August 05, 2022



On 4 September 2020, ESIC announced an investigation into the historical abuse of a bug in CS:GO’s spectator mode (Spectator Bug). On 28 September 2020, ESIC released a statement notifying the preliminary findings relating to its investigation and naming various ‘offending parties’ in Annexure A of that release (ESIC Sanctions). On 27 January 2021, Valve released an RMR update on their website which, amongst other things, identified and notified Valve’s position relating to the ESIC investigation. It is noted that Valve is the publisher of CS:GO and is not a member of ESIC and as such made its judgements independent of ESIC.

In its RMR Update, Valve notified that it would ‘translate ESIC demerits into Major ineligibility’ (Valve Sanctions) and provided details of the translation in a table (replicated below for convenience):[1]

ESIC Demerits Number of Majors to Miss
2 1
3 2
4 3
5 5
6+ All

The Valve Sanctions were separate from and in addition to the ESIC Sanctions.



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, 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.

Despite these appeals being made significantly out of the window of allowable appeals, the ESIC Commissioner exercised his discretion to allow the out of time appeals as he agreed that the subsequently notified Valve Sanctions had distorted the intended effect of the ESIC Sanctions such that they were no longer proportionate nor within the scope of ESIC’s intended outcome when the sanctions were determined and issued.



Original Calculation Methodology

Prior to the appeals, the calculation of demerit points was first carried out, then the corresponding ban was attributed, and finally any applicable concession was deducted from the ban attributed.

Formulaically, this can be set out as:

Final ESIC Sanction = Final Demerit Point Ban Equivalent – (Concession % x Final Demerit Point Ban Equivalent)

New Calculation Methodology

As a result of the appeals, the calculation of the demerit points attributable to each offending party has been amended to include consideration of the concessions given to the coaches by ESIC as outlined in the statement of 28 September 2020.

Effectively, this means that the Appeal Panel’s decision has altered the final demerit point calculation to be:

Final Demerit Points = Initial Demerit Points – (Initial Demerit Points x Total Concession Percentage[2])

As a result of the Appeal Panel’s Decision, and to avoid the need for any further appeals being made, the ESIC Commissioner has exercised his discretion in applying the outcome of the Independent Appeal Panel’s decision to the remainder of the offending parties named in ESIC’s 28 September 2020 statement.

It should be noted that:

  • Most, if not all the offending parties relevant to this activity have already served their ESIC Sanctions; and
  • No offending party to date has missed more majors than they otherwise would have under the Original Calculation Methodology.
  • This change and the finding of the Independent Appeals Panel was entirely necessitated by the Valve Sanctions.

ESIC has conveyed the results to Valve in the hope that the publisher would adjust their sanctions in line with the recalculation, but Valve’s initial response indicates that they will not make that adjustment. While this is a matter for Valve, ESIC has asked Valve to reconsider their stance.

[1] Calculated in accordance with Annexure B of the statement issued by ESIC on 28 September 2020.

[2] See Annexure B above for concession percentage calculation.