Shroud, one of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' most popular streamers, isn't somebody who loses very often. A former Counter-Strike pro, he's rarely outsmarted or outgunned. It's not uncommon to see would-be rivals try to level the playing field with hacks. Every once in a while, he calls out cheaters on stream. Recently, however, he seems to have gotten the wrong guy. Today, he partially apologised for that.
During a match a couple days ago, Shroud ate a small cannon volley's worth of lead the second he peeked his head around a corner. "Two cheaters there," he said afterward. One of them, he claimed, used speed hacks and was named Go_Bang.
In a post yesterday on the PUBG subreddit, however, Go_Bang (via a friend's account) claimed he definitely wasn't a cheater, but that now he's being treated like one.
"I found myself in a game with Shroud," he wrote. "I have never stream sniped, this was purely coincidence. I didn't even shoot Shroud. He was killed by hackers."
He also posted a video of the match from his perspective:
He played well, but not in any way that would suggest speed-hacking, which involves moving far more quickly than should be possible in the game, and at one point he even witnessed somebody else kill Shroud and made a surprised remark about it. Go_Bang did manage to kill the player who ended up killing one of the actual hackers, which put his name in the game's killfeed shortly after Shroud's death. That could be why Shroud thought Go_Bang was a hacker.
Since then, Go_Bang claims his account has been reported "hundreds of times" by Shroud's viewers. It's a claim that sounds audacious until you realise that Shroud has over a million followers on Twitch, and thousands tune in every day to watch him stream. Go_Bang is now worried about facing consequences for something he says he didn't even do.
"I'm not sure if this will result in a ban," Go_Bang wrote. "I think people with audiences this large need to be more careful about their accusations."
In a stream today, Shroud addressed the incident, saying that while he partially apologizes, he also thinks it was a "misunderstanding" and blames the game for the way things played out. He added that he doesn't think people will get in trouble if he calls them cheaters, as long as they're actually innocent. "The devs don't falsely ban people," he said. "They're gonna look into it, see if [a player] is cheating, see that he's not cheating, and [say] 'OK, cool' and move on."
In addition, Shroud offered to play with Go_Bang as consolation for the trouble he's been though. In response, Go_Bang said he appreciated the gesture, but "graciously declined," adding that he thinks Shroud is "a fantastic streamer with one of the better attitudes on Twitch."
"My only intention in making the post was to have it on public record that I'm in fact not a cheater," Go_Bang said in an email to Kotaku. "I plan on playing for top 100 ranks next season, and I don't want my gamesmanship to be questioned."