Apex Legends Tournament Hacker Speaks, Swears It Was ‘A Joke’

Apex Legends Tournament Hacker Speaks, Swears It Was ‘A Joke’

An individual responsible for hacking an Apex Legends global tournament over the weekend has revealed their motivations: they did it “just for fun.”

That quote comes from a new TechCrunch interview with one of the hackers, who goes by Destroyer2009. In it, they detail that their decision to target the Apex Legends Global Series esports tournament (which boasts a prize pool of $US5 million) was based partially in a desire to mess around, but also to force developer Respawn to patch the exploit they utilized. According to the hacker, whose shenanigans forced the ALGS to postpone the tournament “due to the competitive integrity of this series being compromised,” the hack was a benevolent one.

“Not many people would have used an exploit like that in an absolutely innocent way for players,” Destroyer2009 told TechCrunch. “Just imagine if it wasn’t a joke and we didn’t put any memes in the cheat, I’m pretty sure you can ruin someone’s career if they had a cheat pop up on a tournament.” The hack took place during the North American finals, and appeared to have only affected two players: Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose, who was given a wallhack cheat that let him see through walls, and Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen, who suddenly had an aimbot (perfect accuracy) applied to his guns. While the pros were shouting about being hacked, an in-game chatbot reportedly showed messages from the hackers, and a window popped up that showed options for a variety of cheats that could be enabled, like autofire, magic bullets, target lock, and one that said, bizarrely, “Vote Putin.”

Videos of the hack sent the Apex Legends and esports communities into a tailspin, which players worrying if their own, casual matches were now unsafe. But Destroyer2009 assured TechCrunch that they did not hack Genburten’s and Dosen’s computers, and the exploit “had nothing to do with the server and [they’ve] never touched anything outside of the Apex process.”

But Destroyer2009, who worked alongside another hacker called R4ndom to hack the ALGS, refused to tell TechCrunch what exploits they used, saying “I really don’t want to go into the details until everything is fully patched and everything goes back to normal.” Why not? Because Respawn and publisher Electronic Arts do not offer financial compensation for players who find and report bugs and exploits. Destroyer2009 believes that Respawn “[knows] how to patch it without anyone reporting it to them.”

Respawn issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter) on March 19, stating that devs have “deployed the first of a layered series of updates to protect the Apex Legends player community and create a secure experience for everyone.”

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