NEWS & PRESS

March 13, 2024

Appeal Decision on Peter “casle” Ardenskjold

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play in the esports industry. In line with this commitment, we wish to inform the public about a recent development concerning the appeal process of Peter “casle” Ardenskjold.

In 2020, Mr. Ardenskjold was sanctioned for his involvement with the exploitation of a coaching bug within CS:GO. Following a comprehensive review and subsequent appeal, we are announcing a modification to the initial sanctions imposed on Mr. Ardenskjold.

After careful consideration, the independent Appeal Chair has decided in favor of reducing Mr. Ardenskjold’s demerit points based on the appeal’s merits and the compelling evidence provided by him. This reduction has a direct impact on his eligibility, making him able to participate in the forthcoming PGL Major, as it also leads to a reduction in his Valve sanctioned Regional Major Rankings (RMR) exclusion period. This change has been communicated to and accepted by Valve.

Mr. Ardenskjold has expressed his gratitude towards ESIC and the independent Appeal Chair for their willingness to consider his appeal, submitted out of the typical timeframe, and for recognizing the significance of the new evidence he presented.

This decision reflects ESIC’s dedication to justice and the reevaluation of cases when presented with new, compelling evidence. It underscores our commitment to a fair and competitive environment for all esports participants.

We extend our best wishes to Mr. Ardenskjold and all participants in the upcoming PGL Major.

About ESIC

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is a not-for-profit organization established to promote and facilitate integrity and fair play in the esports industry. ESIC aims to combat cheating, match-fixing, and other integrity challenges to ensure esports is conducted in a fair and legitimate manner.

For more information about ESIC and our initiatives, please visit our website.

NEWS & PRESS

September 22, 2023

Public Statement on Assessment of Out-of-Time Appeal by Allan “Rejin” Petersen

Introduction

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) remains resolute in its mission to maintain fairness, integrity, and transparency within the esports industry. In alignment with our commitment, we have meticulously reviewed an out-of-time appeal submitted by Allan “Rejin” Petersen in May 2023, concerning a sanction originally imposed in 2020. The substance of the appeal was related to the post-facto Valve RMR sanction imposed by Valve independently and in response to ESIC’s original sanction. Importantly, the result of ESIC’s review does not modify the ESIC-imposed sanction but significantly affects the post-facto Valve RMR sanction.

Overview of the Appeal

Mr. Petersen was initially assigned 8 demerit points as a result of ESIC’s investigation into his involvement and incorrect response to the CSGO coach bug. This decision was reached after a comprehensive investigation, and the demerit points assigned to Mr. Petersen were subsequently and independently recognized by Valve and translated into a secondary Valve RMR sanction banning Mr. Petersen from Valve Majors for life.

While the original sanction by ESIC remains unaltered our adherence to the principles of natural justice and equitable treatment prompted the acceptance of the appeal, even though it was submitted almost three years after the initial sanction was imposed. The ESIC Independent Appeal Panel and the ESIC Commissioner have conducted an exhaustive review of the case, considering new evidence presented by Mr. Petersen.

Mr. Petersen has successfully substantiated that the extent of the bug exploitation was not as initially calculated. Acknowledging this new evidence and in pursuit of equity and fairness, the demerit points assigned to Mr. Petersen have been recalculated and reduced from 8 to 5.

Implications of Appeal Result

It is important to note that this recalibration does not modify the ESIC-imposed sanction (meaning ESIC in this statement is not modifying its initial sanction) but significantly affects the post-facto Valve RMR sanction. The revised demerit points alleviate the lifetime ban from Valve Majors, imposing a restriction from 5 Majors instead. Following this period, Mr. Petersen will regain eligibility to coach in subsequent Majors.

Importantly, ESIC has communicated the result of the appeal to Valve and has received notice that the result of the appeal has been accepted by Valve.

Acknowledgements

ESIC extends its appreciation to Valve for facilitating open and collaborative communications on this matter and for reviewing and accepting the appeal.

ESIC also acknowledges Mr. Petersen for his cooperation and transparency throughout the investigation process. His prompt admission and invaluable contribution, notably being one of the first coaches to disclose the existence of the bug, were instrumental in facilitating our inquiry.

ESIC is unwavering in its commitment to safeguarding the core values of the esports industry and will continue to implement rigorous measures to ensure fairness and integrity. Our resolve to uphold the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry remains steadfast.

 

 

NEWS & PRESS

August 05, 2022

ESIC STATEMENT REGARDING OUTCOME OF INDEPENDENT APPEALS PANEL SPECTATOR BUG APPEAL

OVERVIEW:

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.

 

NEW APPEAL ACTIVITY:

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.

 

OUTCOME:

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.

NEWS & PRESS

June 15, 2021

Appeal Outcome: Independent Appeal panel in the matter of ANTON GEORGIEV

Background of the Appeal:

On 4 September 2020, the Esports Integrity Commission (hereinafter referred as to “ESIC”) announced an investigation into an abuse of a bug (hereinafter referred as to the “Spectator Bug”) in the CS:GO’s spectator mode. ESIC together with Mr. Michal Slowinski’s help investigated about the wrongful use of said exploit.

Along with the Statement “Esports Integrity Commission Opens Inquiry into Historical Spectator Bug Exploitation’ a Confession Period was granted. This period was foreseen for any offending parties that wanted to come forward ahead of the investigation with an admission of wrongdoing. Said Period opened as of the date of the Statement’s release, 4th of September 2020, and closed on the 13th of September 2020  at 23:00 CET.

Later on, the 28th of September 2020, ESIC issued another Statement “Esports Integrity Commission Findings (Part One of Two) from investigation into CS:GO Spectator Bug Exploitation” announcing the sanction against 37 individuals in relation to the exploitation of the Spectator Bug. Mr. Anton Georgiev was one of the coaches sanctioned, with a ban period of 10 months in which he:

  • Must not actively or passively communicate with the team starting 15 minutes prior to the official match start up until the end of the match;
  • Must not be physically present around the team starting 15 minutes prior the official match start up until the end of the  match;
  • Must not be on the game server during official matches;
  • Must not be on the official match channel on the Discord server; and
  • Must not be part of the official map veto process nor be in communication with the team during this process.

The sanction was imposed on account of the following. During the match disputed on date 20 September 2017, along the IEM Oakland 2017 Europe Open Qualifier Tournament, playing Ex-Outlaws team v. hASSelsNOk team (hereinafter referred as to the “First Match”), the Appellant being the team coach at the time, the Spectator Bug was triggered on Mr.  Georgiev’s PC during the first round (pistol round). Although hASSelsNOk won the first round, Ex-Outlaws were the winners of the whole match.

Then again, on 13 December 2017 during the CSGO.NET Cup 1 Tournament -played in the E-Frag Bootcamp Studio in Belgrade, in the match played by Windigo Gaming v. Tricked (hereinafter referred as to the “Second Match”), once again the Appellant being the team coach at the time, the Spectator Bug was triggered in all rounds (thirty rounds) of the first game. The winning team was Windigo Gaming.

Grounds of Appeal:

The grounds of Appeal, in essence, may be summarized as follows:

  • The Appellant listed one of the three grounds set in article B.1 of the Appeal Procedure Code as the foundation to his Appeal.
  • That was article B.l(iii), imposition a sanction that was unduly excessive as to be unreasonable.
  • The Appellant stated that the sanction was very severe and should be substantially reviewed. His main argument was that at the time the offence took place, he was unaware of the Spectator Bug’s existence. Therefore, he could not abuse nor exploit the bug, since he didn’t even know about its existence.
  • Moreover, he provided evidence for the purpose of proving that he did not act knowingly nor he helped the team to gain an advantage to win the match, since this happened, without him knowing about it.

The Appeals Panel of the Esports Integrity Commission rules that:

  • In the circumstances of this case, and under article C.10 of the Appeal Procedure Code “The Appeal Panel shall then have the power to: Exercise any power of sanction which the Integrity Commissioner could have exercised, whether the effect is to increase or decrease any penalty, award, order or sanction originally imposed.”, the Panel herein annuls the first-instance decision issued by ESIC and declares fully upheld the the appeal.
  • As a result thereof, the Appellant is immediately free to resume his coaching duties within the esports sector.
  • With regards to the appeal deposit, no relief shall be ordered as it was subject to a financial assistance agreement between the Parties.
  • As for the costs, and pursuant to article D.1 of the Appeal Procedure Code, the Panel has full discretion to order what proportion of their costs, which are comprised of the fees (and any legitimate expenses) of each Panel member, each party shall be liable for.
  • Considering the specific circumstances of this case, the Panel orders that  the costs of this appeal procedure shall be borne entirely by ESIC.

 

A full decision for this appeal will be posted on the upcoming “Appeals Registry” which is due to be released shortly on the ESIC website.

NEWS & PRESS

October 16, 2020

Appeal Result: Sergey ‘LMBT’ Bezhanov

Overview

Sergey ‘LMBT’ Bezhanov, one of the coaches originally implicated in the sanctions issued by ESIC on the 28th of September 2020, has provided further information to ESIC which has satisfied the Commissioner to take an action in rescinding the ban due to the compelling nature of the evidence which, upon ESIC’s examination was verified and corroborated by various third parties.

Comment by ESIC Commissioner:

“Sergey ‘LMBT’ Bezhanov has supplied compelling documentary, video and 3rd party corroborative evidence to ESIC that has given the Commissioner comfortable satisfaction that he was, in two cases, not at his computer at the time he was bugged and, in the other two cases, did disconnect timeously and seek admin assistance, neither seeking or gaining any unfair advantage through exploitation of the bug. Consequently, the original findings and sanction are hereby rescinded and he is free to coach in ESIC member events with immediate effect. ESIC is grateful for LMBT’s and Forze’s patience in waiting for this decision, appreciating the significant complexity of the matter and other compelling calls on our limited time and resources.”

Outcome

Sergey ‘LMBT’ Bezhanov’s original sanction issued by ESIC has now been rescinded and he is free to coach in ESIC member events with immediate effect. 

 

Any further questions relating to this matter should be directed to: commissioner@esic.gg