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Counter-Strike: ESL Bans three coaches after cheating during ESL: Road to Rio

Counter-Strike: ESL Bans three coaches after cheating during ESL: Road to Rio
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Caught with their hands in the jar, or there abouts, ESL has banned three coaches from its CS:GO events. This move puts additional strain on a professional scene still struggling with player burnout, a lack of lan events, and the impacts of a global pandemic.

Counter-Strike: ESL Bans three coaches after cheating during ESL: Road to Rio

Fly too close to the sun and you burned. That's exactly what happened to three coaches of professional Counter-Strike teams, who used an in-game exploit to create a static cam that could be used to call out the movements of the enemy team. Following an investigation of teams playing in ESL and Dreamhack events, ESL, a prolific tournament organiser in the scene, announced a wave of bans ranging from 6-24 months for the guilty parties.

The most high-profile victim in this case would be Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen, coach of Heroic — who themselves are fresh off of a victory against Vitality in ESL One Cologne. While he has yet to be accused of cheating during that event, it appears that HUNDEN abused this bug for 10 rounds during a map played in DreamHack Masters Spring. For his actions during that tournament, HUNDEN faces a hefty 12-month bad from all ESL and DreamHack events. This ban may even spread to other events if Valve or other tournament organisers decide to follow suit.

Ricardo "dead" Sinigaglia, coach of MIBR, the biggest team in Brazil, will face a 6-month ban for using the same exploit for a single round during ESL One Road to Rio, while Alexsandr "MechanoGun" has been slapped with a two year ban for extensive use of the bug during 6 maps in the same event. These bans not only affects the coaches themselves, but also impacts their players, who face bad press and accusations of complicity. In addition to individual sanctions, the infringing teams themselves have also been reprimanded; due the actions of their coaches, Heroic, MIBR, and Hard Legion have forfeited all ESL tour points and Prize winnings and have been disqualified from the tournaments in question. As for RMR points, which decide the who qualifies for the upcoming major, no visible action has yet been taken.

The head of the investigation has expressed a desire to continue the enquiry, and teams and coaches alike may face more sanctions in the near future. In other words, even in Counter-Strike, the old maxim holds true: cheaters never prosper.

Photo: HLTV

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