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Mike Johnson September 28, 2020 4 min read
ESIC Continues Hunt for Cheaters, Bans 34 More CS:GO Coaches
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) released an update on its investigation over a bug exploit in CS:GO. After the ban of 3 coaches at the beginning of September, now ESIC banned 34 more coaches caught using the exploit.
The First Update on ESIC’ Massive Investigation on CS:GO “Free Camera” Exploit
At the beginning of this month, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) announced the launch of a massive investigation over a bug exploit in CS:GO. The investigation was aiming at detecting wrongful use of the “free camera” in CS:GO by coaches and teams who participated in tournaments back as far as 2016. Initially, the sports esports integrity guardian revealed that three coaches were already banned for using the exploit.
Today, ESIC revealed its first update outlining findings from the investigation. In order to assist with the investigation, the commission contracted the services of Michal Slowinski, known as the discoverer of the exploit. ESIC said that since its launch early in September, to date the commission has reviewed approximately 20% of the total available demos. The demos database was provided by the ESEA and HLTV and it included a total of 99,650 demos or approximately 15.2TB of data. In today’s statement, the esports integrity guardian outlined that “only 0.1% of the total demos available for review (99,650) have, as at the date of this statement, returned a positive indication of Spectator Bug abuse.“
ESIC acknowledged that upon investigating it discovered that the “Free Camera” or “Spectator Bug” was referred previously to non-ESIC member tournaments back in 2017. Given that it is unknown how those reports were treated, the commission refrained to comment on those reports.
The Appropriate and Proportionate Sanctions by ESIC
The result of the investigation is 34 new bans of offending parties by ESIC. Since the commission could “not ascertain, with any reasonable certainty” whether the teams of the offending coaches participated in the exploit it refrained from commenting. Furthermore, the commission encouraged the communities to refrain from speculation on this point. Although it is subject to complications, after this investigation report was released, ESIC anticipates that one more report will be needed which will likely be issued near the end of October and may conclude the investigation.
The professional bans which the coaches received by ESIC are between 4 months and 3 years in length. The commission did acknowledge that by analyzing the data it determined the “frequency” and “duration” of the abuse and issued “appropriate and proportionate sanctions”. With that in mind, ESIC did confirm that throughout the investigation it amended the penalties of the three coaches who were banned early in September based additional evidence uncovered during the investigation.
The professional bans which ESIC enforced to the 37 coaches restrict them from communicating with their teams both actively or passively 15 minutes before the start of an official match until the end of the match. Additionally, coaches must not be physically present 15 minutes before the start of an official match until the end of the game. But that’s not all. It is forbidden for coaches to be on the game server during official matches, they must not be on the official match channel on the Discord server as well. Last but not least, coaches affected must not be a part of the official map veto process, nor can be in communication with the team during this process.
ESIC Will Keep Safeguarding the Esports Integrity
The esports integrity guardian urged all non-ESIC member tournaments to honor the bans to protect the CS:GO esports integrity internationally. Furthermore, the commission said it welcomes dialogue with non-ESIC member tournament organizers aiming at “bolstering and harmonizing competitive integrity for CS:GO”. In its statement, ESIC outlined that any coach who wishes to contest his guilt, he may write to the setting out the grounds of his appeal to the Chairman of the Independent Disciplinary Panel, Kevin Carpenter.
The commission did not miss to address a message to the CS:GO community. ESIC noted that such revelations may be tough for many people in the community. But according to the commission, safeguarding the integrity of all esports will prove to be beneficial in the long term. The commission acknowledged that it is its job to safeguard the integrity and ensure that “corrupt or bad actors are rehabilitated or removed”. In conclusion, ESIC thanked Rivalry.gg, DreamHack, and WePlay for their contributions to the investigation.