ESIC to investigate historical coaching bug abuse

ESIC has hired Michal Slowinski and Steve Dudenhoeffer to review approximately 25,000 demos from 2020 to 2016.

Image via Valve

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) will contract the services of veteran esports referee Michal Slowinski and IT expert Steve Dudenhoeffer to examine demos dating back to 2016 to find any instances of the CS:GO coach spectating bug being used, ESIC announced today.

Slowinski and Dudenhoeffer were the ones who started investigating the bug that allowed coaches to spectate anywhere on the map. Three coaches have already been banned for at least six months earlier this week—Ricardo “dead” Sinigaglia from MIBR, HUNDEN from Heroic, and Aleksandr “MechanoGun” Bogatiryev from Hard Legion.

Since then, more potential wrongdoers have been found, most notably K23’s coach Aset “⁠Solaar⁠” Sembiyev, who allegedly abused the bug for 21 rounds in a map. K23 suspended Solaar for an indefinite period of time right after he was accused by Slowinski.

ESIC has reason to believe that the coach spectating bug has existed since 2016 and it may have been historically exploited by other coaches. The commission has summed up how the inquiry will work:

  1. Analysis of approximately 25,000 demos pertaining to CS:GO games played between 2016 and 2020 (both through the use of AI and by visual inspection). Analysis will begin with 2020 demos progressing back in time to 2016 demos.
  2. Based on evidence found, ESIC will conclude on standardised sanctions that will apply to offending parties.
  3. Manual review of key suspect demos, determinations made by ESIC in accordance with standardized sanctions.
  4. Public release of tranches of standardized sanctions on a monthly.

The esports watchdog said this investigation may take up to eight months to be concluded due to the heavy workload. All of ESIC’s potential bans will have an effect on all of ESIC’s member events, which include ESL, DreamHack, BLAST, WePlay!, Eden Esports, and more.

Additionally, ESIC has opened a “confession period” that will be available until Sept. 13 at 4pm CT.

“In ESIC’s view, wherever possible, it is important to work towards reform and rehabilitation of offending parties into individuals who value competitive integrity and can recommence serving the CS:GO community,” ESIC said. “ESIC may choose to apply a concession to any sanction that may apply to the offending party based on the presence and quality of the admission provided.” Confessions of guilt can be made directly to the commissioner’s email.

Shortly after ESIC’s statement was released, Ninjas in Pyjamas’ former head coach Faruk Pita publicly confessed that he abused the bug in 2018 in an ESL Pro League match against mousesports. Other coaches may admit come forward as well since it’s unlikely that any case will go unnoticed at this stage.