Nick J. March 27, 2020
One of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's youngest players is fighting back against Valve over the company's decision to ban him from the game's Major tournaments. Finnish AWPer Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen is suing Valve for undisclosed damages in a Finnish court over due to a VAC ban the company says can be connected to Jamppi.
In December, Jamppi was on the shortlist of young players set to join Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, Nathan "NBK" Schmitt, Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså, and Issa "ISSAA" Murad on OG's inaugural CSGO team. Days before the expected announcement, rumors surfaced that Valve had informed OG that Jamppi would be unable to participate in either of the two Valve-sponsored Major tournaments that take place each year due to VAC-banned account under his name.
While OG eventually announced Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski as its fifth in Jamppi's place, Jamppi is now suing Valve for alleged damages resulting from Valve's ban. Unfortunately for Jamppi, Finnish tort law, or the kind of law that decides when and why you can file a lawsuit, is clearly on Valve's side.
Finnish Law is clear, Valve unlikely to pay out in Jamppi lawsuit
Finland's Tort Act of 1974 states that courts can only award damages for purely economic harm if the defendant has committed a crime on top of that harm. Valve hasn't committed any crimes in this case as far as anyone can tell, so they're basically in the clear.
If for some reason a judge did award Jamppi damages, treaties between the United States and the EU would ensure that Valve would have to pay.
What complicates Jamppi's situation further is his age at the time the account received the VAC ban and Steam's End User License Agreement. In a report today, DBLTap's Jarek "DeKay" Lewis revealed that he had documents stating that Jamppi was 14, an oddly specific clarification in light of Steam's restrictions on account creation.
The Steam agreement requires minors to be at least 13 years old to sign up for an account. Jamppi is currently 18 years old, meaning that it's at least possible that he had signed up for the account before he was allowed to.
If that's the case, then any contract between Valve and Jamppi would void.
According to Jamppi, the banned account was purchased by him but lent to a friend to use when it was banned. Sharing accounts is a violation of the Steam Subscriber Agreement.
Unfortunately for Jamppi, Valve's stance on banned players participating in their events has been clear since four out of five players on 2015's iBuyPower roster were banned for match-fixing. It's a disappointing conclusion to Jamppi's career, but it looks to be irreversible.