Agent skins will be allowed at ESL One Rio Major, says CSPPA

Nick J. February 8, 2020

The Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association revealed today that players at the game's upcoming ESL One Rio Major will be allowed to use CSGO's new character models. The models were a controversial subject in competitive play in 2019 due to the different models serving as camouflage in some areas..

In an odd exchange, professional player Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer tweeted at the CSPPA asking for clarification on the model situation for the upcoming CSGO Major in Rio. The CSPPA's response was worded strangely for an organization whose members had railed against the models' introduction in the first place.

CSPPA AGENT SKINS

The tweet doesn't mention how the CSPPA became aware of this. Since Majors are overseen by Valve, there is a strong likelihood that the CSGO publisher was involved. The situation follows an incident between FACEIT and one of its largest matchmaking hubs earlier this year.

Valve may have forced FACEIT to allow Agent skins

Soon after the models were released, fans began to notice that some blended into the scenery on certain maps. In the weeks that followed, Valve adjusted three of the models and asked pro players for help in determining which models were troublesome and how to fix them.

A number of matchmakers and tournament organizers including ESL, FACEIT, and WINNERS League banned the models in the interim. However, FACEIT unexpectedly re-enabled them on the platform's public servers.  

FACEIT contacted the head admin of Mythic League, informing the HUB that they could not prohibit players from using the new Agent skins.

The situation was worsened by a list of leaked chat logs posted to Reddit, showing a senior admin telling another individual that Valve had pressured FACEIT into enabling the skins on the third-party platform. The admin has since said publically that his comments were speculation. despite the log's consistency and tone regarding Valve's involvement in the situation.

Valve allegedly forces FACEIT to allow agent models

Neither Valve nor ESL have discussed the matter publicly yet. It is unclear if ESL is making an exemption for the ESL One Rio Major or if the skins will be usable across all ESL-hosted tournaments in the future.

Regardless, this will be a big test when it comes to Valve's handling of the skins, and it will be interesting to see if any controversies pop up regarding their use.