six active, neutral admins is enough. The more people on staff, the higher the threshold of reaching a majority vote as well, which would delay bans further.

“I posted obvious evidence on a public forum / Discord and so many people agree with me, why are you still taking so long to ban?”

We have had cases before where players publicly accused another player of cheating and then complained how nothing has been done about them yet. It turns out that the player was never reported to us, maybe because they thought that others would have done so already? If we do not receive player reports it is unlikely we will know about the suspect, so make sure to actually report suspicious players to us.
Or perhaps the evidence is not as clear-cut as you think. We are thorough in our case work, if there are too many doubts we will need to investigate further. Public witchhunts can also affect staff thinking, however small the effect. This can add days or weeks for us to stand back from an investigation to ensure neutrality. The only thing you will achieve by posting cheating accusations publicly is:

  • drawing unnecessary attention to the player who may be innocent in the end;
  • making the suspect aware that they are likely getting investigated now,
  • thus increasing the amount of time and effort it takes for us to investigate, or in the worst case scenario
  • you effectively jeopardise an entire investigation.
  • In short: You must not tell the player that they have been reported, and you must not post about it publicly!

    “Then what is the best way to report a player and help the Anti-Cheat team?”

    You think you saw a player cheating or otherwise being suspicious in the game? If this took place during a scrim or official try to obtain the STV demo(s) and/or request POV demos of the player. If it happened on a casual or community server and you have reason to believe the player is the main or alternate account of a competitive player, record a POV demo that depicts the suspect’s actions, record the screen, take a status screenshot or whatever else you can do to obtain evidence of the player cheating and their identity.
    Review the evidence alone or with your teammates and make note of any suspicious demo ticks. Empty reports that only include a player profile, a demos.tf link and a reason that only states ‘player was suspicious’ are not very helpful to us.

    Now, if you want to report a player for cheating or for being an alternate account, please open an Anti-Cheat request on the ETF2L Discord (#admin_requests). Do not report players to the Anti-Cheat staff in private chats unless there is a specific reason that demands such a report. In such cases it is best to contact the Head (Anti-Cheat) Admins.
    If you are reporting as a group, please coordinate and have a single person open a request to avoid mass reports. Once you have made a request, follow the instructions given to you. Do not expect to receive a ‘result’ message as we will not personally update you on the investigation.
    Do not post your suspicions on public forums or chats and do not tell the player that they were reported. Try not to mention anything in the game chat as well.


    What now?

    We know this entire thing might be quite a touchy subject for some of you. We can only state again that we are very careful with our work, but we are only humans with real life obligations in the end. If there are any open questions or feedback we would like to read it. We will continue to uphold our high standards and try our best to remove the cheaters in our league.

    JOIN AND FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL MEDIA

                

    67 Comments

    1. FTH: pizza said:

      transparent
      https://cdn.frankerfacez.com/emoticon/249060/4

    2. Whip_Cactus: McV - [MB] said:

      As someone who has taken issue with the anti-cheat team’s action previously I appreciate this, I may still disagree with not revealing evidence but this article puts a lot of useful context into the teams actions and decisions. Very good insight, thanks for taking the time to write (:

    3. monty said:

      nice blog but i just need the medals

    4. AlesKee: SDCK! said:

      wizat did nothing wrong he was a nice young man who wanted to go to college

    5. Big Papa MattJ: gains - div? said:

      https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/305762898427510785/859147722167025674/wizatYGO.png

    6. Wynran said:

      does this mean wizat cannot appeal?

    7. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

    8. Citrus: C9H13N said:

      Fun fact. If you spent time on playing the game instead of writing this giant meaningless junk of text, you would get much better and perhaps even learn to distinguish cheaters from clean players and vice versa.

    9. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      No need to learn that because that is something we can do already.

    10. redlix: SDCK! said:

      Infantile comments as expected.
      Malding since 2015

    11. mak: FAINT - :) said:

      citrus ur a dogshit engy main grow up

    12. _sNb: GUCCI - kzS said:

      Interesting read, there is just one issue:
      How can you or anyone make sure that the Anti-Cheat admins are not biased towards the players who they are investigating if those players interact with them in a bad manner? It is not possible to monitor all the places where players can say bad things about Anti-Cheat admins (including personal messages) to make sure that no one is biased.
      Applying your rules regarding personal biases, I guess, if someone has some personal issues with every Anti-Cheat admin, they will never get banned due to there being no one to work the case, so actual cheaters can just say bad things about each of you personally, and after they get banned you cannot prove to anyone that you were not biased in your decisions thus basically invalidating your verdict, and you not sharing any evidence does not help either in such case.
      Maybe there is something else I am missing, but from what I can see, in my opinion, this is a bad approach to make yourself look objective with your bans in the eyes of the players who are not a part of the admin team.

    13. Citrus: C9H13N said:

      stop barking, honey
      lmao

    14. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      You cannot be 100% objective as that would be denying how humans work unless you only apply bans for VACs, which obviously is out of the question with the current and past state of the game. As we stated in the post, sometimes with more controversial high-stake cases we need to take a couple steps back to look at the case overall, make sure we have enough evidence that proves the player is cheating beyond a reasonable doubt, and then vote. Without that kind of evidence we do not ban anyone.
      Of course we cannot background-check everyone and what kind of business they have with other players, but Anti-Cheat Admins going out of their way to implicate certain players with flimsy evidence would be very noticeable in the kind of reviews they make and their behaviour and is something we do not tolerate. For example the way they document things, how they communicate about and with the person, how they respond to reviews of other Anti-Cheat Admins, the quality of their own review and so on.

      Before cheaters who are reading this now send us mean comments based on this assumption that our hands would be tied: it’s not going to work. Don’t cheat and you won’t get banned.

    15. Un4given: COCK - KARAS said:

    16. BuNNyTeeTH: $$$ said:

      you can delete our comments as much as you want, but you are the soyboys in the wizat situation xd

    17. Exe_Red: STR - kzS said:

      What the same thing in old Russian CS 1.6 servers and ETF2L?

      You will be banned for hacking with no ban appeal right.

      Wizat 😔

    18. Snowy said:

      xddddddd

    19. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      Comments that are just one word messages being spammed will be deleted. If you want to give feedback be more constructive about it.

      “Exe_Red said:
      Today, 09:05
      What the same thing in old Russian CS 1.6 servers and ETF2L?
      You will be banned for hacking with no ban appeal right.
      Wizat 😔”

      Regarding the case of DaFuQWiZaT, if we were to implement an appeal system ourselves he basically already has gotten the sort of appeal that would have been offered in his case, which is multiple Head Admins (even former ones!) and an Anti-Cheat Admin not involved in the initial voting process looking at his case and all concluding that they agree with the Anti-Cheat team and that the way the team reviewed his case was up to the high standard we hold ourselves up to. I am sorry to have to repeat this so often as you have obviously made up your mind about him, but the player has cheated and was punished for it.

    20. Makemake: :flag_xk: - K? said:

      wizat literally baited the entire AC team into banning him.
      no one actually thinks he was actually cheating at any point. and when people ask how admins come to a conclusion you just say “oh it will make them hide cheats better!!11!” even though that makes no sense as other cheaters can look at submitted demos and analyze them for mistakes. on the ban page it even says the reason(esp, aimbot, triggerbot) but i guess you could be psyoping people there.
      oh well too late to revoke the ban now and admit that it was a mistake !

    21. supra: (League Admin) - KARAS said:

      ^this is why it’s been changed and all ban names are “cheating”

    22. Makemake: :flag_xk: - K? said:

      so it wasnt psyops epic

    23. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      Cant wait till I go off playing admins again.

    24. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      @Makemake: If you don’t bother reading what I wrote in the comment that is right above you nor what was written in the post, then I can’t help you.

    25. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      @Amaterasu: a cheater can check the demo after they get banned they will know what they did if they were cheat toggling obviously

    26. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      @DaFuQWiZaT: How would the cheater know what demos actually got them banned? That is one of the reasons why we don’t release evidence.

    27. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      I played 1 season of div 1 and like 2 offis in prem, im sure it would be obvious to anyone where the cheats are considering people with cheat plugin programmes have checked my demos multiple times and found nothing.

    28. Antibite: sil#6557 said:

      what is etf2l

    29. xBigBigFish: BRIT said:

      Wizat be like https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/777224212632829953/842902887050772540/Team_Fortress_2_2021.05.15_-_00.14.04.06.DVR_Trim.mp4

      “and they found nothing!”

      The Scot cries out in pain as he strikes you.

    30. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      I already said I would give any demo, but it seems people would rather clip stv than simply ask.

    31. magistr said:

      bruh, wizat baited the whole AC community too hard, if you decided to write the post that no one cares about

    32. Exe_Red: STR - kzS said:

      “We not gonna show proof to a cheater because cheater will know how to hide his cheats better”.

      Return ban appeals… Everyone can be wrong and do mistakes, and UNTOUCHABLE ANTI-CHEAT STAFF MADE OF ANGELS can do mistakes too. Why would pure players suffer because they have godlike skill. Why wouldn’t ETF2L ban SDCK just because they play like gods? Maybe because they already proofed that they’re strongest in ETF2L? But what about young talented people that would like to be strong as SDCK players, or maybe stronger than them?

      You’re just killing talented people like Wizat, the ones that would like to be the best. Why wouldn’t ETF2L AC team just use 3-rd party anti cheat for matches, like ESEA/FACEIT did? If 3-rd party anti cheat catches someone that really using hacks, sure, there wouldn’t be any ban appeals, but you dont have any AC programs. Maybe you should try to use 3-rd party anti cheat, and allow people, that were banned by AC staff to appeal? AC integration can be made with SourceMod by using SMod API (Anticheat -> Server), that is presented on servers. Sure it is hard, but why would ETF2L have big AC team that can’t do anything?

      I hope you will listen to your players, dear ETF2L staff, because it’s one of the biggest Europe leagues for TF2, and people would like to have best experience.

    33. hr: LR said:

      The big problem is that to me it least it seems like the AC admins don’t really have some special knowledge that they want people to believe they have and if the curtain was pulled back we’d all realise that and criticise them for poor decisions.

      The argument with regards to cheaters knowing how they got caught is bullshit. Imagine if you convicted people in a court of law based on self appointed “experts” behind the scenes making a decision on grounds that you don’t get to see.

    34. Dave_the_Irate: SENS said:

      I very much appreciate the attempts by the AC team, and the response from a lot of the community here is frankly pathetic. I’m really depressed by the amount of prominent, and generally reasonable people who have been willing to throw the volunteer AC team under the bus because your “friend” claims he isn’t cheating.

      Let me remind you that Wizat is a guy who had a comical miasma of suspicion hanging over him before he was banned: Emergence from nowhere, associating with people publicly cheating, abusing game exploits, flurries of fishy shots every game, previous ban for not providing demos.

      Obviously a lot of this is circumstantial and he needed to be found to be cheating from a demo. Now I’m no AC expert (like most naysayers here), but when all the people with experience in this regard tell you they’ve found him to be cheating in demos, lots of the community just flatly refused to believe them with no basis.

      Since his ban we’ve had this awful situation where people have been trying to undermine the AC team. Leaders were immediately using him in high level scrims, and he had no mirrored TF2C ban. Comp players have tried to boost him as a content creator, and he even turned up in a casted competition (albeit a more casual one). So when the guy does come back how on earth can we have confidence he’s rehabilitated and no longer cheating?

      Your friend was cheating and got justly punished. Accept it and maybe we can move on.

    35. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      I say the big question to ask Dave is why I would still play and lie this whole time to everyone risking it streaming and “acting” as they said from the post, making videos and publicly giving my demos and especially to well known players who have anti-cheat tools to see their verdicts.

      Also I was initially banned on TF2c but master unbanned me because he feels there is lack of evidence.

      You said yourself Dave “He comes back, gets exactly the same logs, the same style of play and everyone is like he is not cheating” ?

      Its not the money obviously, I made even more money playing CS:GO Faceit Premium in the space of 3 months than I ever did and ever will playing TF2.

      Obviously its for clout right? but at what cost if I actually did cheat or still cheated?

      Its been a year now and still nobody has found anything at all solid of cheats… unless you consider any 1 kill clips of invisible spy on stv.

      Fuck what this post said and watch me on my streams when I come back as I will be streaming every scrim and official I play from now on.

    36. FTH: pizza said:

      Anyways, um… I bought a whole bunch of MADMONQ® gaming boosters, do you know what MADMONQ® is? Anybody know what MADMONQ® is? No, not the mad monk, I think he got shot to death. I’m talkin’ MADMONQ®. Anyways, it’s a gaming supplement like, energy booster that protects against coffee withdrawal and unwanted snus cravings that may be traveling in the air. That’s my story, I bought a whole bunch of stuff. Put ’em around the la casa. Little pills, stuff like that.

    37. quintosh: owo said:

      @Exe_Red
      there are a few very obvious and a couple not as obvious reasons ETF2L isn’t using ESEA/Faceit anti-cheat or a non-proprietary outdated one. besides that, why do you trust those to be infallible tools? you still don’t know how these tools work, admins are not going to tell you how they work because it’d help cheat-developers improve their cheats, evidence of cheating still isn’t publicly available, and you are still unable to appeal your ban. what’s the difference?

    38. Parallax: kz said:

      offtop: Can we all at least agree on that the monke gif in these ban and cheat related posts is annoying. And kinda cringy. (don’t ban me from forum pls, no offence to anybody)

    39. supra: (League Admin) - KARAS said:

      ^this monke gif is a reference to a lot of anti-cheat posta back to the 2013, just explaining a bit

    40. mak: FAINT - :) said:

      based dave post

    41. Aysentaro said:

      i would like to confirm what dave said
      “associating with people publicly cheating”

      the very first time i met Wizat on casual he was playing with a premade including Snowy, Legacy and other lmaobox trash

      lets face it normal ppl dont willingly play with such players unless youre one of them

      other than that after watching your demos with my 11K hours ingame and a lot of experience with cheating/hacking i can 100% say that you were cheating on a prem official, it was way too obvious when from one match to another your aiming style so drastically changed as if i was watching 2 different player lol

      Wizat is basically the Dream of TF2 especailly with all the retarded fanboys defending him

    42. kirisame: ʕ ᓀ ᴥ ᓂ ʔ said:

      @quintosh: “admins are not going to tell you how they work because it’d help cheat-developers improve their cheats”
      faceit and esea have previously been worked around to cheat with. you can literally go to uc or another cheating forum and you will find public info about how these anticheats operate on ring0 and how you can bypass them with a pcie screamer (now patched on esea and faceit)

      and why can’t etf2l get an anticheat software? money. a ring0 anticheat costs a lot, and i mean a lot. it’s not really simple to code one either
      oh and people wouldn’t be willing to use an anticheat that has full access to your computer, so that would drive people away like on faceit when they had their tf2 launch

    43. Buck824: C9H13N said:

      Can all the salty ass people remind themselves the AC Team is just a volunteer team that is human and can make mistakes sometimes. Clearly they have been around a long time and applied effort to review and justify many cases in the past to try their best and still do now, so if some of you are so keen why don’t you try applying for AC admin. Just be glad this isnt UGC aye

    44. NuTRiCuLa: D925 - ONCE said:

      im living example of why there is no bias when deciding who to ban, i know for a fact that some old/current anti-cheat staff hates/hated me personally (no idea why) for years and fact that im still not banned for cheating speaks for itself, especially when i was being targeted and directly reported by highly respected and experienced players for years, if there was any kind of bias i will be banned years ago

    45. Z0rpi said:

      Don’t want this to be offensive to any member of ETF2L staff, but wanted to say a few words if I am even allowed to do that.
      I got banned a month ago for a supposed cheating. I reached both AC and Head AC admins, offering to provide any stuff necessary that could help me prove I was banned unrightfully. I highly respect anti-cheat admins, but not being allowed to even defend myself + being told to “drop the acting and come up clean” did make me feel abit disappointed about the whole “professionality” of this league.

      People blindly call banned players by various swear words just because they see them being banned, and for someone who doesn’t deal well with toxicity, it can be hard to deal with, especially if he knows he didn’t do anything bad.

      To UGC:
      After a talk to the admins, there is actually a significant difference of how the admins act and how they behave when a player contacts them for help. No offense to any ETF2L admin, but certain ones should see UGC admins as an example.

      I am completely against cheaters and griefers of any kind, so banning them is fair, and if an AC finds a player suspicious, it’s respectable to punish him.
      But at the same time, trying to minimize or even hide the fact every admin is a human being, as well as we all are and he can also do mistakes is outrageous.

      Please, care about the league in a good manner. Try to actually make it better.

    46. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      “Please, care about the league in a good manner. Try to actually make it better.”
      We care about that, and this post is one of the things we wrote to show that that path is an ongoing process.

      We realise we are all human and we are not hiding that fact so not sure where you are getting that impression. Our opinion on why appeals for cheating bans are not currently necessary in our league is known, especially after this post, and it is also clearly written in the rules under 6.2. Having to deal with cheaters immediately after the staff banned a player can get very repetitive, I am sorry if I or some of our admins were responding in an abrasive way that offended you, that was not really our intention. It’s a human response after having to deal with all kinds of cheaters in the past. Of course, limiting that reaction to a minimum is also something we could improve on, but it might create other issues with seeming too “robotic”. We have gotten both complaints before and trying to find a neutral ground when every player is going to react differently is difficult. We will take your feedback into consideration, however.

      If other players are harassing you, open a League Admin request and report them.

    47. Aysentaro said:

      HAHAHHAHAA zorpi are you for real XDDD

      you installed a generic autoheal hack the same one that bots use
      “banned unrightfully”

      you just tried to improve on your gameplay am i right?

    48. Z0rpi said:

      Understandable @Amaterasu. Thanks for explaining. Have a good day ^^

    49. Exe_Red: STR - kzS said:

      “Hello, I’m godlike talented player that shoots like prem but I play open div. I was banned for cheating at ETF2L, then I tried to provide all my demos, videos, streams, mouse cam, monitor cam, but ETF2L staff said: “We are humans, humans can do mistakes too”, and declines all the unban applications, just because 6.2 – There is no appeal process for cheating bans.”

      You say, that you are humans, but after all, you think that you’re 100% sure about someone. Why would new talented players play your league? If someone just came from Quake-like game, or from Counter-Strike with major skill, why would he get banned for being good? I’d agree with “no appeal process”, if someone was caught cheating properly (spinbotting, silent aim, trigger e.t.c.), with ETF2L providing the demo to the public, but no. That means you can ban people, just because you don’t like them (because you don’t even have to provide proofs). That allows bad people to say that someone is hacking as a joke, and an admin will just ban this person, just because he was told that “That person is 100% hacking!”, and after someone providing a demo of his amazing skill as sniper of ambassador spy, he’ll get punished with NO UNBAN option.

      New people are tired about it – check provisional divisions from Season 22 to Season 24 – there are less and less open team each season. Why? Because you are stubborn to accept that you are wrong sometimes and just to say “maybe we were wrong”. People are just tired of complaining with admins about questionable decisions.

      Start providing the demos to the public, so everyone will see, why this person was banned. But now, in 2021 we can’t: make unban applications (pure players with godly skills won’t be unbanned, even if they provide all proofs); see the demos, that player was banned for (proofs of cheating). If hacker would hide his hacks better, he would check hacker forums, YouTube videos or other hacker stuff. But now, clear players suffer, just because 6.2. “There is no appeal process for cheating bans”.

      Dear admins, return Appeal process back and provide demos. That’s the right way to solve most questionable bans. If person was hacking – show the proof to everyone.

    50. Glastry: Top5rocket - Jamz said:

      This Aysentaro guys looks very salty for an old div6 random player with 11k hours (!!!!)

      Btw AC admins, writing hundreds lines to justify there is no appeal system and the fact that no proof evidence can be shown to public is just waste of time, we already knew all of that.
      Can you actually open your minds instead of justify yourself for poor old decision making ?

    51. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      We will not currently implement an appeal system nor share evidence for reasons listed in the post.

    52. Exe_Red: STR - kzS said:

      So you agree that you can ban ANY people for “Cheating”, even if you just don’t like them and still you are allowed not to provide any proofs. Good job! Now wait league to die, slowly, but surely. Old ETF2L staff was better than this one, because they was working for their lovely community, not for lovely themselves.

      “The burning you feel? It is shame.”

    53. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      We do not ban players out of personal biases, there are a lot of checks to make sure that doesn’t happen. This is written in the post.

    54. Commersant said:

      Stop banning the innocent player please!
      All anti-cheat admins are not competent!
      You are not welcome here!

    55. Commersant said:

      quintosh especially!

    56. Igov Драгови: Bingqilin said:

      we keep shitting on the admins but without them we would only play lobbies 🤡🤡

    57. Lazybear: MUUQ - itsallgood said:

      No reputable league or game company would ever release evidence on a players ban. It just isn’t done. The downsides far surpass the upsides. I don’t think the people advocating for this fully understand how damaging it would be overall for keeping ETF2L clean. Ban appeals aren’t functionally possible without revealing the evidence to the appealer. You don’t have control over what they decide to share with others. This in turn would make methods to catch cheaters vastly more ineffective.

      And someone saying “stopping people who overperform”. Cheaters generally don’t actually play that great. I think it can be a common misconception that they do. Prem divisions has largely had the least amount of players banned. Someone performing really well and being new might cause their peers to report them, but that won’t have actual merit in the case.

    58. Yoda: PK said:

      It’s not like all your tools and criteria are unknown for all the active developers on public and private cheats. At his point, assume they know everything already from past “incidents”. with etf2l database. The Wizat ban is one the most controversial and I actually believe he’s inocent. It’s funny, in this league, everyone is not guilty until proven otherwise, but we will never known what proofs were found if someone is banned. Imagine they’ decided to ban Creddu or Yeehaw tomorrow. No one can contest them because they have a argument saying they don’t share proofs because it will help future cheaters and cheating devs. GG, you always win.

    59. juni: (Anti Cheat Staff) - 0FO said:

      one more try from my side cause this is transparency post which was done to give the community a bit of an insight. we put some work into it and thats why i think its worth it:

      some of you want us to reveal our proofs. we dont. so what can you do? id say sit down and put some time into studying cheats in general, theory and praxis (not using them, watching them), watch a lot of povs/stvs of cheaters, watch a lot of povs/stvs of people that arent cheating. watch it again. then you will find the proofs youre looking for. and then maybe find yourself interested in all that and then maybe apply for ac team.
      dont wanna do that? dont wanna spend so much time on it? thats alright, np. not everyone wants to do that.
      but you still think its unfair that we dont hand out proof?
      ok lets imagine we hand out proof. what kind of proof do you expect? some single clips or ticks? or would you prefer a nice wall of text explaining everything we did to find out and what were looking for and what we found?
      in the first case and in case you havent done all the work mentioned above there will still be cases you wont understand whats happening. what do we have then? some more arguments of people that believe or dont believe. huge. nothing would change.
      or you expect a nice wall of text with a lot of information about cheats and how they work and how we find it? would that make you better in finding cheats? i think so yes. so youre arguing that doesnt help a cheater to hide cheats better? hm.

      we still find cheaters out there. regularly. so there are a lot of cheaters that dont know how to really hide them. so it would help them to hide it better if they knew what to take care of. at least if they take it serious.

      you may be a very experienced gamer or just have 1000hours or something. looking for cheats is a different kind of experience you need. you get it by doing it. so if you want to seriously critizise go do some homework.

    60. _sNb: GUCCI - kzS said:

      I believe you are missing the point some people are making here, @juni. As mentioned above by Amaterasu, the AC team cannot be 100% objective as you are humans, and that is understandable, but if we also take into account the fact that you are not sharing the evidence you have with the community, it means that only you inside your inner circle can verify that you are objective. And that means that people have no other choice but to blindly trust your expertise on this matter, trust the fact that you can keep your mind off any personal issues you might have. But see, the problem is, you haven’t earned that trust inside the community.
      Take, for example, an average ETF2L player.
      Do they know a lot about cheats? – Probably not, as you mentioned in your post.
      Do they want to play against cheaters? – I think 100% not.
      Do they know how to spot a cheater? – Most likely not, and this is where the problem that you solve is. People sometimes might report that someone is cheating for several reasons. It might be that they don’t like them personally, or they are just surprised by how many shots the player is hitting. Those are not the objective criteria for someone being a cheater. So that is where you – the league’s AC team – come in.
      But did those players appoint you as the arbiters of truth? – No, and ask yourself, why would they pick you if it was up to them? I am sure that you have a good answer to this question if it was up to you, as you know your strong sides well. But did you in any way present that you are qualified to do the work you do to us, the community? Unless I am missing something, I don’t think this has ever been done before. You were assigned to the AC team based on the evaluation by others like you, who also never got to prove themselves to the community as objective AC admins. That leads to this cascade effect of distrust in the admins by league members who question your decisions over and over again.
      And just to mention, this problem cannot be extended to the regular league admins, whose work is very open and we get to see it and appreciate it every time we open the website. They also don’t have as much power over players compared to the AC team.

      Answering your question, yes, I’d say it would be very nice to have a wall of text explaining what you do in some cases, probably because I and some other league members see anti-cheat work a bit differently than you do. I consider it to be more of an open science of how to catch a cheater and not a piece of proprietary knowledge that you get to have only if you first study by yourself for a long time, as you mentioned in your comment, and then apply to be a part of your team. Apply, most likely not having the same amount of knowledge that an average member of your team has, due to your at-hand experience with this.
      Which brings me to another point: What’s stopping a cheater or a cheat developer from going the same way? They can spend many hours studying the things you mentioned and then apply to join the AC team to make sure they learn all of your secrets of how cheats can be spotted. Wouldn’t that make them uncatchable? If that were to ever happen, such a person would also be able to share the information with everyone else. How do you prevent that right now? I suspect internal investigations in a case when one of your team members is ever questioned would be a huge pain as well, as it is impossible to avoid bias there unless you have a completely different set of people judging it.
      I foresee you saying that this is purely theoretical, and that might never happen, but it is as theoretical as your point about cheaters learning from the evidence if you were to share it with everyone, meaning that you have to have considered it.
      So to summarize, my point is that if you were to share your limited knowledge of finding cheats by sharing evidence for the existing cases or even only change approach moving forward, it would primarily help an average ETF2L member to identify a cheater in a better way, as >99% of people do not cheat and want the cheaters to be gone (I hope you don’t want to argue with that), and at the same time help you establish trust within the community and maybe bring some new people to your team who might be interested in this area but never knew it before or even have the required knowledge and want to chip in with their expert point of view.
      I hope you understand my point, and we can get some answers from you on this as you aspire to be truly transparent, which is great.

      If you got to this point, sorry for this long rant you had to read, thank you, and I hope you have a nice day.

    61. juni: (Anti Cheat Staff) - 0FO said:

      thanks. that was good read.
      so if i red correctly theres 2 points there:
      1. the trustworthiness of ac members
      2. the ‘expert’-system
      id say this very much goes hand in hand but will try to answer step by step to keep it sorted a bit.

      1. no human can ever be objective as were all part of society and were all ‘victims’ of the environment. means nearly everything around us has an influence of what we think and what we do. we cant delete that, so yes noone will ever be completely objective and will ever be without bias. and yes we all make mistakes. of course. human nature. so everything we could do there is having more ppl working on stuff to reveal bias and mistakes and have different point of views to make sure bias and subjectivity dont have much room. thats a big argument for your second point and i will come back to that later.
      yes, noone elected me. yes i didnt show my skills in terms of ac work to the community. what i have done (and all the other acs too) is applying for that spot. after that admins had to decide if im trustworthy or not. considering how i acted within the community, what kind of experience i have and also the circumstances around that. and as long as you dont know me or my application or test case you will never know why i was given that spot. thats right. thats another point why i decided to get into this conversation. to give you an idea of how i see this. as i cant show you my experience or skill in spotting cheaters i can at least try to get or consolidate credibility by seriously argumenting. i guess there are some ppl that already trust me. and im pretty sure there are also ppl that dont trust me at all or dislike me. and thats pretty much the same for all the other ac admins. but that wouldnt be different if we were elected by the community. thats the strong part of elections: there are at least two sides. maybe a bigger number of players voting for (for example) me to be ac admin would strengthen my position. but it also would mean there will be more votes against me. it would be the same as it is now. the only thing thats different is that community would have had more power and influence. thats a good point. leads me again to the scond part of your argumentation:

      2. the ‘expert’ system
      some might smile about that ‘expert’. thats fine. i dont wanna use that word as ‘we are the cherry on the cake’ but as ‘we have gained experience and keep on trying to learn more’. ac admins are working regularly on cheats and how to spot cheaters as i mentioned in my earlier post. i guess that makes us some kind of experts. im pretty sure there are other ac experts out there. but that doesnt mean we arent. i always appreciate input from outside that ‘inner circle’.
      so if i get you right when youre talking about open source science that would be something like a grass roots system. the more people take part on it the better it works. swarm intelligence. i like this idea in general. i like it for societies and i like it in general to solve problems. and yes i have experience with that kind of decision making. ive gone through processes like that. and it sadly has some weaknesses.
      one of that weaknesses is that its a (sadly) damn slow system. not in theory. but in praxis you need to have experience/be trained in working like that and making decisions like that. also it needs a lot of discipline and willing to follow logic and meaningful arguments. it also means that some have to fall back from their opinions sometimes, following logic and minimize emotional argumentation. as said most ppl here arent used to a system like that. i can say for myself that i have a bit of experience with it but i am also not used to it. cause we dont do it enough. an implementation of a system like that here would be great. but it would also be a huge experiment. everyone should be part of a system like that to train it imo. but in fact we arent. so every case would take a shitload of time in that system for everyone whos involved. i dont think there would be many ppl out there willing to spend that amount of time. we already have backlashs from time to time. but with a grass roots system it would just increase. maybe after a good while when ppl are used to the system that wouldnt have such an impact anymore. but do we have that time?
      which also leads me to the second weakness. and thats also a point i mentioned in my earlier post. an open science system works if a lot of people take part on it. means a lot of people spending a lot of time and recources on it. i really would appreciate that. but do you really think that will be the case? i see how many applications we have on volunteer work in this community. i dont think it will be the case. sadly.
      these are problems every grass roots system has. so what they usually do is electing and sending ppl to expert groups. in the best case these groups are changing after a certain while so that everyone can have an insight and gains experience. i agree thats not what etf2l does. but theres no second step without the first step. so we have to do it on a different way. and thats where the test case comes in. proving someones experience and/or willingness to do ac work. thats still an inner circle decision thats right. but i dont see that changing as long as the open science project isnt a thing. and pls remember how these kind of systems begin and where: they start from the masses, not from any kind of inner circle. go start it, do as much ac investigation as you can, get as many ppl in as possible, concentrate variable experiences and opinions. from deep in my heart i wish you good luck. without a spark of sarcasm.

      i guess i missed one point: what if we have a cheater in the inner circle of ac. theres a simple answer: it is possible. and yes it would make that person (nearly) uncatchable because of the knowing that person has and because of the influence that person has. that sucks.
      but also my experience in ac stuff tells me: engines make mistakes. or better: they usually dont. its the human being behind that that messes it all up. they just dont go well together usually. im sure there are undetected cheaters out there. but usually its a matter of time til they make mistakes. it just needs someone to find these mistakes and recognize what it is.

      good day to you too!

    62. Solar: BREAD said:

      yeah okay that’s cool but when’s wizat getting unbanned lol

    63. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      @Solar: 2 September 2021, you can find ban end dates on the player profiles.

    64. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      The fact that these admins state their methods can never actually be 100% correct and that the system works as if it actually is flawless is scary (lifetime bans with no way to actually appeal), how would the AC ever truly know if a player is innocent or guilty? considering the effort one could try put into proving they can play top level tf2 without cheats is completely neglected and denied by the AC in almost every way, especially when they say streaming with handcam + providing demos of said stream is not evidence enough?? (then what way can it be proven for those who were actually wrongfully banned?)

      You have to remember that this is TF2 and not a big esport like r6 or cs:go which by the way has actual anti cheat that costs money and provide evidence clearly or in some form or another on anything ban related, just look up shaiiko or Forsaken. Also the fact that they actually have fair appeal systems for those who were wrongfully banned, unlike this league.

    65. Samus: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) - nN - JOE said:

      “(lifetime bans with no way to actually appeal)” not true, we allow for appeals for permanently banned players.

      “especially when they say streaming with handcam + providing demos of said stream is not evidence enough??” Streaming with handcam, monitorcam etc. is not a foolproof way of proving you aren’t cheating, and it also doesn’t prove that you didn’t cheat in the past.

    66. Jas_H said:

      can i join the ac team :-)

    67. DaFuQWiZaT: ONCE said:

      @Amaterasu how can any innocent player appeal if you cannot see evidence or do not know exactly what you were banned for other than what the ban states?

      Anyone using cheats like aim, even toggling is bound to fuck up eventually and even then with the proper handcam would not strictly follow the same mouse patterns even for something like low FOV aimbot or trigger. If any player is banned and still plays the same then they are either still cheating or innocent. If a player is actually somehow able to prove they do not need cheats to play the same as what they did when banned then it should be obvious to most players what the answer is. Also usually a cheater would have a UI of some kind on their screen but cannot do that if there is monitorcam, even if they try hide it, it will eventually show up some day probably when switching apps with alt+tab like how some non tf2 related streamers were caught.

      Again you have to take into consideration that this is TF2 league and not worth “legit cheating” on if you can do it as well as you probably think I did, you may as well just make bread on Faceit.