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ESIC calls on Valve to reconsider bans for CS:GO

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The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has called on Valve to “adjust their sanctions” after appeals were lodged against further bans stemming from an investigation into the exploitation of a CS:GO bug.

ESIC said it received two appeal requests on 5 July from two players, Alessandro “Apoka” Marcucci and Nicholas “Guerri” Nogueira.

Apoka and Guerri were two of 37 coaches who received suspensions after the spectator bug investigation began in September 2020, which found that 37 coaches had abused a bug that appeared in CS:GO’s spectator mode.

The investigation unveiled three variants of the spectator bug – static, third-person and free roam. Each version allowed players or coaches to view aspects of the game map they would not normally be permitted to see, to varying degrees.

Each of the offenders received a certain number of ESIC demerits as punishment for their involvement. The amount of demerits related to how many times each person exploited the spectator bug.

Game published Valve – which is not an ESIC member – then implemented its own sanctions determining how many major events a player or coach could miss based on the number of demerits received.

However, appeals from those affected argued that the Valve sanctions had “compounded” the sanctions already put in place by ESIC.

Although it noted that the appeals had been made outside the appeal window, ESIC said that the additional Valve sanctions “had distorted the intended effect of the ESIC sanctions such that they were no longer proportionate nor within the scope of ESIC’s intended outcome when the sanctions were determined and issued.”

As a result of the appeals, ESIC’s calculations used to issue demerits has changed. ESIC said it had communicated this change to Valve – which has no obligation to adhere to the change. It added that the initial response from Valve suggested the publisher was not receptive.

“ESIC has conveyed the results to Valve in the hope that the publisher would adjust their sanctions in line with the recalculation, but Valve’s initial response indicates that they will not make that adjustment,” read the statement. “While this is a matter for Valve, ESIC has asked Valve to reconsider their stance.”

In May this year, ESIC made the decision to issue a further 97 charges to as many players after it discovered more instances of the bug being used.

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