Over the past few weeks, cheating has been a huge topic for the Counter-Strike esports scene and beyond. This is also part of the reason why our newly introduced ESL CS:GO Pro League did not launch on time – we were working hard to get a few things in motion. The latest bans received by high-profile players have shown us that there are more steps required, and we are happy to tell you that ESL is working hard on making the lives of cheaters even harder than ever before.
“Over the past weeks we reviewed our policies and protocols for CS:GO matches and events, and we will continue to evaluate them regularly to take any necessary steps to ensure fair play in our leagues and tournaments. With our own ESL Wire Anti-Cheat, which is under continuous development and receives regular updates, we already provide one of the most secure environments to play competitive matches in. In our discussions, we made a lot of progress, and as a first result we have decided to extend our cooperation and communication with Valve in relation to anti-cheating measures, as well as to change our cheating policies.
One part of the cooperation and change in our policies is that players with a VAC ban will be given a cheating ban on ESL for two years. The date when the player was banned by VAC will be the start date of the two years cheating ban on ESL. This is a step we are going to roll out over time for everyone on ESL as we get verified information, but we have already started handing out cheating-related bans to notable persons where we have verified information available.
Another change which will be implemented for our higher leagues is that players in those leagues and tournaments have to upload their POV demos after each match from now on. Before, players were only required to record demos and upload them on request, but with this change we want to allow the community watch any action from any player via the recorded POV demos.
We will also be tightening our security measures for offline events. However, we are not able to disclose any information about what kind of steps we are taking here at this stage in order to avoid compromising our efforts.”
The disqualification of mousesports and unchanged invites of Titan and Epsilon for ESL CS:GO Pro League created a lot misunderstanding towards our ruling. We would like to further comment on these cases in order to shed some light on why one team was banned while two others were not.
mousesports stand-in smn played in the German ESL Pro Series, and the ESL Anti-Cheat team has confirmed that he had been cheating during the group stage. As a consequence and in compliance with the tournament rules, a cheating ban has been given. smn’s cheating ban from the German ESL Pro Series has lead to the disqualification of mousesports from the ESL Pro League. When it comes to cheating, we do not measure what kind of impact a single player had on a match – we just apply our no-tolerance anti-cheat policy, which leads to an immediate disqualification for the team.
In accordance with our tournament rules, mousesports was not able to participate in any other qualification for the ESL Pro League after their winning of the German qualification – even if smn had been convicted before the last European qualification was over or the team had withdrawn from the German qualification.
About Titan and Epsilon:
The Titan and Epsilon case is quite different from the disqualification of mousesports. While mousesports actively played with and used a cheater in the qualification, Titan and Epsilon were invited to the League. Neither of them had to play for the invite and never played in any qualification matches and therefore our disqualification rule for cheating does not apply in this case. While we could have dropped the invitation, we still think that, even without the now-banned players, both teams have lots of potential and deserve an invite to the League.”
Stay tuned for the start of the ESL CS:GO Pro League on December the 10th at 19:00 CET, where things will kick off with the first two matches of the season. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them.