Esports Integrity Commission statement on exploitation of a bug in CS:GO by team coaches
The E-Sports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has issued an official press release regarding the coach exploit scandal. The organization recognized the fairness of the charges against coaches Hard Legion, Heroic and MIBR, but stated that there was not enough evidence to claim that the players were aware of any misconduct by the coaches.
Validity of Allegations
We conclude that it is beyond doubt that dead, HUNDEN and MechanoGun are guilty of exploiting the infamous “coach bug”. We acknowledge the admissions of HUNDEN and MechanoGun and their acceptance of the ESL and Dreamhack sanctions. We have offered the opportunity to all teams to appeal our decisions to the ESIC Independent Disciplinary Panel as per the appeals process outlined within our Code.
The coaches were subject to the ESIC Code of Conduct by virtue of participating in an ESIC member event. The behaviour of the 3 coaches is a clear breach of Articles 2.3.3 and/or 2.4.4 of the ESIC Code of Conduct “Cheating or attempting to cheat to win a Game or Match.” The relevant Code can be accessed here: https://esic.gg/codes/code-of-conduct/
In the determination of the Commissioner, the offences were treated as Level 4 offences. Consequently, ESIC has determined, subject to any appeal, that the following sanctions that will apply across all ESIC member events :
- Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia: A ban from all ESIC member events of 6 months starting 31st August 2020.
- Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen: A ban from all ESIC member events of 12 months starting 31st August 2020.
- Aleksandr ‘MechanoGun’ Bogatyrev: A ban from all ESIC member events of 24 months starting 31st August 2020.
ESIC has also requested all non-ESIC member tournament organisers to honour these bans for the purpose of protecting the CS:GO esports scene internationally.
What the bans mean:
A ban in this context means that an individual may not work in any capacity, be accredited for, provide services to, attend or otherwise be involved in any ESIC member organisations’ activities, events, tournaments or matches, including providing services in any capacity to any participating team or player in any relevant event.
It is worth clarifying, with tournaments being executed online due to COVID-19, that the following restrictions apply to the 3 coaches under the ban:
- 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 to 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
- must not be part of the official map veto process nor be in communication with the team during this process
Investigation into the complicity of players
ESIC has reviewed an extensive amount of information with the aim of ascertaining any evidence of complicity of players involved in the affected teams. As of the date of this statement, ESIC is of the view that there is insufficient evidence available to determine with any certainty that any players knew or were complicit in the behaviour of the coaches.
ESIC’s role in protecting the industry from cheating and match fixing involves the assessment of evidence in order to determine breaches of our Code. Accordingly, ESIC will not speculate on the complicity of players and we urge all other parties in the industry to do the same.
However, for completeness, ESIC will hold this investigation open for a further two months from the date of this statement pending any further evidence arising which would provide a basis for further investigation on this issue. ESIC requests that anyone with information relevant to this matter to contact us at
Further to the above, ESIC notes that the bug was NOT exploited during Heroic’s victory in ESL One Cologne.
Other teams and coaches behaviour
ESIC is of the view that a collaborative industry approach is the best way to fight corruption and cheating in esports. We commend and thank the players, coaches and management of teams that brought this bug and exploitation to our attention and assisted us with our investigation.
Special acknowledgement and thanks are due to Michal Slowinski for his outstanding dedication and hard work in investigating this exploitation. His work has been invaluable to us and continues as we extend the investigation outside ESL and Dreamhack events.