Astralis’ gla1ve calls for CS:GO pros steel and Swag to be unbanned

Connor Bennett

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros have spoken out in support of wanting Valve to unban the currently permanently banned members of the infamous iBUYPOWER squad.

The North American team were banned from Valve-sponsored tournaments in 2014 after being caught match-fixing against NetcodeGudes. However, since then, there has been a growth in support for the squad being unbanned.

In-game leader Josua ‘steel’ Nissan and Braxton ‘Swag’ Pierce are still competing – with Steel taking his Ghost Gaming up squad the world rankings and even qualifying for the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals.

However, while he is banned, the team will not be able to play at CS:GO major under his leadership, as they’ve had to use their coach James ‘JamezIRL’ Macaulay as a stand-in. Despite what happened in 2014, there is still plenty of support for Steel and Swag to be unbanned by Valve.

DreamhackGhost Gaming’s squad has achieved plenty of success under steel’s guidance.

On February 22, Astralis in-game leader Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander tweeted: “Come on @csgo_dev – let’s get these players unbanned already. They have been in jail for 5 years for stealing candy,  @JoshNissan @GODaZeD @brax1wnl and more.”

“I am happy that you stated an example and I am sure everyone by now knows that you don’t tolerate match-fixing.”

The Astralis in-game leader’s comments were supported by popular CS:GO caster Matthew ‘Sadokist’ Trivett. “I completely agree,” added the caster. “While it was a horrible thing to do, there was no previous precedent set, so to instantly issue a lifetime ban was absolutely appalling.”

“Considering how little involvement Valve choose to have with the esports side of things, that seemed extremely harsh.”

In a further reply, gla1ve thanked Sadokist for his supportive tweet, adding that he understands match-fixing is a terrible thing and there must be strict rules in place about it, but the players should be allowed to play. 

Former Fnatic player Marcus ‘pronax’ Wallsten also chimed in with his support, adding: “Totally agree. I think it goes for many kids that have been VAC banned as well, not really knowing the consequences of their actions.”

He continued: “I think its quite pathetic that a player like forsaken (formerly of OpTic India) is not banned from playing in Majors, but a player that has cheated in public servers are,” adding a confused face at the end of his tweet.

While players can appreciate what someone like steel has been able to do with his team, the final decision still comes down to Valve to lift the ban.

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