Team Vitality issued $10,000 fine for stream-sniping during BLAST Premier

Fariha Bhatti • January 24, 15:39

The Esports Integrity Commission has fined Team Vitality $10,000 due to the recent BLAST Premier Global Final controversy. 

The French roster managed to send Team Liquid to the lower bracket in a smooth 2-0 fashion. However, a mistake on Team Vitality’s part earned them a fine of $10,000. 

After much delay, ESIC has finally responded to the recent controversy regarding in-game integrity. ESIC’s silence after Vitality’s alleged breach had caused chaos in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community, demanding a fair response. After rendering a detailed sanction against low tier players complicit in betting offenses, CSGO devotees had expected something similar for Team Vitality. 

Richard Lewis even argued that the Frenchmen should have been disqualified from BLAST Premier Finals for their breach. 

What is Team Vitality being punished for? 

During their January 22nd match, viewers spotted a screen that had the live stream playing for everyone to watch. While the players had their backs to the screen, CSGO fans complained that ESIC should be taking this action into notice. The screen broadcasted the match in another glass office, with a considerable delay time. However, an investigation from ESIC concluded that Team Vitality had breached the code, earning them a fine. 

Viewers had insisted that punishment should be severe to uphold in-game integrity. Especially in the light of recent violations, including coaching bug abuse, match-fixing, and other stream sniping cases, Team Vitality’s breach became a sensitive issue. 

In response, the esports watchdog clarified that banning players might have been unfair as the negligence was on the organization’s part. As confirmed by the CEO, the screen was placed in a separate room for visitors to enjoy the game, affirming that the players aren’t directly involved in the mishap.  

ESIC’s thorough investigation further explicated that players didn’t benefit from the live stream. To weigh the case, players’ camera footage showed no suspicious activity, reducing the severity of their punishment. 

Team Vitality’s CEO Nicholas Maurer had accepted the negligence, apologizing to the CSGO fans.

“Even though this is not coming from malicious intent, we agree that this placement is controversial. This was a big mistake on our side, and we accept the fine,” the Vitality CEO said. 

Since ESIC’s previous sanctions regarding integrity breaches have been comparatively harsh, it may seem like Team Vitality got off the hook pretty easily. However, the footage and other evidence confirm that the incidence was mere negligence, not a premeditated scheme. Consequently, the watchdog has allowed Team Vitality to continue their fight in BLAST Premier Global Final. 

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