Tuesday, October 08, 2019

In The "People Will Cheat To Win Anything" Files

The so-called "Tron" bike in Zwift has certain in-game performance benefits.
So, I have always said, "Never underestimate the stupidity of Mankind", because if you do, you'll always get sideswiped by something really dumb. Like cheating at racing on-line. For championships. That's a thing, apparently.

Last week a "champion" rider was stripped of a "national title" which he illicitly gained from using a "hopped up" version of a virtual bicycle on the Zwift platform. Carlton Reid wrote about it on "Forbes" here. Look, I am so flabbergasted on this story, I don't know what to say.

Obviously part of this story is about technology. Now, I know about that, a little bit. We had some deals with technology in Trans Iowa, during the time I ran that event. So, in terms of actual racing, well I can make sense of what goes down. On-line? Well, while it seems weird, I guess if it means you might get a UCi World Championship jersey, you're going to consider cheating.

It just seems like such a disconnect from "real" cycling. You know, when the wind is in your face and real gravity pulls against your body and bike. Not some algorithm of what some programmer came up with. I cannot even think of a good reason why the UCI would even give this sort of competition a nod. Oh.......wait. Money. I forgot. Silly me!

The UCI is on it though, no worries! Carlton Reid's article said, "A statement from the UCI added that the governing body “deplored” the “cheating attempt” and said it would work with Zwift to “ensure the sporting credibility of the cycling esports competitions.”

This will include measures to ensure that manipulation of both hardware and software by competitors is counteracted, said the UCI, as well ensuring that rider profiles are verified ahead of competition.

I dunno. This all seems so far removed from what I know as cycling that it is something else. But whadda I know? Well, I do know this whole thing sounds really far out and cheating? Well, that's just dumb whether it is in the virtual world or the real world. 

Once again: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.


Ari said...

What a loser.

Rydn9ers said...

So is this like the codes on the old Nintendo 64.... left brake, left brake, right brake, shift up, shift down, pedal backwards to unlock unlimited power boost?

Tyler Loewens said...

I encourage you to watch his video explaining what happened. I truly feel for the guy. IMHO he did not cheat in the least.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tyler Loewens. It's a moot point to discuss whether or not we think he cheated. The UCI thinks he did, and that's all that matters here. His title was stripped and that's that.

The mere whiff of impropriety in this setting, (which is ripe for people to game the system, seeing as so much of this is in the digital realm), is what baffles me. Why? It just seems totally odd.

And if I am "just too old to get it", well, maybe that fits here. Frankly, the whole social media/on-line cycling gig is just goofy in my opinion.