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Published: March 3, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • Valve has unbanned three coaches from attending sponsored majors
  • They were banned two years ago for using the infamous coach spectator bug
  • The three initially had relatively light punishments but Valve seemed to ignore this 

Valve has finally accepted the appeals of three CS:GO coaches, initially banned from participating in Valve-sponsored tournaments for using the infamous spectator glitch.

Three Coaches Are Unbanned

Valve is not only a video game developer but also an esports event sponsor, financing many of the most popular tournaments in games such as Dota 2 and CS:GO. As a sponsor, Valve has a say in how the events it finances are run. This has extended to the company being able to ban players it sees have cheated from participating in events its sponsors. 

This has been seen most notably by the fact that a couple of years ago, Valve unleashed a wave of bans because of the so-called coaching spectator bug. It allowed coaches to view the map without the usual restrictions and inform their teammates about the enemies’ movement. This provided a varying degree of unfair advantage, depending on which version of the bug is used.

However, several appeals have recently been reviewed which resulted in the unbanning of three coaches – Nicholas “?guerri?” Nogueira, Alessandro “?Apoka?” Marcucci, and Anton “?ToH1o?” Georgiev. All three announced on various social media that they are now free to participate in Valve-sponsored events.

This marks an end to two years of being banned from participating in these events. All three were banned by Valve in January 2021 in response to ESIC’s investigation into the exploitation of the bug. ToH1o’s and guerri’s bans were supposed to last until after the second Major of 2023, while Apoka was banned permanently.

Apoca and guerri initially had relatively light sentences, their bans being reduced to 5 and 4 months respectively. Meanwhile, ToH1o’s 10-month ban was overturned in June 2021, a month before it was due. 

However, Valve seemed to ignore these reductions and did not lift the bans when they were supposed to end. In august 2022 the ESIC released a statement saying it has accepted appeals from guerri and Apoka related to Valve ignoring the conditions. ESIC explained that it has recalculated its calculation of demerit points and urged Valve to reconsider its stance. 

“Since the publication of the ESIC Sanctions and Valve Sanctions, ESIC received two appeal requests on 5 July 2022 from Mr. Alessandro “Apoka” Marcucci and Mr. Nicholas “Guerri” Nogueira,” the ESIC statement reads,” both represented by the attorney Luiz Felipe Maia. The appeals primarily related to the cumulative outcome of the ESIC Sanctions being compounded by the subsequently notified Valve Sanctions.”

Although Valve has not explained why it took so long to unban the three coaches, at least it’s safe to say they are happy to once again be able to participate in events sponsored by the company.

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