The crowd noise brewed up some controversy at the CS:GO ESL Pro League Season 10 finals and Astralis star Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth has now spoken out about the issue.
During their semi-final matchup against mousesports, it appeared that the Odense crowd were offering the hometown stars of Astralis a little more support than is acceptable, cheering as Xyp9x peeked a corner and hinting that the enemy could be there.
Naturally, many took to social media to complain at this potential unfair advantage Astralis could have, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether they were actually benefitting from the crowd’s cheers. Whether they did or didn't, mousesports powered through and went on to win the match (as well as the tournament) anyway.
While Dupreeh made a statement shortly after the fact, explaining how this is common on LAN and that “when the crowd goes excited every player in the server looks for flanks or uncleared positions,” Xyp9x has come out to explain his position, too.
In a Twitlonger, posted on December 8, he said that “there is a clear difference between (i) the crowd actually giving away a position or other sensitive information (e.g. shouting "A") and (ii) the crowd getting loud and excited about a play that is about to happen, as was the case with this play.”
He then offers what he believes to be the one available solution.”Make soundproof booths. I'm talking about a properly soundproofed booth which eliminates undue outside sound interference.”
Competitive integrity and stage games
— Andreas Højsleth (@Xyp9x) December 9, 2019
The Dane went on to explain that he knows why this isn’t always possible – be it operating costs to get soundproof booths built on stage at the arenas, or the fire and safety hazard it could potentially pose.
He also explained how speakers and sound systems in the arenas can often give away plays too, saying that the audio cues provided help LAN players know if someone has been hit by a grenade, for example.
Xyp9x goes on to confirm that discussions around this will be had. He said: “On the player side of things, we will be discussing this within the players association and afterward reach out to tournament organizers with a view to finding solutions.”
While soundproof booths aren’t a new idea, they haven’t been utilized very often in esports for exactly the reasons explained above.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes from this development, and whether the player’s association and tournament organizers will be able to come to some form of agreement.