CSGO team AGO stripped of ESL Championship after stream-sniping investigation
AGO have had their ESL Polish Championship Spring 2021 title stripped after an investigation into alleged stream sniping, but the CS:GO team will be appealing the decision.
With esports tournaments and leagues having to go online for the past year, there has been plenty of controversy, given that it’s been hard to have referees and independent parties on-site in a lot of cases.
In Counter-Strike, this has seen teams come under fire for alleged stream sniping – where they watch the tournament broadcast in order to find enemy positions. French powerhouse Team Vitality were fined $10,000 for having the broadcast open and in view of the official stream, even though they didn’t use the info that was shown.
Now, AGO have had a title stripped away from them after an investigation into alleged stream sniping from the ESL Polish Championship Spring 2021.
On May 18, ESL confirmed that they were looking into AGO potentially stream sniping during the final against HONORIS after a video of their celebrations showed a monitor running the official stream.
According to ESL’s investigation, they found that the stream was “within sight of at least two AGO representatives,” with one of these having direct contact with the team.
While ESL accepted that AGO responded to all inquires and “presented a plausible scenario indicating that the representatives made this mistake without malicious intent,” they had to act by stripping the title. They did, however, refrain from further sanctions such as tournament bans.
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Aktualizacja w sprawie naruszenia regulaminu w finale ESL Mistrzostw Polski 2021 Wiosna. pic.twitter.com/ABrwaU8D3R
— ESL Polska (@ESLPolska) May 25, 2021
Following ESL’s announcement, AGO stated that they will be exploring all possible legal options “not only to appeal the decision but also to protect the good name of our organization.”
They added that the unintentional incident was “not intended to and was not the reason for the winning team gaining any advantage,” nor did it affect the final result, and that they believe ESL Poland’s position on the matter is “fundamentally inconsistent with the spirit of the sport.”
With AGO exploring their options, it remains to be seen if the ruling will be upheld or if they’ll have it overturned.
We’ll have more updates if anything changes.