Over the past few months ESL have been making waves with changes to how they see cheating. Their original announcement saw bans lifted on players like KQLY, who was found guilty of using third-party software while competing. Questions were raised over match-fixing, a case which rocked the CS:GO world not too long ago. ESL’s latest announcement is that they are aligning with the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) and their recommendations for cheating. This has seen new revised punishments for players who were previously caught cheating, match-fixing, doping and other competition manipulation. The big news, of course, is that players from the previous iBUYPOWER roster can once again compete in North America and in the ESL.
Former IBP lineup prior to their bans.
Effective on August 1st, players who were previously punished could once again compete in ESL, ESL Pro League, IEM, ESEA, and all ESL amateur leagues. There are also new rules coming in place for cheating from August 1st.
- Cheating: Disqualification from the tournament, results voided, forfeiture of prize money, ban between 2 year and lifetime depending on age and level of player and nature/size of tournament and how the player cheated. Cheating at a competition played above an amateur level (i.e. where significant prize pool is involved, or a qualification for a professional event is at stake) should normally result in a 5 year ban, but, in aggravating circumstances, can result in a lifetime ban.
- Match-Fixing/betting fraud: Results voided, 5 year ban unless significant mitigating factors in line with the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code or, in the presence of aggravating circumstances, a longer ban, forfeiture of prize money and monetary fine (if discovered before the end of a tournament, disqualification).
- Doping by using performance-enhancing substances: Results voided, ban of between 1 and 2 years, forfeiture of prize money (if discovered before the end of a tournament, disqualification).
- Competition manipulation and bribery: Results voided, ban of between 1 and 2 years, forfeiture of prize money and monetary fine (if discovered before the end of a tournament, disqualification)
“We believe that integrity and fair play are of the utmost importance in esports, and our updated catalogue of sanctions reflects that commitment”, said Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President Product at ESL.”All of these adjustments do not apply to bans and punishments issued by Valve directly though, which will still be in place for all Valve sponsored tournaments run by ESL, such as Majors.”
The big news, of course, is that the ex-iBUYPOWER players, who were caught match-fixing back in 2014, will once again be able to compete. Some have already joined in other esports such as Overwatch, while others have taken up the role as analysts and casters. The IBP lineup had some of North America’s top players, but being young they made the mistake or taking part in gambling, which has all but died due to Valve’s harsh ruling on gambling sites. This includes players like Braxton “Brax” Pierce, a former rising star in North America. He received a call from popular streamer m0E at 7AM in the morning regarding the news, and expressed his thoughts on Twitter.
Woke up to some good news. Now it's time to prepare. ??
— Braxton Pierce (@C9swag) July 24, 2017
Other players Keven “AZK” Larivière, who had been playing Overwatch competitively, will also rejoin CS:GO and it seems like they’ll be joining forces with DaZed, who had recently featured as an analyst. Here are a few of their reactions.
Thank you to everyone who fought for us and argued upon our behalfs. I really doubt without you guys that this would have been possible. ?
— Sam M (@GODaZeD) July 24, 2017
I never thought I'd live to see this day. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.
— Keven Larivière (@LiquidAZK) July 24, 2017
North American CS:GO was hard hit by the bans, and now the region will once again put forward some of their best players, but only for ESL. Hopefully Valve and other tournament hosts follow suit.
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Last Updated: July 25, 2017