Two-time Halo World Champion Royal 2 has been suspended following an investigation into allegations of server manipulation.
The Halo Championship Series (HCS) handed Sentinels player Mathew “Royal 2” Fiorante a 45-day suspension following an investigation into alleged server manipulation. Evidence gathered by HCS Administration determined that Royal 2 knowingly circumvented Halo Infinite’s server selection process, resulting in opponents experiencing unusually high ping and a four-hour tournament delay.
As a result of the investigation, Royal 2 will not return to competition until January 28, and Sentinels have forfeited all seeding points accumulated since the season began.
HCS Server Manipulation Investigation
NA Official HCS Competitive Ruling: https://t.co/YPHTFMcbG4
— Halo Esports (@HCS) December 12, 2021
According to HCS’ statement several professional teams came forward with allegations against Sentinels following the NA Kick-Off Qualifier tournament. Players theorized that the top Halo squad somehow manually selected a server to favor them and punish their opponents. HCS launched a prompt investigation into the allegations and found damning evidence.
HCS Administration explained the server selection process and how the system works to ensure fairness:
“In Halo Infinite a server is determined automatically by the game with no organic ability for players to control the outcome of this. The game measures the pings of all of the players in the lobby to all of the servers in the world, 7 of which are located in the United States, and then selects the server it determines best for everyone in the match to play on.”
League administrators reviewed Sentinels’ server logs beginning November 15 to find inconsistencies. The HCS discovered that only the westus2 server appeared on the list between November 27 through December 3. That meant Sentinels consistently performed on favorable servers while their opponents suffered high ping. HCS identified two clear rule violations and issued punishment accordingly.
Royal 2 Suspended & Sentinels Surrender Seeding Points
We all know how incredible the SEN roster is and I truly believe this wasn’t done to give a competitive advantage to the team, but for QOL. HCS wouldn’t make this decision without overwhelming evidence on their end. Regardless of past accomplishments, these standards apply to all https://t.co/WiQeVw3cVL
— FaZe Snip3down (@Snip3down) December 12, 2021
After reviewing all of the components, HCS Administration ultimately determined Royal 2 as the culprit in unfairly gaining an edge for his team. The statement reads:
“We have determined that the only plausible explanation for Royal 2’s telemetry data pattern referred to above is that there was a direct modification of files giving Royal 2 an unfair competitive advantage during play.”
The four players have surrendered all 3,660 seeding points they’ve earned since the season began. Sentinels have forfeited their first-place Pool Play position ahead of next weekend’s HCS Raleigh Kick-Off Major. Lastly, the league suspended Royal 2 until January 28, 2022.
LethuL Lashes Out at the HCS
My face when I read this HCS announcement, and then remember that Mat offered to send them his entire PC to look through for proof and they denied it.
— SEN Lethul (@LxthuL) December 12, 2021
Sentinels player Tony “LethuL” Campbell Jr. went on a Twitter rampage following the HCS ruling on the matter. He called the HCS “incompetent” and initially stated his team would not make the trek to Raleigh for the Kick-Off Major. LethuL vehemently believes no wrongdoing occurred on Royal 2’s part and said the HCS ignored emails provided by the player’s internet service provider (ISP).
All in all, the situation is a mess. Mere hours after winning their second consecutive Halo tournament, Sentinels suffered a fatal blow that will undoubtedly force them out of their comfort zone. The HCS will more than likely stick to their ruling. Meanwhile, LethuL continues hurling criticism toward the powers that be.
We’ll have to see what unfolds in the days leading up to the Raleigh Kick-Off. However, for the time being, Sentinels possess zero seeding points and have lost Royal 2—an integral part of their roster following findings of server manipulations.