CS:GO coaches will be allowed to communicate with their players during the 2021 BLAST Premier Spring group matches, the tournament organizer announced today.
On Jan. 27, Valve announced a ruling via the official Counter-Strike blog saying that only players will be allowed in the room or on the server during online matches. Coaches or staff won't be allowed in either for the duration of the match. This ruling applies to all Regional Major Ranking events used to determine Major qualification.
The ruling drew widespread ire from across the Counter-Strike community, namely from prestigious coaches and their players. Several called it an extreme overreaction to the coaching spectator bug scandal from 2020.
The decision from BLAST addresses this ruling directly, saying it won't be implemented during Spring Groups 2021. BLAST Commissioner Andrew Haworth said he's confident in the procedures they have in place to make sure the coaching system isn't abused.
"We believe that the mechanisms we have in place enable us to listen and observe coaches' actions when they are on the server and in the room with the players, which gives us greater oversight of competitive integrity by being able to directly monitor actions in realtime and have information to review post event if any concerns are raised," Haworth said.
BLAST did acknowledge that it will monitor and review its decision to allow coaches after this first tournament. The decision by BLAST has been met with much praise from organizations, coaches, and players in the Counter-Strike community.
The 2021 BLAST Spring event begins on Feb. 4 with Group A, featuring Astralis vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas and OG vs. BIG.