forZe coach Sergey “LMBT” Bezhanov tweeted out that the Esports Integrity Commission hadn’t responded to his appeals before it competed in the IEM Beijing Haidian 2020 open qualifiers.
LMBT took to social media and let loose his frustration with the commission, saying that he hadn’t received a reply despite sending several appeals. The forZe coach’s ban stemmed from the release of the ESIC’s report on the CSGO coaching exploit. The report resulted in the ban of 37 coaches from ESIC member events. IEM events are included in that list, and LMBT says that he followed the rules despite him believing that his ban was unfair.
Today team is playing open quali and its pretty hard not to be even on TS with the boyz , but @ESIC_Official didnt replyed to any appeal emails and Im not even sure will they? Despite fact its a stone evidence right there.
— Sergey LMBT Bezhanov (@LMBT_CSGO) October 5, 2020
Soon after the list was made public, forZe issued a public statement claiming it could prove LMBT’s innocence in three out of the four cases the ESIC cited in its report. With forZe’s public statement, many assumed that the ESIC would move quickly to verify the information. Unfortunately for LMBT, the ESIC seems to have missed the email. The Commission responded to forZe’s coach soon after the tweet, saying that he should expect an email shortly.
“Sergei “lmbt” Bezhanov remains the team’s coach…. [the ESIC] intend to give a ban for 7 months, without taking into account any circumstances. In this regard, we will defend our position and, if necessary, will contact the appropriate authorities for further investigation,” forZe stated.
Today ESIC published full list of coaches used the ingame CS:GO bug and the sanctions imposed on them. Our coach @LMBT_CSGO also is on the list. We disagree with this decision and we have strong evidence of his innocence. Read the full statement here: https://t.co/1WqWSYg9tI pic.twitter.com/u3rw6IsWCQ
— forZe eSports (@forzegg) September 28, 2020
The incident calls into question whether the ESIC is staffed well enough to react to developments like these. While the initial investigation was performed by veteran Counter-Strike: Global Offensive referees, the ESIC offers its services to many tournament operators. It is unknown whether the Commission has dedicated staffers to deal with issues like LMBT’s. Its decision to hire the two referees that initially revealed the exploit points to the possibility that the ESIC has no permanent staff on hand that could open the files and compare them to the original evidence.
That’s a scary possibility, especially if the ESIC has the power to ban players and coaches from any events hosted by the largest tournament organizers. LMBT hasn’t commented on the ESIC’s failure to respond, nor has he said that he had gotten a reply to his appeal. The ESIC flexed its muscles when it handed down the original report, but given how slowly it has been to act in checking LMBT’s appeal should give CSGO’s organizations pause when considering if the commission can handle something on a large scale.