June 11, 2024

CS2 Pro nbgee12 Permanently Banned for Stealing SSDs at IEM Dallas

Competitive gaming has seen its fair share of controversies, but the recent incident involving Adam "nbgee12" Zanzoul at IEM Dallas has left the CS2 community in shock. The ESL caught Zanzoul, a Counter-Strike 2 pro-player, red-handedly stealing SSDs from fellow competitors, resulting in a lifetime ban.

Despite boosting security measures for this event, the ESL was unable to prevent this shocking event. The news of Adam "nbgee12" Zanzoul's theft arrest shocked the esports community on a seemingly normal day at IEM Dallas. The event's camera circuit caught the 19-year-old from North America trespassing in an unsecured backstage production area and stealing SSDs belonging to other CS2 professionals.

nbgee12 IEM Dallas

ESL, the organizer of the event, immediately reported the incident to the Dallas Police Department. Despite his detention, Zanzoul faced no formal charges. Instead, ESL took action, imposing a lifetime ban on Zanzoul, effectively ending his career in professional CS2 esports.

In an hour-long interview with fellow pro Collin "CoJoMo" Moren on June 4, Zanzoul confessed to his actions. He revealed that he had arrived in Dallas on June 30 and was planning to meet friends. When his friends didn't show up, he joined a Discord server and, in the early hours of the morning, headed to the IEM Dallas venue.

Streaming his actions on Discord, Zanzoul accessed the area where the SSDs were stored and took those used by prominent CS2 players like Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, and Guy "NertZ" Iluz. During tournaments, each pro player has their own SSD to store in-game settings, and tournament organizers must protect the integrity of the competition by quickly swapping these SSDs between matches. This theft disrupted the seamless flow of the event and caused a significant security risk.

Zanzoul claimed that he was under the influence of cannabis at the time and believed he deserved a lesser punishment, dismissing his actions as mere "trolling." Despite this defense, the severity of the incident justified the harshest of penalties.

Before the SSD theft, Zanzoul's career as a CS2 pro was modest. He was known within the lower tiers of North America's CS2 scene and had participated as a stand-in for Elevate at the RMR event for the PGL Copenhagen Major in March.

Notably, just two months prior to the IEM Dallas incident, ESL had reversed a permanent ban on Zanzoul for attempted match-fixing in FPL-C qualifiers, a situation that only boosted the severity of the new infraction.

CS2 IEM Dallas SSD

However, this time, ESL showed no leniency. The lifetime ban from ESL, coupled with a subsequent ban from FACEIT, marks the end of Zanzoul’s career. He once had aspirations of rising in the competitive CS2 world. With these bans, it is highly unlikely that Zanzoul will appear at any professional CS2 or even CSGO events in the future.

The CS2 community must now move forward and continue to promote positive values within the sport. This incident highlights the need to boost security measures at events and a zero-tolerance policy towards unethical behavior. By doing so, the integrity of the game and the trust of the fans can be maintained.

As for Adam "nbgee12" Zanzoul, his story will serve as a cautionary tale. The esports world will be watching closely to ensure that such incidents remain rare and that the focus stays on the skill, strategy, and sportsmanship that make competitive gaming so thrilling.

Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on the world of esports and the latest in CS2.

 

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