The Liquid rifler got help from the Accor Arena crowd during his team’s Paris Major 2023 Champions Stage clash against Apeks
Team Liquid riffler Mareks “YEKINDAR” alinskys revealed that he leveraged the enthusiastic crowd's cheers to deduce the positions of the opposing team during his team’s Paris Major Champions Stage match against Apeks. He also added that the organizers noticed the incident and gave him a warning after the first map ended.
“The guys from the audience helped me, but then I received a warning, because it is prohibited to do so. I do not understand why. Everyone does it. I don't know if there will be a penalty. They said they just issued a warning when we switched sides on Ancient. They said that you can’t do this, you can’t use the crowd. I don’t know, everyone uses it, but here it’s suddenly not allowed. The last Major, why not?”
In a crucial moment on Ancient, the spectators rallied behind YEKINDAR, effectively guiding him to push through the smokescreen and secure a remarkable 1v2 clutch. The crowd continued to assist him on Overpass as he found out about an opponent hiding around the corner and survived a sneak attack.
Liquid could not make the most out of the unfair advantage nonetheless, as they lost on both maps to the Norwegian side and crashed out of the competition. YEKINDAR later confessed in a post-match interview that BLAST issued a warning, reminding him of his rule-breaking actions.
Taking advantage of crowd reactions in LAN events is nothing new. Astralis fans, arguably, are the most notorious for this as they often shout directions to their players during live events.
A major scandal unfolded in 2019 when spectators, during a match against MOUZ (then known as mousesports) in the ESL Pro League Season 10, played an active role in exposing obscured positions and elevating the performance of the Danish team.
The IEM Rio Major 2022 witnessed a similar incident whereby FURIA fans, deeply invested in supporting their team, resorted to signaling tactics to assist the players of the Brazilian team.
These incidents underscore the immediate need for effective sound insulation measures within the player booths to safeguard the integrity of the competitive environment.