Team Spirit’s Russian CS:GO head coach Sergey “hally” Shavayev has been provisionally suspended by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) today, three days before the start of PGL Antwerp Major, which Spirit will attend.
Hally is being suspended because he allegedly abused the static bug version of the infamous coach spectator bug for one round in 2019 when he was still coaching Espada. ESIC found out in 2020 that dozens of coaches allegedly abused a bug that allowed them to place their in-game camera anywhere in the round. A total of 37 individuals were banned. The esports watchdog found out recently that there were more versions of the coach spectator bug and is due to issue almost 100 new sanctions ahead of PGL Antwerp Major.
Spirit is not happy with the decision to suspend hally for something he did in 2019. Nikita Chukalin, the CEO of the Russian organization, said in an official statement that hally didn’t know about the existence of the bug back then and he didn’t want to disconnect and leave his players while the round was being played. Chukalin added that he didn’t see a single opponent and therefore he couldn’t pass out information to the players.
Spirit claims ESIC offered a 25 percent discount on the ban period in case he doesn’t appeal and just admits to all charges without defending himself. “By making this statement, we are giving up this amazing opportunity of a 25 percent discount on his punishment in order to try to influence the future of esports,” the statement reads.
“What has ESIC done for esports? They declare it their mission to fight for honesty and ethics in esports, but what have they really done? Have they somehow influenced the issues with fixed matches? Issues with cheaters? Issues with radar hack?”
During the statement, Chukalin said neither Spirit nor hally knows who ESIC even are and that tournament organizers don’t mention ESIC’s codes in their rulebooks. Both of these allegations are not true. Spirit was one of the CIS teams that asked ESIC, with Valve’s authority, to conduct an investigation on the cheating allegations that surrounded Akuma at one of the CIS Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournaments of 2021.
Ulrich Schulze, the senior vice president of product at ESL Gaming, said in a tweet that ESL specifically references ESIC and its code of conduct on its rulebooks. “I don’t know how a team that has played in our tournaments can claim to not know them or their Code of Conduct,” Schulze said.
The PGL Antwerp Major will kick off on Monday, May 9 and we should know all the coaches banned for allegedly abusing the coach spectator bug today or during the course of the weekend.