One of the biggest talking points in the Counter-Strike scene last year was the coach scandal. Coaches were caught exploiting a game bug for months in order to gain advantages over their opponents before being caught.
Third-party organizations applied punishments and bans to coaches who got caught. However, Valve, CSGO developer, had yet to announce their instance – until now.
In a blog post published earlier this week, Valve finally announced how they plan to deal with the situation.
The new rule introduced by Valve earlier this week is a big one. Now, coaches are no longer allowed to be in the same room or server as players during online matches. Not only coaches, but also any person that isn’t a player isn’t allowed in a game room.
This change comes right after viewers noticing that Vitality had a stream of their own game running behind the players. The team got fined, of course. Such reports along with the coach bug scandal certainly are the cause behind this rule.
Nonetheless, this new rule will certainly impact the scene with immediate effect. Coaches won’t be having any contact with players during matches, and plenty of teams will have to adapt.
Along with the new rule, Valve also announced how they would punish those who abused the coach bug.
Following ESIC’s findings, Valve will be using their demerits system in order to level the punishment accordingly. Here’s the table that Valve presented in their blog post:
|ESIC Demerits||Number of Majors to Miss|
|2 Demerits||1 Event|
|3 Demerits||2 Events|
|4 Demerits||3 Events|
|5 Demerits||5 Events|
|6+ Demerits||All Events|
More importantly, here’s a list of coaches permanently banned from Valve events:
At first, the impact that the rule prohibiting coaches from being present along players in online matches won’t be measurable.
Yet, we should be seeing the results of this change sooner than later. For a long time during last year, and even before, teams relied massively on coaches on online matches.
Moreover, we have cases such as Vitality. The French team consistently had more than three individuals behind their players. Independent of those individuals’ roles, they won’t be able to be in contact with the players anymore.
So, expect to see some changes in rankings as some teams will definitely struggle. Teams like FaZe, who don’t properly have a captain, will be very interesting to watch from now on.
Right now, all Valve-sponsored events will be using this rule. However, this also includes tournaments that are part of Valve’s Regional Major Rankings circuit.
Last year, events such as cs_summit 6 and IEM New York were included as RMR events. This year, ESL’s Pro Tour and BLAST’s Premier circuits will all count as RMR events.
Having those two major circuits counting as RMR events means that the biggest tournaments will have the new rule being active. With two of the biggest organizers using them, it’s expected to see other leagues using it.
With this new rule, the coaching situation gets even more dire than before. Ever since the coach bug scandal, coaches’ integrity has been questioned by analysts.
Now, their presence has been cut where they could help the most. Some organizations will be questioning the usefulness of the coach position. In fact, some might ponder if it’s worth having a coach and a team analyst at the same time.
The big question going forward is what the coaches themselves will be doing. As Astralis’ Nicolai “device” Reedtz pointed out, this decision also punishes coaches that didn’t cheat. So, there’s definitely space for discussion and revision there.
With this new rule, coaches will have a new role in their teams. How each squad will adapt will define how well they will do in the long run.
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