CS:GO

CSGO pros slam ESL over proposed changes to Rio Major ruleset

by Andrew Amos

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros have criticized ESL over proposed changes to coach involvement for the Rio Major, saying the move will benefit some teams disproportionally.

With CS:GO making the shift to full online events, coaches have had the chance to direct teams more than ever before.

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With competitive integrity rules becoming increasingly difficult to implement, ESL are reportedly cracking down on the involvement of coaches in-game. However, the move has been widely criticized by pros from all levels of play.

The changes, initially reported by DBLTAP, would “bar coaches from participating in the server and will also disallow them from participating in the voice chat.” It’ll go to a player vote, where all teams must vote to keep the current rules in place, or the changes will be shipped through.

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It’s a further crackdown on how coaches can interact with their players in-game. Previously, coaches had open mics for the entire game, before sweeping changes in 2016 banned them from talking mid-round.

However, since the shift to online play, it’s been harder to monitor just how much input coaches are having. For teams living under the same roof, they could just communicate by muting their mics between rounds, and admins won’t detect it.

Team Liquid’s Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski has, however, criticized ESL’s implementation of the rule, saying it’s likely to pass thanks to just one team voting to change the rules.

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“Why would a team without a coach just say no to the vote to strategically screw over the other teams,” he said in an April 20 tweet. “It would just make the most sense if you don't have a coach to say no so the vote doesn't pass unanimously.”

The Team Liquid star was backed up by Astralis AWPer Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz, who said too much power is being placed in one team’s hands.

“That ESL coach vote is wack,” he added. “How doesn’t it go by majority at least?”

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EliGE also demonstrated just how easy the system is to cheat, saying “video loops” could be set up to throw admins off, even if webcams are enabled.

The proposed changes, if they go through, would apply to the Road to Rio Major qualifiers, and could be implemented down the line for future online events. This would include the ESL Pro League, which both dev1ce and EliGE participate in.

A verdict is expected to be handed down in the coming days, with the Road to Rio starting on April 22.