The scandal surrounding the CS:GO Spectator Bug is entering the next round. After investigations by ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission), 37 head coaches have now been banned for exploiting the bug to their team's advantage. A lot of renowned coaches have been punished for the abuse, perhaps most notably Natus Vincere's Sergey "starix" Ischuk and OG's Casper "ruggah" Due.
The furore about the spectator bug in CS:GO continues. About 4 weeks ago, three head coaches were banned for longer periods of time after using the bug in several official games. One of them is Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen, head coach of the then newly crowned ESL One Cologne Europe winner Heroic. Now further findings are available after investigations by ESIC.
With the spectator bug, coaches were allowed to have full visibility of opponent positions at a certain point on the map. Although this bug was known for some time, it was only recently fixed by Valve. During the scandal, coaches were accused of using it again and again. Some even admitted it themselves.
37 Coaches Convicted
A total of 37 coaches have now been convicted of using the bug. Among them are Na'Vi's starix, OG's ruggah, and ex-FaZe coach Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström. All three received different punishments. Starix pulled the shortest straw out of the three and will be sidelined for 10 months. RobbaN got 5.5 months while ruggah was penalized with the minimum amount of 3.75 months. Aleksandr "zoneR" Bogatiryev, who was among the first to be accused along with HUNDEN, got the maximum penalty of 36 months. No one else received more than 20. Ouch! Newly crowned ESL Pro League Season 12 North America champions FURIA will be without their head coach Nicholas "guerri" Nogueira for four months.
The bans mean that coaches will not have any access to the players from 15 minutes prior to a match's start until the match is over. That includes all types of communication, map vetos, timeouts, etc. This is applied for all ESL, DreamHack, BLAST, and WePlay tournaments but the ESIC asks for integrity by other organizers as well - a plea likely to be honored.
This is easily the biggest scandal in professional CS:GO since the iBUYPOWER matchfixing and is arguably even more damaging to the community, with dozens of people, some of which legends of the game, being thrown under the knife. Some of the accused have already spoken in self-defense, including the aforementioned RobbaN. Sergey "lmbt" Bezhanov's current employers at forZe went as far as to challenge his 7.5-month ban in hopes that it is lifted.
There will be one final report by the ESIC at the end of October that will hopefully put an end to this uninspiring chapter in CS:GO history.