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25,000 competitive CS:GO matches to be checked for spectator exploit; teams have limited time to fess up

The inquiry will look at games as far back as 2016 for evidence of exploiting the bug.

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced that it will be launching an investigation into the use of spectator bug exploit in CS:GO, with evidence emerging that the use of it could go back as far as 2016.

ESIC investigation into spectator bug exploit csgo(Picture: ESIC)

Michal Slowinski and Steve Dudenheoffer, the duo who did much of the leg work in the initial investigation that ultimately revealed that coaches for Heroic, MIBR and Hard Legion had used the exploit, will work with ESIC to go through the traunch of demos to find other infractions.

Those coaches were subsequently banned by ESL and ESIC and since then more examples of coaches using the bug have emerged with yet more likely to come to light.

ESIC's investigation will involve a mix of AI, and human detection and the investigation is set to be a long and drawn-out process, with 5TB of data, which encompasses over 25,000 demos, needing to be checked. It's a task that the ESIC expects to take eight months.

The investigation will include tournaments by all of ESIC members, "including ESL, DreamHack, BLAST, WePlay, Eden Esports, UMG, UCC, and more".

ESIC will then begin handing out punishments based on the severity of the offence. ESIC expect to do this monthly or quarterly depending on how big the problem may, or may not, be.

ESIC does want to give potential abusers of the exploit a path to redemption though, by offering a limited time "confession period".

Before 13th of September 2020, those that have used the exploit can admit to their guilt, and from there, their admission and forthcomingness will be weighted against the severity of their infraction and suspensions will be adjusted accordingly.

ESIC Confession period CS:GO spectator bug exploit coaches
(Picture: ESIC)

The impact of all this could be huge for CS:GO, coaches have been banned and teams have been retroactively disqualified from tournaments, with prize money being rescinded.

Guilty teams are now trying to distance themselves from their coaches, in an attempt to keep the dirt from reaching their players.

Hard Legion released a statement where they affirmed their belief that their players had no idea the bug was being used. "We[...] believe that the coach did not inform anyone about the fact that he has an advantage in the game.

The players continued to play fair, ignoring the fact that the coach's hints turned out to be extremely correct. We have no reason to believe that the players were aware of this 'bug' in advance, so no sanctions on our part will be applied to the players."

Whether people will believe them is another matter, what is certain is that there will be a few esport organisations sweating today.

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