Three CSGO coaches have been suspended by ESL for a minimum of six months after they were found to be abusing an in-game camera bug that let them see into the enemy team’s spawn area and other areas of the map hidden from players.
Those banned include Aleksandr ‘MechanoGun’ Bogatiryev of Hard Legion Esports, MiBR coach Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia and Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen, whose team Heroic were recently crowned champions at ESL Cologne.
The bans were announced on August 31, just one day after ESL One: Cologne 2020 wrapped up, and Heroic walking away with $150,000 in prize money.
It was all due to a new bug discovered in CS:GO that allowed the coach of a team to become a spectator anywhere on the map, without anyone else knowing.
“Recently, we were made aware that by taking a combination of different steps, a bug in CS:GO allows the coach of a team to become a spectator anywhere on the map, unbeknownst to anyone else,” ESL wrote in a statement. “The coach would then be able to stay in that position, getting a free camera/observer position on e.g. the opposing team’s spawn area (or other areas of the map that would be hidden to the team otherwise), and could advise their team to react based on that knowledge.”
As a result, the three coaches named above were all found by ESL to be abusing this one particular bug to give their team an advantage, and the tournament organizer even gave specific examples of matches where it happened.
- Hard Legion, MechanoGun at ESL One Road to Rio on six maps in three matches
- Heroic, HUNDEN at DreamHack Masters Spring in 10 rounds on one map
- MIBR, dead at ESL One Road to Rio in one round on one map
The penalties facing all three orgs are pretty severe, with anywhere from six to 24-month bans from playing or coaching in a competition for the three coaches.
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On top of that, their teams will also be retroactively disqualified from the tournaments that were flagged, be forced to forfeit any ESL Pro Tour points from those tournaments, and forfeit any prize money they received.
- dead will receive a six-month ban from playing or coaching in competition
- HUNDEN will receive a 12-month ban from playing or coaching in competition
- MechanoGun will receive a 24-month ban from playing or coaching in competition
- The teams will retroactively be disqualified from the tournament in question
- The teams will forfeit their ESL Pro Tour points from the tournament in question
- The teams will forfeit their prize money from the tournament in question
UPDATE on September 2 at 12:46 PM
MiBR coach, dead, has received a ban from Beyond the Summit that will span the next two events in the series.
The tournament organizer concluded that the Brazilian coach “knowingly abused the coach spectator glitch to obtain an unfair competitive advantage in MIBR’s Lower Bracket Round 3 match vs Triumph at CS_Summit 6 Online on June 23.”
MiBR is also retroactively disqualified from CS_Summit 6 Online. The team will forfeit prize money earned from CS Summit 6 as well as their placing.
And this is why results from the online-era of 2020 will all have asterisks.
This cheat was caught, many others likely will never be found. https://t.co/bBrD442X8y
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) August 31, 2020
Some fans and commentators are already saying this could delegitimize all the results of the “online-only” 2020 era in CS:GO, since this could just be one of many possible cheats and exploits that haven’t yet been found.
Following the news from ESL, both MiBR and Heroic were quick to put out statements regarding the scandal, but at the time of writing, we have yet to see anything from Hard Legion. Stick with Dexerto for more news and updates on this developing story.