ESIC to issue 97 new bans from spectator bug investigation

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) will issue 97 more charges after an investigation into a bug used to cheat at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) revealed further instances of its use.
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ESIC issued sanctions against 37 coaches in September 2020, after it was found that the coaches had abused a bug in CS:GO’s spectator mode. This was referred to as the spectator bug.

This launched a historical investigation, in which 99,650 video demos were examined.

The historical investigation revealed three spectator bug variants – the static spectator bug, the third-person spectator bug and the free roam bug. These were referred to as the spectator bug variants.

A total of 97 additional players were found to have used these variants. ESIC announced that it will issue charges against these players, who were not charged during the initial 2020 investigation.

The 47 participants who used the static variant and the three participants who used the free roam variant have been suspended from play pending further investigation.

Those who used the free roam variant could face a 24-month ban from the game, while the penalty for static variant users will be determined pending the application of ESIC’s sanctions matrix.

The third-party variant, however, was deemed less serious.

Unlike the others, this variant lasted for one round only. Additionally, this variant was not triggered by any participants – each participant was bugged by accident. However, the 47 participants under investigation continued playing CS:GO and took advantage of the bug, which the ESIC Commissioner assessed to be a breach of the ESIC code of conduct.

If they are charged after the investigation has been resolved, the third-person variant users could receive a 30-day ban per occurrence of the bug.

However, the 47 participants who used the third-person variant were not provisionally suspended while investigations continue. This was because ESIC deemed this variant to pose “a relatively low risk to competitive integrity”.

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