Valve removes permaban on Jamppi, other VAC-banned CSGO pros

Fariha Bhatti • April 17, 18:15

Valve has finally updated its event guidelines for the first time in more than eight years, softening the permabans that have historically been leveled against VAC-banned players. The changes will see 25 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional players freed from the strict ban. 

These significant tweaks arrive with a focus on Valve-sponsored events for the 2021 RMR season. In a short blog post the developer stated that a VAC ban would only disqualify a player from an event if it was received less than five years ago or received after their first participation in a Valve-sponsored event. While this is still an incredibly harsh punishment, it does open the door for a return on a handful of big-name players that were precluded from tournaments on Valve’s major circuit, most notably Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen.

CSGO VAC bans are unlike any other ban in the game. These bans are leveled directly by the developer on a per-user basis, and prohibit the account owner from participating in official major or minor events. For casual players, these bans may not mean much, but they’ve sabotaged the careers of tons of CSGO professional players. This was especially troubling as people were being forced out of professional CSGO due to pub game hacks they used when they were young adolescents.

After years of both fans and pundits calling for change, Valve has finally reevaluated the rules. However, players banned after playing in an RMR event will remain banned since they breached the code after understanding the value of in-game integrity. 

Unfortunately, Valve stated that competitive bans for other reasons still apply. Other infractions, particularly match fixing, still carry a lifetime ban. This means that the likes of Joshua “steel” Nissan and Braxton “swag” Pierce are still unable to compete in Valve-sponsored events. 

“VAC bans stay in place with all of their other effects; the only change is how they influence your eligibility to play in Valve-sponsored events. There are other reasons a player may not be eligible to participate in Valve-sponsored events,” Valve stated. 

Jamppi, v$m, and others unbanned from CSGO 

The updated guidelines bring glad tidings for CSGO pros sidelined by old VAC-bans. Many young CSGO pros suffered the wretched fate of a permanent ban for hacks they used while being as young as 13 years old. The strict ban had led many young players to switch games, miss out on opportunities, or quit competitive play entirely. 

This recently saw a legal battle between Valve and CSGO pro Jamppi, who is currently signed to ENCE but was meant to sign with OG until Valve stepped in to state he was ineligible for major tournaments. The courts decided in Valve’s favor which forced Jamppi to start turning his attention to rival tactical shooter Valorant. This update will reopen the door for Jamppi if he ever wants to return. The pro player was reluctant to leave CSGO and a tweet suggests he is looking to return. 

Jamppi is surely excited to be freed from a ban, but is currently signed to Team Liquid’s Valorant roster and may not be able to simply leave. Another VAC-banned pro player, Vinicius “v$m” Moreira who was banned in 2013, uninstalled Valorant the first thing after hearing the pleasant news.

v$m has been actively playing CSGO, but his VAC ban was a massive stumbling block in his career. Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel is another young CSGO pro who has been released from the ban. 

 

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