Counter-Strike: Global Offensive developer Valve has established where it stands on Major-attending teams having conflicts of interest.
In 2020, teams and tournament organisers involved in Majors will have to declare their business relations to curb conflicts of interest and be transparent.
In September, Valve released a blog post called ‘Keeping Things Competitive’ where it shared its views on controversial subjects like media rights exclusivity. It also made a statement on conflicts of interest, promising to enforce teams that participate in Majors having to declare any business relation that could lead to such a conflict. “We consider a conflict of interest to be any case where a tournament, team, or player has a financial relationship with any other participating team or its players,” it stated.
In its latest blog post, ‘Keeping Things Transparent,’ Valve fulfilled its promise by stating that teams participating in next year’s Majors will be required to declare their business relations. “While we can point to clear cases where relationships between teams and [tournament operators] have generated distrust in the community, we agree that our near-term priority should be collecting more data and requiring more transparency so that conflicts of interest can be properly evaluated,” the developer explained.
Valve wants to prevent the situation where, for example, a team has a relationship with a tournament organiser – much like the previous relationship between Astralis and BLAST Pro Series. While it’s not guaranteed that such a relationship will lead to cheating or malpractice, it generates skepticism and distrust for some.
Teams that aren’t willing to detail their business relations with Valve may well be disqualified from Major tournaments.
Esports Insider says: Conflicts of interest seemingly exist in esports where companies are trying to fast-track success, owning multiple teams and/or organising events while competing in them. We’re curious to see if this rule will cause some teams to have to make changes from 2020 onwards.