Before YouTuber IShowSpeed has been in the spotlight for its toxicity, Jake Lucky, an esports commentator and the person responsible for highlighting Speed’s behavior, was also under public scrutiny. Lucky, who attempted to exonerate an alleged Call of Duty: Warzone hacker with a polygraph test, has come under fire for refusing to share the results, leading people to question the legitimacy of Lucky’s biggest digital media brand, Full team play.
The catalyst for the situation happened last month, during the next war zone pro Damien “ShiftyTV” Spirrell was accused by a former pro Rasim “Blazt” Ogresevic of using an aimbot in a $100,000 Caldera Challenge tournament on March 8 (as reported by fault). Many Call of Duty players, including pro Jordan “HusKerrs” Thomasand a TikTok video editor named Judge Jutey, posted clips of ShiftyTV quickly melting contestants with what they claimed was pinpoint accuracy. ShiftyTV did not win, placing third in the tournament, but had highest death rate among the attendees. Many were convinced that because his shots were so accurate, ShiftyTV had to be piracy. To prove his innocence, ShiftyTV downloaded the FACEIT anti-cheat system shortly after the allegations surfaced, but his kill-death ratio suffered. As a result, Call of Duty streamer ScummN and others clowned around ShiftyTV’s skills.
Enter Jake Lucky who, after getting wind of the hacking allegations, reunited with ShiftyTV in person on April 5 to play on monitored PC in an attempt to prove that he is a Well war zone player who doesn’t need aimbot. Lucky and co-host Grady Rains even brought in John Grogan, a polygraph examiner (who was qualified as fraud by the late FBI Polygraph Unit Special Agent Jack Trimarco) and television personality known for his appearances on shows like Dr. Phil and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. All of these experts were supposed to come together for a so-called “hacking reviewfor ShiftyTV to undertake live, in front of an audience, and perhaps prove his innocence.
While Lucky preceded the show with plenty of warnings about sophisticated hacking methods and the difficulties of really disproving things, the plan didn’t go well. Lucky and Rains, with ShiftyTV playing on their neutral PC, paused their April 5 show just as polygraph Grogan was reviewing the polygraph test results. Viewers, aware of Grogan’s sketchy story, blasted the chat with questions if the results would even be accurate. Subsequently, the stream, broadcast on YouTube and Twitch, was taken offline and the VODs removed. You can’t see the full show anywhere now. So any decision on whether or not ShiftyTV was pirating was put on hold because, as Lucky tweeted later that day, he “didn’t feel comfortable” sharing the test results.
Online discourse exploded, with some forgiving Lucky and Rains for their “errors“while others recommended it”do more researchbefore trying to prove or disprove someone’s innocence. some even critical Full Squad Gaming for acting like but not actually journalists.
The whole debacle is weird, especially since Lucky admitted during the April 5 video promoting the ShiftyTV appearance that there was no way for them to “100% confirm or deny if ShiftyTV is pirating”. He went even further, saying it was “almost impossible to have a definitive decision on gameplay alone”. That’s why they brought in Grogan, the so-called convict”polygraph parasiteto test the courage of ShiftyTV’s words with the lie detector. In doing so, the line between entertainment and serious journalism and research was blurred: viewers were asked to consider live stream participants as experts with asterisks. But if there’s no way to establish the veracity of ShiftyTV’s behavior, then what are we doing here? And if test results aren’t shared, how can people trust Full Squad Gaming?
Kotaku has reached out to Jake Lucky, ShiftyTV and John Grogan for comment.