Two esports players were hacked during a live-streamed game, causing the Apex Legends Global Series tournament to be postponed.

On Sunday night, EA and Respawn’s shooter game Apex Legends was disrupted by a hacking incident, causing the Apex Legends Global Series tournament to be postponed. The players were competing in the popular shooter game having a $5 million prize pool.

The incident occurred during a live-streamed game, where Apex pro player Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose reported his game being hacked and hijacked to deploy cheats. The player complained about the activation of cheats like wallhacks, which provided the compromised account with an unfair advantage over legitimate players.

During the livestream, Genburten yelled he was “getting hacked” when a cheat program’s settings menu appeared. Genburten’s screen also displayed an aimbot, gun recoil reducer, and autofire feature, with a box indicating “vote Putin.”

Soon after hacking, the perpetrators displayed the following message:

“Apex hacking global series, by Destroyer2009 &R4andom.”

Apparently, the hackers used a cheat program to deploy “wall hacks” or visibility hacks, allowing them to see all other players. 

In another Apex Legends match, a player named ImperialHal faced a similar incident. On their X account, the player noted getting an “aimbot,” which is a common cheating technique allowing players to hit any player without actually aiming at them. 

This led to the tournament organizers suspending and postponing the North American tournament, causing concern among players.

“Due to the competitive integrity of this series being compromised, we have made the decision to postpone the finals at this time. We will share more information soon,” Apex Legends Esports posted on their official X account.

The cause of the incident remains unclear, as Electronic Arts, publisher of Apex Legends, and Genburten and ImperialHal have not provided any more details. It was speculated that it could have been an RCE exploit or remote code execution attack. However, Easy Anti-Cheat, the game’s anti-cheat solution, maintains that its software remains secure with no known vulnerabilities.

“We are confident that there is no RCE vulnerability within EAC being exploited,” Easy Anti-Cheat confirmed.

A video showing this incident was posted on X and shared on multiple YouTube channels. The video shows Genburten seeing other players highlighted on the map, even behind walls, and through in-game obstacles before a window appears with a menu for cheats called “TSM HALAL HOOK.”

Respawn Entertainment, the developer behind Apex Legends, is currently investigating the situation. The exploitation during a major tournament raises doubts about current measures and the future of competitive gaming. Respawn’s investigation is needed to restore trust and ensure tournament integrity.

This is not the first time that a gaming tournament has gone through cybersecurity-related issues. In January 2022, cybercriminals managed to carry out successful DDoS attacks on a Minecraft event that crippled the internet of Andorra, a country based in Europe.

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