Valve just banned nine CSGO coaches amid 2021 RMR rules overhaul

By Nick Johnson


Jan 28, 2021

Reading time: 4 min

An update from Valve has made drastic changes to its competitive rules for pro teams for 2021 and issued lifetime bans to eight coaches from last fall’s cheating scandal incident that saw 37 pro coaches banned from professional play.

Over the latter half of 2020, an extensive investigation by the Esports Integrity Commission revealed that 37 professional coaches had exploited a CSGO spectator bug to gain an unfair advantage, banning them from its member tournaments.

Valve’s January 27 update just made it a whole lot worse for them. Valve upheld the ESIC’s current bans before going a step further, officially banning the incident’s top offenders from a number of Valve-sponsored events depending on the severity of the abuse.

Valve bans 9 coaches for life, says no coaches in the server for 2021

In the first official lifetime ban from CSGO esports since iBuyPower, Valve issued a lifetime ban from Valve events to the nine worst offenders from last fall’s coaching scandal.

Valve banned ex-MIBR head coach Ricardo “dead” Singalia, Hard Legion’s Aleksandr “MechanoGun” Bogatyrev, Alessandro “Apoka” Marcucci, ex-mousesports coach Allan “Rejin” Petersen, Slaava “Twista” Räsänen, Arthur “prd” Resende, Ivan “F_1N” Kochugov, Bruno “ellllll” Ono, and Morgan “B1GGY” Madou indefinitely from CSGO Majors due to their repeated abuse of the bug.

The rest of the sanctioned coaches will miss anywhere between one and five CSGO Majors and Valve sponsored events. But Valve went even further despite its initial silence on the scandal.

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In a rule that will leave a lasting impression for 2021’s CSGO season, CSGO’s developer went on to issue a blanket ban on anyone, including coaches, from being physically inside the room where players are competiting in any kind of online match. In an even bigger surprise, Valve has also banned coaches from being in the server’s coaching slot at any point during an online match.

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In other words, the players are on their own.

It’s a stunning change of course for the developer, which normally likes to use a hands-off approach when it comes to CSGO’s esports. Valve declined to address either scandal at length when they occurred, but the blanket ban is a message to teams to take cheating more seriously. 

Valve complete resets 2021 RMR points, allows substitutes

Valve also revealed more information about the 2021 CSGO Regional Ranking Tournaments. It has already reset the RMR points heading into 2021’s regional tournaments, the currency that will decide the 24 teams that will attend this year’s Major. Teams that would have made it to last year’s canceled Major will start with anywhere from 600 to 100 points depending on their final placements in last year’s RMR sprint.

Legends will start with 600 points

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Team Vitality
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Team Heroic
  • Team Spirit
  • 100 Thieves
  • Natus Vincere

Contenders will start with 300 points

  • Virtus Pro
  • FaZe Clan
  • Gen.G
  • Boom Esports
  • Renegades
  • North

Challengers will start with 100 points

  • Astralis
  • Fnatic
  • Team Liquid
  • BIG Clan
  • OG
  • G2 Esports
  • Nemiga Gaming

Additionally, Valve has caved on allowing teams to use substitute players, a move that benefits teams that already have a six-man roster. Teams such as Astralis, G2 Esports, and Na’Vi are now ahead of the curve. But there’s a catch to what otherwise be a massive shift in how organizations build teams.

During Regional Ranking tournaments, teams will still face an points penalty whenever a player subs in during an event. But unlike last year, Valve won’t deduct points when the original player comes back in to compete.

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It’s a sad end to the cheating saga that plagued CSGO’s fall season, when infighting between teams, organizers, and players was splashed over esports news for almost four months. Valve’s limited communication frustrated many within the community, but the developer has finally spoken.

With every single coach now banned from communicating with their team for 2021’s online games, rosters with in-game leaders should see an incredible benefit. Those without them will struggle.