ESL’s pro gaming VP Michal Blicharz says the TO will educate fans on cheering etiquette before IEM Katowice

This is ESL's way of combating crowd interference at live CS:GO events.

Photo via ESL

Crowds have always been an integral part of live CS:GO events. But lately, some pros have complained about how the competitive integrity of matches is being affected by crowds calling out vital information during games.

As a result, ESL’s pro gaming vice president Michal “Carmac” Blicharz said today that for IEM Katowice, the tournament organizer will run PSA videos and have the stage MC educate the crowd on proper cheering etiquette.

“The presence of a live audience changes the way the game gets played. There’s no going back from it. It’s not the same game as you or I could play at home and it’s not supposed to be,” Blicharz said. “Players finding information out from fans also isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, though.”

When a player is about to get a sneaky knife kill, for example, fans will need to wait to cheer until after the kill is done, not before. Fans should not be able to give the players any information about locations, bomb plants, or setups as well.

This etiquette method was chosen in lieu of installing soundproof booths at tournaments, which was another possible solution thrown around by multiple pros and casters.

Astralis star Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, for example, said that booths would be the best way to prevent crowd intervention. He also mentioned that the bass from the venue’s speakers gave away certain information to the players. Blicharz thinks, however, that the crowd is a necessary aspect of pro play and shouldn’t be isolated by booths.

“We fundamentally believe in the chemistry of the players and the audience,” Blicharz said. “We do not want players to be isolated and unaware of their environment. Quite the opposite. We want players to feel that they’re sitting in front of thousands of enthusiastic people.”

Blicharz also admitted that it’ll probably take a few tries to implement this system and mentality within the CS:GO community. In case people aren’t following proper etiquette, ESL will simply turn off x-ray vision for any viewers in the audience for 20 or more minutes per infraction.