Esports Integrity Commission Opens Inquiry into Historical Spectator Bug Exploitation
On 2 September ESIC issued sanction outcomes against three coaches who utilised a bug in the CS:GO spectator mode in order to achieve an advantage (“Spectator Bug”). ESIC has since reviewed a large quantity of evidence and believes that it is in the best interest of the industry to open an inquiry into the potential exploitation of this bug as far back as 2016. In doing so, ESIC will contract the services of Michal Slowinski and Steve Dudenhoeffer (the discoverers of wrongful use of this exploit) to work with ESIC in the fulfilment of the inquiry.
What ESIC will be doing
ESIC believes that detection, exposure and punishment of any entity involved in cheating in esports is in the best interest of competitive integrity, and, ultimately, the interests of the industry.
After careful consideration of the volumes of material available to ESIC for review, we have reason to believe that exploitation of the Spectator Bug by other parties than those already sanctioned, may have existed historically. Accordingly, ESIC has decided to establish an inquiry into the exploitation of the Spectator Bug dating back to 2016.
The inquiry will be completed in the following manner (summarised for ease of comprehension, but more complex in reality):
- Analysis of approximately 25,000 demos pertaining to CS:GO games played between 2016 and 2020 (both through the use of AI and by visual inspection). Analysis will begin on 2020 demos progressing back in time to 2016 demos;
- Based on evidence found, ESIC will conclude on standardised sanctions which will apply to offending parties;
- Manual review of key suspect demos, determinations made by ESIC in accordance with standardized sanctions; and finally
- Public release of tranches of standardized sanctions on a monthly
Duration and Reporting
Due to the workload involved, ESIC estimates that the investigation will take approximately 8 months to complete (subject to additional complications that may arise during the investigative process). ESIC will issue a monthly report (if substantial determinations are required) or a quarterly report (if unsubstantial determinations are required).
Applicability of determinations issued as a result of the inquiry
As per all investigations conducted by ESIC, our determinations will have effect across all of our membership including ESL, DreamHack, BLAST, WePlay, Eden Esports, UMG, UCC, and more. ESIC’s appeals process will be available to any individual wanting to appeal a determination made to the Independent Disciplinary Panel.
ESIC recognizes that people sometimes make mistakes and regret their decisions. In ESIC’s view, wherever possible, it is important to work towards reform and rehabilitation of offending parties into individuals who value competitive integrity and can recommence serving the CS:GO community. Accordingly, ESIC will opened a ‘Confession Period’ for any offending parties that want to come forward ahead of our investigation with an admission of wrongdoing. The Confession Period opens as of the date of this release and will close on the 13th of September 2020 at 23:00 CET.
Upon the assessment of an admission, and subject to the discretion of the Commissioner, ESIC may choose to apply a concession to any sanction that may apply to the offending party based on the presence and quality of the admission provided.
Collaboration with HLTV.org
ESIC would like to thank HTLV.org for their support in this investigation. HLTV.org will be assisting ESIC by providing complete access to approximately 5TB of Demo footage, stored on their servers. Without this access, the investigation would require a considerable amount of additional resources to complete. HLTV.org’s support of our investigation is a clear indicator of their appreciation for competitive integrity in the CS:GO scene as well as their sensitivity to bad actors in the community.
The original article can be found here