Last weekend’s ALGS Pro League debut left some players and fans scratching their heads after hearing coaches speak to their teams during the game. Well-known pro Bowen “Monsoon” Fuller, who plays for Complexity, expressed confusion and frustration at the rule on Twitter on Sunday night in a now-deleted tweet: “Since when are coaches allowed to talk MID GAME and influence their teams decisions, rotates, and information?…Who thought this was a good idea lmao?” Other players and coaches expressed similar sentiments.
“Having a fourth person is just a strict hard advantage,” said Jamison “PVPX” Moore, who coaches Cloud9, in an interview with Dot on Sunday night.
Now, in a swift reversal, the ALGS administration has banned live coaching in a Discord announcement, Moore confirmed to Dot on Thursday night. Coaches will be able to talk to their teams in between games, but they will be automatically muted as games start. In an effort to further ensure competitive integrity, streams of the matches, including the official broadcast, will now have a 10-minute delay instead of five.
The new rules come after a weekend of widespread confusion about the limits of what a coach is allowed to do during the Pro League’s debut. Monsoon was surprised when he heard a coach in the voice chat of a rival team. Other squads, like Cloud9 and G2, were quick to heed the new guidance from ALGS administrators that live coaching was allowed.
But it was an unpopular rule even among coaches, and players and fans generally felt that live coaching would be bad for the ALGS. Many teams in the Pro League don’t have coaches, putting them at a massive disadvantage over the teams that do. Furthermore, live coaching appeared to open the door to coaches watching the streams of opponents to gather information. A delay of only five minutes still allowed coaches to give valuable data to their team in real-time.
There has been no public announcement of the change, but we will update if there is. Dot had previously reached out to Respawn for clarification on the issue but didn’t receive a response.
The new coaching rules will presumably be in effect for the second weekend of North American ALGS Pro League play, which starts at 3pm CT on Oct. 23.