On September 28, esports regulator ESIC published the results of an investigation into the coaches. As a result, 37 mentors, many of whom represent or represented top clubs, received bans at tournaments from ESL, DreamHack, WePlay! and BLAST for a period from several months to three years. At the same time, some teams considered the punishment undeserved, and ESIC, meanwhile, announced that it would now also identify streamsnipers. Cybersport.ru tells what happened, why there is no unanimity in the community and what will happen next.
Who is ESIC and why is her opinion important?
ESIC is the largest esports regulator, uniting many top tournament operators, bookmaker companies, a number of national esports federations and even some government commissions that include review. The most important thing is that ESIC’s decisions on certain penalties apply to the leading championships, primarily from ESL and DreamHack.
Previously, the activities of this body went unnoticed, but ESIC regularly investigates various issues that adversely affect the integrity of the esports ecosystem. In particular, bookmaker companies send information about suspicious matches to her. The authority also issued verdicts against cheaters: it was ESIC who banned Nikila forsaken Kumavatawho was caught using cheats on the LAN.
Which trainers have been banned?
ESIC intervened following an internal investigation by ESL, which itself banned three coaches – Alexandra MechanoGun Bogatyreva, Nicholas HUNDEN Petersen and Ricardo dead Sinigaglia. The commission examined more demos and issued bans to 34 more coaches.
Many top teams suffered – FURIA Esports, ENCE eSports, mousesports, OG, forZe… Bans including former coaches North, Heroic, Ninjas in Pajamas, Natus Vincere… The latter, for example, had to apologize for Sergey starix Ischuk, and for Andrey Andi Prokhorov.
The terms of punishment vary. On average, the ban lasts ten months, although some got 15 weeks, and, for example, Allan Rejin Petersen from mouz – more than a year and a half. MechanoGun, which was banned for three years, will not be able to work for the longest time at the top championships.
How did the teams react?
Differently. Some organizations apologized for their mentors, some coaches themselves called for the validity of the verdict, and still others criticized ESIC for not being thoroughly investigated.
In particular, he disagreed with the ban Sergey lmbt Bezhanov of forZe: he was accused of using a bug, although lmbt himself was commenting on the same game at the Maincast studio at the time. The organization sided with Bezhanov and announced that it would continue to work with him. I did the same Hard legion esports: after the MechanoGun ban, the club took starix as coach, who was also found guilty – the organization will continue to cooperate with him.
FaZe Clan stood up for her former mentor, now manager Roberta RobbaN Dahlström, and OG expressed support for Casper Ruggah Dew… The casters also did not stand aside: Alexander Enkanis Polishchuk declared Andi’s innocence.
Why did everyone react differently?
It’s all about the bug itself and the lack of communication between the participants in the scene. The bug could occur involuntarily in the game, and mentors might not even use it to keep track of opponents. But if it happened, and the coach turned the camera at the same time, this is already a violation of the rules.
ESIC considered mitigating circumstances in its investigation. For example, those who, before the verdict, admitted that they had dealt with a bug, received a shorter sentence. In addition, some mentors (the same HUNDEN) assisted ESIC in the investigation, for which they also received a softer term. In short, disgruntled coaches and organizations could have shown an interest in cooperation and thereby mitigate their punishment, but they did not.
On the other hand, one can understand the indignation of the clubs. For example, lmbt notified ESIC that it had encountered a bug, and forZe provided evidence of the coach’s innocence – of course, the punishment seems unfair to them.
Be that as it may, it is too early to stigmatize ESIC. First, the commission has not yet completed its work – it has yet to study many demos. Secondly, in the announcement, the regulator mentioned that those who disagree with the bans can contact the body for further discussion. Certainly some of the penalties will eventually be reviewed.
What will happen next?
The story with the coaches is definitely not over yet. And while ESIC has said the most egregious cases of bug abuse have already been identified, the commission has so far examined only 20% of the entire database. In addition, in parallel, the regulator will study cases of stream sniping at online tournaments.
It is very likely that ESIC will soon review the verdicts for a number of mentors. And this is a normal practice: the commission initially had a huge amount of work that needed to be standardized – in such situations, mistakes always arise. The main thing is that ESIC fixes them. Organizations, too, should not just criticize the commission – closer cooperation will help resolve similar situations in the future less painfully.