Three coaches for the eSports team competing on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have been handed professional bans after being caught cheating.

They were caught exposing a bug that allowed them to spectate CSGO games from a free-roaming camera. That gave them an edge viewing the position of opponents, which, in turn, allowed them to leak sensitive and useful information to their teams around tactics and approaches.

They were found guilty after the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) carried out an investigation into their actions, with tournament organizers ESL and DreamHack later announcing their respective bans from competition.

Counter-Strike, Global Offensive, Coaches, Banned, Competition

In further punishment, the three teams involved were hit with a series of penalties collectively. They were disqualified from the tournaments they were playing in and required to forfeit any prize money they had taken, a total of around $11,0000. In addition to that, they also lost their ESL Pro Tour points, hurting their chances of qualifying for some major tournaments such as IEM Katowice, scheduled for 2021.

The three coaches will not be allowed to assist in any capacity for the duration of their bans, which varied in length. Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen coached players for Heroic, and he has been hit with a 12-month ban. Hailing from Denmark, they are ranked 11th with a win rate of 65%. B Sports currently has Heroic ranked amongst the favorites for the ESL Pro European League' in early September, but that will be without the services of HUNDEN. His ban, like the others, came into play at the end of August.

Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia, who coaches MiBR will be out of action for six months, with his ban expiring at the beginning of April. He is a 34-year-old player and coach, hailing from Brazil, and is the joint manager of MiBR, which stands for Made in Brazil.

The final coach to be suspended is Aleksandr ‘MechanoGun’ Bogatryev of Hard Legion. He has been struck with a whopping two-year ban from competition and will not be back in action until September 2022. The Russian team are ranked 48th in the world, but will no longer boast MechanoGun on their roster. They have fired him in the wake of his ban, and it could get worse for Hard Legion. Michael Slowinski, an eSports referee, believes that assistant coach Erik Akimov also exploited the bug. It is believed he cheated at Eden Arena: Malta Vibes Cup three in July.

“It is very surprising that they [players] didn’t realize something was wrong, considering this was abused at least 10 full maps,” Slowinski said. The referee is now likely to review over 1,000 demos from tier-two and three tournaments for further signs of abuse, and further punishment is expected for those found to be guilty.

Cheating in eSports is rare, but not unique. In 2014, Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian was found guilty of using aimbot software to cheat his way to a top 4 placing at ESL One Cologne. In 2018, Optic India’s Forsaken was caught red-handed running an aimbot on his PC during the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals. He was found desperately trying to delete his software as an official approached.


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Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Valve Software
Developer(s): Valve Software
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2012-08-21

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