The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) revealed to HLTV’s North American vertical today that it has reached an agreement with Valve over the coaches banned for abusing the spectator bug. Before the agreement, Valve wouldn’t reduce or remove bans from the Major even if the coaches successfully appealed to ESIC, a practice that refrained the esports watchdog from issuing more bans, according to the commissioner Ian Smith.

The new understanding between Valve and ESIC led to the developer of CS:GO unbanning three coaches earlier this week—Nicholas “guerri” Nogueira, Alessandro “Apoka” Marcucci, and Anton “⁠ToH1o⁠” Georgiev—months after their sentence had been commuted by ESIC. Guerri, for example, was Valve-banned from attending Majors until 2024 and now is free to head coach FURIA in the Americas RMR and at the BLAST Paris Major in May, should they qualify for the $1.25 million tournament.

“The outcome is that, where a successful (in whole or in part) appeal is based on proving that the coach did not or could not abuse the bug in some or all the rounds that contributed to his ESIC demerit points, Valve will consider commuting the relevant element of that coach’s Major ban,” Smith said to “To be clear, Valve does not consider ESIC’s discounts given for early admission of guilt or help with our investigation as a valid reason to reduce the Major ban. Valve has so far, based on our appeal findings, reduced or removed the Major bans of three coaches.”

Now that Valve is open to readjusting bans in case a CS:GO coach appeals to ESIC and proves that they didn’t take advantage of the spectator bug, the esports watchdog feels free to possibly issue the next wave of coach bans and go back to investigating new instances when the spectator bug might have been abused.

Smith told that ESIC wanted this issue between the commission and Valve resolved before proceeding to the remaining cases of the coach spectator bug. The last coaches banned because of the spectator bug were Luis “⁠peacemaker⁠” Tadeu, Sergey “⁠hally⁠” Shavaev, and Rafael “⁠zakk⁠” Fernandes just ahead of the start of PGL Antwerp Major in May 2022. Since then, all three appealed to ESIC and were unbanned as they proved to the commission they didn’t abuse the bug despite running into it.

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