CSGO pro gets banned for live stream sniping during ESL event

Steven R. May 1, 2020

Stream sniping isn’t just a problem in battle royale titles. It also happens in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, even during live professional tournaments.

Tournament organizer ESL and the Esports Integrity Coalition have issued a ban of Team VAC’s Emil “emilshe1n” Mamedov. The decision stems from emilshe1n apparently utilizing the official broadcast of a match between VAC and nerdRage during the ESL Premiership Spring 2020 competition in order to learn information on his opponents' economy.

“During the seven minute technical pause, player emilshe1n was noticed in the tournament’s Twitch channel commenting within the chat section. Following his appearance in Twitch chat he was able to potentially pass on tactical information to his teammates about the economy of the opponent team, nerdRage,” the ESIC said in a statement.

The ESIC cites two specific rules that this violates. The ESIC has stated that players should not take part in “Information Abuse,” a practice which allows them to obtain information on opponents through unconventional means, including watching streams or having that information relayed by someone outside of their team.

emilshe1n was issued a seven-month ban for the offense, and VAC’s 16-13 win over nerdRage was overturned to a loss.

ESL Premiership stream sniping case was silly and obvious

Stream sniping is more typically done in battle royale titles, which sees players track an opposing player's location using a streamed broadcast. Stream snipers typically try to chase down and kill top players in this way before emoting or otherwise gloating about the kill. This gives little more than a short-lived infamy, but has become common to the point where it is a normal part of watching top streamers play. But it rarely happens at the top levels of competition, particularly in CSGO.

emilshe1n’s case is downright absurd by comparison. Not only did the Russian player log into a stream during the game’s official broadcast, he advertised doing so by posting in the stream's Twitch chat during the game, making it very obvious that he was present.

Some of this can be explained away by the nature of the game itself. Both VAC and nerdRage have their spots in the playoffs of ESL Premiership Spring 2020 set in stone already, with VAC set to be eliminated from the group stage while nerdRage were poised to advance. Odds are that emilshe1n simply didn’t think much of entering the Twitch channel.

Regardless, he is nowl set to spend a long while on the sidelines waiting for his ban to expire.