In the wake of the recent spectator bug scandal, Valve has made some major changes to their regulations about coaches in Regional Major events. Blast Entertainment, one of the world’s biggest CS:GO tournament organisers, have announced that they will not be following the new rulings from Valve.
The Changes to Regulations
Back in the Autumn of 2020 the Esports Integrity Commission announced that they had found evidence that linked 37 coaches to the use of the now infamous spectator bug. Coaches from many of the top teams in CS:GO esports had been sanctioned including coaches and former coaches of teams such as FaZe Clan, MiBR, HellRaisers, Heroic, Natus Vincere, and Team Digitas, although most of these coaches were hit with a Tier 2 ban. Things changed for the worse when Valve upheld the ban from ESIC and then went further, those coaches that were deemed to be the worst culprits of the abuse were banned indefinitely.
In an attempt to remove any danger of that sort of issue happening again, Valve went further still. They issued a blanket ban on anyone, including the current coaches of professional teams, from being physically inside the room where players are competing in any online match. They also banned coaches from being in the server’s coaching slot during an online game.
The Response From BLAST
This new change to the rules put BLAST in a tough position. They are the host of the next major CS:GO tournament and as such, it would fall to them to take up the mantle of the new ban from Valve. Instead, they choose not to update the BLAST Premier rulebook to conform with Valve’s new standards.
BLAST Commissioner, Andrew Haworth explained in a statement: “We believe that the mechanisms we have in place enable us to listen and observe coaches’ actions when they are on the server and in the room with the players, which gives us greater oversight of competitive integrity by being able to directly monitor actions in real-time and have information to review post-event if any concerns are raised.”
The new rule from Valve applies to all regional major ranking tournaments. BLAST Premier is a separate event that is not officially sanctioned by Valve. They do not have to implement the new ruling as they believe that they can maintain competitive integrity. They are not firm in their stance; they did mention that the new rules could be implemented in the future.
What happens next?
What Valve’s response will be remains to be seen. It is unlikely that they will go back on their changes to the rules. What will be a major sticking point for the future of the esport and what will create issues for anyone interested in esports betting, will be if they allow tournament organisers to host events with separate rulebooks. If they do not respond to BLAST and simply let them change the rules, we could see a number of other tournament organisers begin to move away from the Valve orthodoxy.
If you are interested in the upcoming BLAST Premier action, it began yesterday, February 4th and runs until the 14th.