forsaken: "Sorry for my teammates, OpTic and the people who trusted me over facts"
The Indian team were disqualified from the event halfway through the group stage after the admins confirmed their suspicions about forsaken using a cheating tool upon inspecting the player's computer.
OpTic parted ways with the team shortly after the scandal broke, and it is rumoured that the North American organisation may cease all operations in India, just five months after expanding into the country.
In an interview with India-based outlet AFK Gaming, the 23-year-old opened up about the reason he resorted to cheating and apologised for the impact that the incident will have on his teammates' careers.
"There was no pressure from anywhere, it was all about me wanting to win every game, wanting to be perfect in every aspect of the game," he said.
"I was confident in my decisions, in my understanding of the game, etc., but I was never confident in my aim, so to compensate that lack of confidence I had to choose the wrong path.
"I am extremely sorry for my teammates, for the OpTic management and the people who always put their trust in me over the facts.
"I feel guilty of stealing away opportunities from my teammates, they are all extremely talented and I have jeopardised their chances of being where they deserve."
forsaken echoed the comments from OpTic Gaming International Development Director Jesal Parekh, who guaranteed that the team were unaware of any wrongdoing from the player, and insisted that he never cheated in the open tryouts.
"No one on my team had any idea of me using any external program," he said. "Because the hack was not too blatant, no one on my team or any of the people standing behind us (coach, manager, etc.) had any idea that I was using anything.
"It gave me a slight advantage over my natural aim, so it was almost negligible to be observed by people around me.
"I never cheated in the tryouts because it was one of my first LANs and I wanted to give my best there and I tried convincing myself to do it on my own, and I also did not have the courage.
"When I came to the bootcamp I was not able to adjust to the pc, and by looking at my teammates the urge to be good at every aspect of the game made me do it again. Using it in the bootcamp without anyone knowing gave me the courage to use it in other LANs."
Looking back, forsaken revealed that he regrets ever playing the game, adding that the pressure to perform ended up changing him.
"Nothing good has happened to me since the day I started playing this game," he confessed. "I thought this was for me, but for almost a year I was not loyal to it despite working hard.
"I gave everything away for the game, I always put this game above everything else and now I realise what I have lost. I lost everything when I put CS above all else, and now I have lost CS, too."
An investigation by ESL India recently found evidence of forsaken using the same cheating software at the Premiership 2018 Fall Finals, which OpTic India won after beating Slaughter Rage Army in the title decider.
HLTV.org knows that ESL India will soon issue another statement on the matter and also address the team's spot in the ESL Pro League Season 8 Asia qualifier, which will have a spot at the upcoming Pro League Finals on offer.