Recently ESL changed their position on cheating in competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Those found guilty of cheating as a result of the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) system will be permitted to rejoin ESL‘s competitive ecosystem after two years; whereas previously players could be banned for life.
It’s safe to say that the decision did not go down lightly with both professionals and the community in general as shown by Karrigan’s tweet below.
Apparently its okay to cheat for years at LAN tournaments(only 2 years ban) but 1 matchfixing match is life time ban. Welcome back cheaters
— karrigan (@karriganCSGO) March 23, 2017
The rule change was not as drastic as several made out. ESL’s policy for violation of their own anti-cheat technology (ESL Wire) had always been two years and thus they claim they were merely ensuring consistency across the board. In a “clarification” statement released later, they stated “We will consult with players, teams, organisations and sports integrity experts such as ESIC on whether the existing policies are still adequate for professional player in Counter-Strike”.
The Esports Integrity Coalition (“ESIC”) released a paper revealing their position on the controversy. The full paper can be read here. The headline of the position paper reads as follows:
“Criticism of any one tournament organiser or platform’s position on cheating misses the point, which is, simply that the esports industry is inconsistent and uncoordinated across the board on the issue of cheating”.
It then breaks it down into subsections including: Cheating, Match-Fixing, Consistency, Procedure, Reasonable Sanctions and Appeals before adding a conclusion and identifying the next steps. It ends with “ESIC will facilitate the discussion by drafting a consultation questionnaire and reaching out to Valve for input. After that, ESIC will start community and publishers outreach to widen the search and evaluate the results”.
Esports Insider: The paper released by ESIC is well worth a read as it seeks to clarify the wider issues. As tends to be the case with esports, there’s little to no consistency across the board and this is something that needs to change – especially with regards to cheating and match-fixing.