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Valve clarifies stance on CS:GO event exclusivity

In order to address conflicts of interest between teams and leagues in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports scene, developer Valve has issued a statement clarifying its stance on major teams and tournaments for the upcoming 2020 calendar year.
Valve clarifies stance on CS:GO event exclusivity

After making an initial statement in September in which the developer stated, "In order to participate in Majors, we require that players, teams, and tournament operators confirm that they have no existing conflicts of interest, or if they do, disclose them and work to resolve them," Valve clarified their position on CS:GO event exclusivity, conflicts of interest, and media rights and reaffirmed that they are open to sanctioning leagues that experiment with "presentation, technology, formats, and locations."

However, the developer further stated that events cannot demand exclusivity in which teams that enter are not allowed to enter competitors' events. "Therefore, for 2020, teams and players registering for the Majors will be required to publicly disclose their business relationships with other participants and/or the tournament organizer, so that public conversations can be had about the value that leagues and other entanglements offer versus the risk that they pose. Failure to disclose any business with the TO or other participants will likely result in disqualification."

The statement comes following the $5M+ ESL Pro Tour in which it was announced that participating teams would be prohibited from taking part in some competing events, though ESL has denied this claim.


In a September blog post called ‘Keeping Things Competitive,’ Valve promised to enforce teams that participate in Majors having to declare any business relation that could lead to such a conflict. "We consider a conflict of interest to be any case where a tournament, team, or player has a financial relationship with any other participating team or its players," the company stated.

In their latest blog post titled ‘Keeping Things Transparent,’ Valve doubled down on its promise by stating that teams participating in next year’s Majors will be required to declare their business relations beforehand. "While we can point to clear cases where relationships between teams and [tournament operators] have generated distrust in the community, we agree that our near-term priority should be collecting more data and requiring more transparency so that conflicts of interest can be properly evaluated," the developer further explained.

The game developer closed its statement by saying "This form of team exclusivity is an experiment that could cause long-term damage. In addition to preventing other operators from competing, exclusivity prevents other events from keeping the CSGO ecosystem functioning if an individual event fails."