The reigning Challenger League victor of Sweater has been banned from competing in all tournaments for one year following an in-game BattlEye suspension on January 11th.
While Sweater has never competed in any pro-level leagues, he has made quite a name for himself across a number of tier-two tournaments. In September 2018 while on Disrupt Academy he, alongside Beaulo and Hyper, was crowned the CCS Season 3 champions before following this up with a fourth-place finish in Season 4 after a loss against Merc and Fultz' team of Organised Chaos during the playoffs.
Following this, 2020 saw Sweater's first Challenger League season as, alongside Trippen, Jarvis, and GhxsT on PogChamp he finished Stage one in third place before being picked up by the second-place team of RentFree for Stage two to replace eUnited-bound Rexen. A first-round loss by the favorites of The Last Dance then helped RentFree to take the title in November against beastcoast only for the US Relegation match to be canceled dashing the team's main hopes for a spot in the main NAL tournament.
Following this, Sweater and RentFree were knocked out of the Six Invitational Closed Qualifiers by Altiora in a map three, 7-8 defeat. Now, as the RentFree lineup looks for a possible org pickup for the 2021 NAL tournament, Sweater has announced he had been banned in-game.
As a way to sanction those who break the R6 Terms of Service, an in-game ban of any kind also means a competitive sanction from R6 tournaments with cheating sanctions given a minimum of a one year sentence. This in effect means Sweater will be unable to compete in R6 until the 2022 season kicks off which, considering his impressive Challenger League performance, kills what looked to be a promising pro debut in 2021.
This announcement caps off what was the most ban heavy year to date with the following notable players also being hit by suspensions:
- Jack "Doki" Robertson -- Suspended for six months following an in-game toxicity ban. The ban ended in April 2020 leading to him missing both the 2020 Six Invitational and his team's Pro League victory during Season 10.
- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani -- Suspended for one year after breaking the R6 Code of Conduct, likely due to breaking an NDA agreement after his team was kicked out of the Pro League.
- Benedikt "Shermi" Rostok -- Suspended for six months following an apparent match-fixing attempt in the GSA League after qualifying for the EU Challenger League.
- 7 MX and 2 SU CL Players -- Suspended for between 1-2 years after a number of players were caught trying to avoid a ban by playing on another player's account leading to infractions including collusion, account sharing, and identity theft. One Columbian SU CL team was also disqualified.
- Maurice "AceeZ" Erkelenz -- Suspended for three games after providing insider information that his team would be losing an upcoming match to someone betting on the result of the game. Korey was also given a warning for the same infraction.
- "FreakGN" -- Suspended for two and a half months for violating the R6 Code of Conduct after telling a fellow USCL player to kill themselves.
- Hibiki "XQQ" Motoyama -- Suspended for six months after admitting to match throwing in the APAC North League in order to get a better November Major seeding. He has since moved to Valorant where he has already won the First Strike Japanese Major.
- Rafael "mav" Loureiro Freitas -- While not a Ubisoft suspension, mav has been suspended from his roster by Team Liquid pending an investigation following abuse allegations which he partially admitted to.
The Doki ban is likely the most relevant here as it also involved Ubisoft suspending a player from competitive play due to an in-game ban. While much less prominent, the exact same suspension of one year was given to a UKIN2 player of Eco for the same reasons before his team went on to win the tournament and qualify for the ongoing UK & Ireland National League. This at least shows a consistency in the rulings, an issue which many had criticised Ubisoft for in the prior suspension cases.
While we're unlikely to hear any further news concerning Sweater till this time next year, keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for any news concerning the future of his ex-teammates and any possible NAL pickups.