Last week competitive CS:GO scene has been rocked after a publication of new findings. ESL issued bans to several high-ranking coaches stating abuse of the so-called “coach bug.” A coach, whose visibility is usually limited to the point-of-view of their players, would be able to spectate the action happening any other location on the map, including the movements of the opposing team — such was the nature of the coach bug.
Needless to say, such an advantage proved to be instrumental for many teams to gain an edge on their opponents. Among those who were handed a ban for the use of the bug were Heroic coach HUNDEN and MIBR coach dead.
A more in-depth storyline has been published by HLTV, covering how the story evolved. After the initial release, the community came together to discover more cases in which the bug was used, which apparently has been happening since 2016. One of such cases happened to FURIA coach Nicholas “guerri” Nogueira. Soon after the accusation came his way, guerri posted a video, explaining the situation he was in, and how he chose not to abuse the bug. Draft5 talked to the coach about the situation, the bug, and Valve’s involvement in the situation.
We are witnessing one of the biggest scandals in the competitive history of Counter-Strike. In your view, how will online tournaments adapt after this bug?
In theory, the bug itself is a problem for the CS:GO devs and Valve, not the orgs or the people involved in esports. But what you do with the bug, that is a bigger problem with this situation. Honest, decent people are like that with or without a bug. However, this is undoubtedly a worrying factor in the online environment.
I believe that work from people like Michal is fantastic and super relevant for us to get through this moment in the best way possible. The fans themselves are clamoring for this and this also helps to bring attention to the problem. Our ecosystem is digital and is always subject to face these types of challenges. Apparently this bug has already been fixed, I hope it has been, but maybe more challenges will appear and we will have to be responsible to face them.
What is your perspective on Valve’s silence in the face of all this scandal?
I really hope that Valve gets more involved, I am too happy to have CS:GO in my life, greater involvement by the publisher would bring even more visibility, confidence, and growth to our game. I hope that this will happen.
Valve has already applied a rule that limited coaches’ communication during the match. After all this negative repercussion, how do you analyze the future of the function within the competitive environment?
The role of the coach is obviously fundamental, it is so in all sports. I hope that whoever is responsible, Valve or organizers will increasingly promote tools for coaches to do a great job. These bugs hinder our work too much.
Do you think that only the demo cuts being released are enough evidence to determine whether the coach took advantage of the bug?
I think the cut of the demos is where it all starts, the realization that there was a bug, from there on there is an indication that there are other tools to know how the coach acted in relation to this. Movements, actions within the game, or the communication itself, for example. People need to act, in my case, as I was called out, I decided to look for what I believe to be the highest instance, open and clear communication on the subject. I opted to explain each situation on a case-by-case basis.
After Michal’s publications, the community moved to look for possible abusers of the bug. What should be the attitude of professionals to avoid a possible “witch hunt”?
Bugs may or may not stop happening, however, it is the role of the community to charge forward. It wants a fair game, a competition full of adrenaline, and for the best team to win. The responsibility of those working in this sport is always to act cleanly, responsibly, and sincerely, whether its the players, coaches, organizers, publishers, etc.
What was your reaction as soon as the video from Michal was published?
It was a tremendous fright, I didn’t even remember that situation anymore, but my conscience was super calm. As soon as the video was posted I was already called for explanations within the organization, they always act very fast and in a friendly but rigid way. As I know that our structure is very good in terms of storing all the previous games with comms for tactical evaluation, I just had to focus on finding the right match, taking the video, making it available and showing people what actually happened. Michal did exactly his job, and right after that, I did mine. It all worked out.