ESIC Says There’s Insufficient Evidence Of Player Involvement In CS:GO Coaching Exploit Scandal

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has launched a massive investigation into the exploitation of a CS:GO spectator bug that dates back to 2016. In a statement released today, ESIC stated that more than 25,000 hours of gameplay footage from CS:GO events will be reviewed to detect incidents of exploitation of the spectator bug.

After an initial investigation earlier this week, coaches Aleksandr ‘MechanoGun’ Bogatiryev (Hard Legion), Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia (MiBR), and Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen (Heroic) were all issued bans after being found guilty of exploiting the spectator bug in ESL tournaments. Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia was also found guilty by BTS of using the same exploit in its tournaments.

ESIC has banned Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia from all member events for six months, Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ for 12 months, and Aleksandr ‘MechanoGun’ Bogatyrev for 24 months. ESIC has also asked all non-ESIC member tournament organizers to honor the bans in order to protect the CS:GO esports scene internationally. The commission, however, could not determine that any players had been complicit in the exploitation.

Now, the two referees who detected the use of the exploit, Michel Slowinski and Steve Dudenhoeffer, have been tasked with reviewing thousands of hours of footage. ESIC, which estimates that the investigation will take at least months 8 months to complete, is providing an initial “confession period” during which teams can admit to wrongdoing. The confession period will conclude on September 13. The investigation will rely on both “AI and visual inspection” from Slowinski and Dudenhoeffer.

If new incidents of exploitation are discovered during the investigation, they will be detailed in monthly reports, which will also announce the applicable punishments for players and coaches found guilty. In addition, a quarterly update will be issued, regardless of the findings.

ESIC is also currently investigating several suspected cases of match-fixing in the MDL CS:GO league. The latest incidents of cheating have shaken the sports world and many have questioned CS:GO’s competitive integrity, especially now that online tournaments have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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