Who is the ALGS hacker Destroyer2009, and where have you seen him before?

If the name “Destroyer2009” sounded familiar when the ALGS hacks went viral, you’ve probably heard it before. Their antics in the pro league are not the first time they’ve targeted pro players. In fact, Destroyer2009’s recorded history in Apex Legends extends back to December 2023. 

While his methods still remain shrouded in mystery, Destroyer2009 began as a simple antagonizing cheater. Clips exist dating back to December 2023 showing an account called Destroyer2009 using an aimbot to farm kills in a ranked lobby. But people didn’t pay close attention to the account until February 2024, when it launched a bot campaign targeting players like ImperialHal and HisWattson. 

Destroyer2009’s Apex hacking history 

December 2023

Photo from ALGS Split 2 Playoffs showing TSM Reps fistbumping coach Raven on the left and ImperialHal raching to fist bump Verhulst on the right
Before antagonizing high-profile pros, Destroyer2009 was a simple ranked cheater. Photo by Joe Brady via Electronic Arts

The first clips of Destroyer2009 hacking in Apex Legends date back to Dec. 12, 2023. A video shows an account named [FFM] destroyer2009 using an aimbot and speedhacking, decimating opponents. A second clip also surfaced in December on Reddit, showing an account named destroyer2009 [REAL]. The account uses the same cheats on a PlayStation console. At the end of the video, the account has 13 kills, with eight squads remaining. 

The third and fourth clips from December show accounts named TTV_Wrugb_destroyer2009 and TTV_destroyer2009 using the exact same cheats. A post claimed the account had been boosting other players. Destroyer2009 even appeared in a YouTube short from Dec. 20, 2023, also showing the destroyer2009 account caught aimbotting. 

In December, players debated whether copycat accounts were appearing due to Destroyer2009’s growing notoriety. From what we know about Destroyer2009’s abilities, he was undoubtedly able to run circles around EA, Respawn, and EAC regardless of how many of his accounts were banned.  

Screenshot from an Apex Legends game showing a player reporting an account named "[FFM] destroyer2009" for cheating
The first known report of Destroyer2009, which certainly was not the last. Screenshot via Twizzxii

Destroyer2009 accounts active in December 2023:

  • “[FFM] destroyer2009” 
  • “destroyer2009 [REAL]”
  • “TTV_Wrugb_destroyer2009”
  • “TTV_destroyer2009”
  • “destroyer2009”

January 2024 

At the start of 2024, Destroyer2009 escalated his activity, becoming far more prominent within Apex. The first clip surfaced on New Year’s Day, showing him playing under the account name [TSM] TTV_destroyer2009. In January, he also began regularly stream-sniping content creators in ranked matches. 

Destroyer2009 focuses a great deal on four players in particular: ImperialHal, Genburten, Mande, and HisWattson. ImperialHal first posted clips of the account [PS6+ user] destroyer2009 on Jan. 7, where he can be heard saying, “Here I present, Destroyer2009.” He then killed the player using that account in a subsequent game.

Screenshot from ImperialHal's stream showing the aftermath of him killing Destroyer2009 following being targeted by bots in a game prior.
ImperialHal had the privilege of destroying the Destroyer back in January. Screenshot via ImperialHal

Jan. 19 was the first time Destroyer2009 used [TSM Academy] in-game, foreshadowing the growth of his obsessive targeting. The account name [TSM Academy] destroyer2009 is the only tag found in at least three separate clips posted by different non-pro players or streamers who reported him for cheating. 

The first clip surfaced on Jan. 19, showing the [TSM Academy] destroyer2009 account on the domestic Chinese app (and sister app to TikTok), Douyin. The second, posted on Jan. 20, was posted to Reddit. The clip is reminiscent of his actions in December 2023, but users also identified that the account features a “played in ALGS” badge. This was an early indication of his ability to access features within Apex Legends beyond a few simple hack downloads. A third clip on Douyin shows the same account on Jan. 21, meaning it likely took over 24 hours for EA, Respawn, and EAC to notice the cheats. 

At the end of January, Mande spoke to a user with an account named [TSM Jr] Sniperman2010, who claimed to be the hacker. During the conversation, he explained that the process of investigating a game and crafting cheats was particularly appealing, although he also admitted he was terrible at the game without them. In response to being questioned over the ethics of cheating, he responded, “Our life isn’t ethical, at all.” 

His conversation with Mande reveals that the infamous hacker also has a legitimate, non-cheating account on Apex. He admits that he usually plays three hours on cheats and three hours “legit” per day and is ranked Silver. Whether EA and Respawn can connect him to his unspoiled Apex account following his more recent activities is unknown.

Sniperman2010/Destroyer2009 also takes pride in forcing developers to “make the game better” because he exposes its flaws. With the drastic nature of his ALGS hacks in March, perhaps Destroyer2009 was out to prove his point.

“Destroyer2009” accounts active in January 2024:

  • “[TSM] TTV_destroyer2009”
  • “[PS6+ user] destroyer2009”
  • “[TSM Academy] destroyer2009”
  • “[TSM Jr] Sniperman2010”

February 2024 

By February, Destroyer2009 was becoming synonymous with Apex cheats. Discussions on Steam, X, YouTube, and Reddit frequently surfaced, with players desperate to see the prolific hacker banned. 

Other cheaters on online forums started questioning just how much access Destroyer2009 had to the game, with one “Unknown Cheats” user asking how he had been able to send free packs to ImperialHal and Mande. Another user commented, “I would assume Destroyer2009 has either access to the online server code or is an extremely talented coder, or knows one.”  

Feb. 8 marked the day Destroyer2009 became directly antagonistic toward pros. He targeted the entire Furia roster, and seemed to have control over the entire game lobby. In clips of the incident, a swarm of bots named “smart cheating robot v2009” landed directly on HisWattson. 

Screenshot of HisWattson in an Apex Legends lobby having countless bots all land directly on top of his location.
HisWattson desperately attempts to fend off a bombardment of bots. Screenshot via u/realKeon

That same day, ImperialHal was targeted by a horde of bots all named “destroyer 2009 fan” the same way. His clip of the incident spread like wildfire, alerting more pro players and content creators to the baffling bot bonanzas. 

With multiple 30-bot onslaughts in pro lobbies throughout the month, it became clear Destroyer2009 had moved onto more significant projects than cycling through accounts to cheat in ranked lobbies. 

Several of the targeted players, including ImperialHal, Genburten, and Mande, were also allegedly gifted Apex packs from Destroyer2009. EA or Respawn have not confirmed whether these were involved in the ALGS hack, although many are convinced they were key to the operation. 

“Destroyer2009” accounts active in January 2024:

  • He has evolved beyond accounts. He has become Apex Legend. 

March 18, 2024 

Destroyer2009’s prolific career peaked on March 18, when he hacked Genburten and ImperialHal’s accounts to activate cheating software during the live ALGS North American Regional Final. The now-viral incident has resulted in Respawn having to implement a “layered series of updates” to protect Apex players while the investigations continue.

Since the shocking security breach, Destroyer2009 has also come forward to speak about his actions, alluding to his statements made to Mande in January. According to the hacker himself, it’s lucky that it was him who found and utilized the exploit rather than someone else. But the exploit left the door open for one individual to covertly set up pro players as cheaters. 

Destroyer2009: Hero or Villain?

The Apex Legends community remains divided over whether Destroyer2009’s ALGS antics have benefitted the game. In January, players unanimously deemed him a villain for consistently farming ranked lobbies with hacks enabled, causing widespread frustration among anyone unfortunate enough to encounter him. 

Now, though, some players identify with his apparent mission to force EA, Respawn, and EAC’s hand. In the aftermath of March 18, panic over player safety led to mass uninstalls, which triggered a drop in the game’s active player base. Now, it’s more important than ever for the developer to track down and patch these exploits.

Whether you agree with his actions or not, Destroyer2009 sends a clear message: Apex Legends need fixing.

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