HCS investigation concludes: Royal2 suspended until Jan. 2022, Sentinels forfeit Raleigh Major pool play position

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Update:

Mathew "Royal2" Fiorante has admitted wrongdoing in a TwitLonger he released later in the day on Dec. 12.

Additionally, Spacestation Gaming player Matthew "FormaL" Piper has announced that he will be playing with Sentinels in place of Royal2. This is despite Tony "LethuL" Campbell Jr. having stated during and after the investigation that the team would not be participating at the event.

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Following the results of the official HCS investigation into Sentinels and Mathew "Royal2" Fiorante, the Canadian has been suspended from all HCS competitions until Jan. 28, 2022. All Sentinels players will also lose 3,660 HCS 4v4 Points, and the team will forfeit its first place Pool Play position for the Raleigh Kickoff Major awarded in the NA Kickoff Qualifier 12-1.

HCS released an official statement on Dec. 12 addressing the conclusion of the investigation, with lengthy detail regarding the basis of nullifying Sentinels' placements in the NA Open Series 11-27 and NA Kickoff Qualifier 12-1 events. The investigation had formally begun on Dec. 3.

Sentinels had previously threatened to pull out of the Raleigh Major if the team was found guilty, according to a stream from Tony "LethuL" Campbell Jr. on Dec. 10.

On Dec. 12, LethuL stated on Twitter that his team is "100% not going".

Specifically highlighted in the HCS statement were Section VII.C(2) Hacking and Section VII.C(4) Network Abuse.

In the statement, HCS noted the original allegations of Sentinels forcing the game to select a server that caused "abnormally high ping" for players in the game lobby. HCS also stated that they reviewed the Sentinel players' Twitch streams, and noted the lobby connection issues that led to a delay of over four hours for the NA Kickoff Qualifier 12-1 tournament.

Our internal development team reproduced a publicly known and documented tactic to proactively remove servers from the list of eligible servers. Upon doing this, the resulting data signature matched the same data signature found in the matches that Royal 2 played in where only the westus2 server was available.

Additionally, the team was able to confirm that there were no server or game outages that may have impacted those servers or any players in the same manner. Finally, upon review of all other top players we did not see any similar data anomalies.

According to HCS, Sentinels were also given "several opportunities" to provide evidence for an alternative explanation, but the data provided to HCS was "inconsistent with the timeline of data irregularities" between Nov. 26 and Dec. 3.

If Sentinels choose to continue participation in the Kickoff Major, they will have had to find a stand-in for Royal2 by Roster Lock on Dec. 13, and will have had to play through the Open Bracket with them the rest of their players.