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Episode 49: CS Year in Review ft. Aditya Singh Rawat

Imad Khan January 10, 2021 31

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SPEAKERS: Imad Khan, Aditya Singh Rawat

Imad Khan  00:01

What’s up everybody this is FTW with Imad Khan. I’m your host Imad Khan. And joining me on this CS Year in Review edition is AFK Gaming’s CSGO editor Aditya Singh Rawat.

Aditya Singh Rawat  00:10

Hey guys, what’s up

Imad Khan  00:11

2020 has been tumultuous year for a multitude of reasons and esports was no exception. But beyond infections and rescheduled events, CSGO had plenty of drama to fill any year, let alone this one. Aditya wrote an article for AFK Gaming about the top six controversies. So let’s go through some of the biggest mishaps in CSGO for 2020. MIBR’s Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo and Alexandra “Gaules” Borba accused Chaos EC of cheating. So Aditya, break it down what happened and why it was so embarrassing.

Aditya Singh Rawat  00:38

So basically what happened was the CS Summit Six Online North America tournament was going on, and MIBR and Chaos EC were going up against each other in the upper bracket of the tournament. What happened was MIBR was of course the better team than Chaos EC on paper. But on that particular match Chaos EC played brilliant, especially the player leaf who is I think 17 years old, and he’s pretty young. And he just destroyed MIBR. Now what happened was MIBR, throughout 2020, has had a very rough patch. And they were just losing all the tournaments, they will lose in the tier one tournament. They are losing their tier two tournaments. So what happened was like it’s it’s a speculation from the community that MIBR got into pressure. And they just accused Chaos EC of cheating in that particular tournament, without any proof to back back it up. So basically, as the clips were posted online, Fallen came forward on Twitter and said that he doesn’t like to accuse people of cheating. But then he went on and still accused them because he told that he found the clip suspicious. That means he’s accusing them. And there was no particular solid proof to back it up. So the Brazilian CS crowd is a very passionate crowd and they have a huge CSGO fan following over there. And MIB are being the main Brazilian team from there with all the famous stars playing for them. The Brazilian CSGO crowd went berserk. It was like like they went and they started threatening those players that How dare you cheat and we will do this we will do that. Like I think leaf had to leave Twitter, like deactivate his Twitter account for a few months of a few weeks after this incident happened because he was getting constant death threats. And later on when an investigation was done by the Beyond The Summit Guys, the organizers for the tournament, did not found anything suspicious going on with the team. So it was all baseless accusations that ruined the reputation of the organization. And more than that hurt some of the players emotionally and mentally.

Imad Khan  02:51

And there’s kind of like a player’s union correct? or an organization for the that represents the players. Correct?

Aditya Singh Rawat  02:56

Exactly. CSPPA.

Imad Khan  02:57

Yeah, the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association. I mean, does the idea of calling in or making accusations on Twitter of cheating, does that go against their rules? And are there any punishments for doing so?

Aditya Singh Rawat  03:09

I don’t think CSPPA took direct action in this particular incident. Or as a matter of fact, if they have taken any action in such a case, because if you see the fifth controversy, which I’ve listed out is also related to MIBR. And even in that case, similar things similar thing happened, MIBR players went on Twitter and you know, riled up the crowd in their favor to go up against Furia. And the same thing happened in this case as well. So this Brazilian, Brazil as a country has a big fan following in CS and MIB are being a top team from there, they have a lot of say, and a lot of support from the people. So whatever they say and whatever, like they put out, they have a lot of support backing them up. And this pressurizes the other team or the other players, the other guy who spoke up with spoke up along with Fallen is a very famous Brazilian streamer Gaules. So what happened his Gaules, as a personality, he generally what he does is he restreams the mainstream in, in the Brazilian language, and at times, there are more viewers on the Brazilian stream on Gaules personal restream than the mainstream. That is the amount of influence he has.

Imad Khan  04:18

Well I think this is a good time to segue into number five right and that was the round reset controversy. And I guess you know, this one’s a bit more difficult for me ever, I guess the average listener to kind of get their heads around so in the most basic way explain what happened and why was also embarrassing.

Aditya Singh Rawat  04:37

So what basically happened was MIBR and Furia. They were going up against each other at blast premieres spring 2020 American finals, so I think this was the final match in which they were playing and the match had gone into overtime. So basically what overtime means is, in a basic match of CSGO what happens is the team which reaches 16 maps first or fifth In maps First they win the match at if the team’s draw up at 15 all the overtime is called him. So overtime basically means six more rounds to play. If a team wins four out of the six rounds, they win otherwise, it keeps on happening again and again till we have a decisive winner. So 25th round means they were in the third overtime. So that means the main match had gone 50 that’s quarter 15 all natural one into first overtime 18 all the match had gone into third overtime 21 all and then match it going into second overtime 21-all. And this was a third overtime that was going in. What happened during this time was I think MIBR faced some technical issues on there and, and their game froze for 10 seconds. So I don’t think I’ve attached a I have attached the clip below. So if you see in the clip, you will see that the MIBR players from that that is fallens perspective on the screen, so MIB our players just froze for 10 seconds. And during those 10 seconds Furia had no idea that MIBR players had frozen. And I think one of the players took down one of MIBR player in game four. And after four went down, MIBR called in a timeout. So when a player when a team faces technical issues, they can just call in a timeout whenever they want. So these guys called in a technical technical break that guy’s our game has frozen. So let’s pause the game. So the game was paused. But what happened was before the pause the damage had already been done. According to the tournament rules if a damage has been applied to a team, and after the damage has been applied, the team affected calls in for a technical timeout. Like the other team has to say if the round continues or not. So in this particular case, Furia had damaged MIBR after which MIBR are called in a technical timeout, so the ball was in Furia’s court, it was up to them whether they want the tournament to continue or whether they want the round to continue, or do they want to reset their round. Furia did not want to reset their own. And they said that we can continue playing at this time. Some of the players from MIBR went online posted this video. And you know there was this again, the thing I said they have a lot of say, in Brazil and the Brazilian crowd backs them up a lot. And they pressurize Furia and Furia phase a lot of pressure on social media and through everything. So they said alright, let’s reset their own. And this after, so the round got reset, they played the round again. And the issue at that moment was resolved. But you know, it sparked off a bit of a controversy on social media, there was a lot of back and forth between the players. And it raised a question among the community members, whether players themselves should decide if rounds should be reset or not. Or should this decision be taken by the referee, because there is always a referee who sits inside like who is always moderating a match. So they say that this call should have been taken by the referee. But referee in this particular case was absolutely passive. He did not do anything

Imad Khan  08:15

And I kind of really want to get into the Mountain Dew league match fixing investigation. So if I have it right, Mountain Dew league is kind of like a second tier league not you know, the top professional league for CSGO. And it was just rife with cheating. And I think even Richard Lewis, you know, went on a rant on his show, talking about how this is completely poisoned kind of the lower tier of CSGO. So quickly, can you explain you know what is going on with Mountain Dew league and what this means for kinda like the development leagues for CSGO.

Aditya Singh Rawat  08:46

So this investigation is currently still ongoing, and ESIC is handling it eSports Integrity Commission, they’re the ones handling this investigation. So what happened is a part of this investigation was solved and the players caught in it with the Australian players. So as soon ESIC issued a twelvemonth ban to all the seven Australian players who were caught cheating, but like this was more of a betting related incident then. So like they said that the players had bet on their own matches and stuff like that. So because of that those guys were banned by ESIC. And the whole picture is still not in front si si still like continuing the investigation is still going on by them. So they had that they will publish a complete report before the year end. But that hasn’t happened till now.

Imad Khan  09:45

Well, you know, now that everything is moving online, it’s probably become easier to see how your opponents are doing just by stream sniping or the ability to watch the actual ongoing broadcasts while you’re competing. You know, explain some of the stream sniping incidence or at least probably the biggest stream sniping incident and how organizations tried to deal with it.

Aditya Singh Rawat  10:07

So the thing is the stream sniping si si came forward Ian Smith, who is the president of si si came forward and told that they have a lot of you know, proof with them that teams have been stream sniping. But the thing is, those proofs never came out in public. So there are some clips in public available. But you know, you can’t just go outright and say that those guys are stream sniping. Because those are like more or less speculations right now. But ESIC has concrete proof with them. That is not out in public yet.

Imad Khan  10:42


Aditya Singh Rawat  10:43

Yeah. And they came out and they told everyone that stream sniping The scene is rife with stream sniping ever since this transition to online scene happened. So and the thing is, when this transition was so certain that the tournament organizers were not prepared, you know, to maintain the esports integrity side of things. They didn’t, they didn’t predict that stream sniping is a thing that will happen or will take place online. So tournament organizers right now have taken strict measures against it to prevent it. They have player camps on at all times they have one guy seeing the player camps at all times. And you know, everything that is happening in the player PC is being logged into this specific document. And that document automatically is sent to the admin right after the game so he can check. So it’s like a log book of the whole event. So the steps have been taken. And ESIC has stepped forward and taken a strict measure against the stream sniping incident. But over here, another controversy which sparked of course, they did not punish any of the previous stream sniping incidents. So those cases are still left unsolved. And ESIC just took the decision that we will forgive all those cases, because I think he says he does not have the manpower to go through all of them.

Imad Khan  11:56

Well, I think the number one incident in CSGO, I mean, probably one of the biggest controversies or biggest incidents in all of Esports is the spectator bug exploit where multiple coaches, this 37 coaches have been banned, because they found an exploit within the game where they could watch, you know, the, essentially the entire map, and, you know, play it to their advantage in the middle of competition. So I don’t even know where to start with this one. So I’m gonna let you take it from here.

Aditya Singh Rawat  12:22

This this is probably the biggest cheating scandal CSGO has faced, at least in this modern time in the past four or five years, oh, my God, it is massive. And the best thing about and the worst thing about this is this case is not even over like it is still being investigated right now. So the 37 CSGO coaches who have been banned till now, were banned in the first half of the investigation. And the investigation has still not concluded, it is still ongoing. So maybe more coaches will be banned when the investigation is completed. And some of the coaches who have been banned have been caught using this particular exploit. It goes back to 2017, 2018, 2019. So this bug has been in the game for a long, long time. And, you know, the community actually pointed out that is it actually the coach’s fault. I mean, it is their fault that they cheated. And, you know, they broke the integrity part of esports. But the thing is, many of the coaches pointed out that when they had first come across this bug, they had reached out to Valve and had talked to them that hey, this is the bug happening. It is gamebreaking please fix it. And Valve actually did not take any action against it until 2020. That is very recent.

Imad Khan  13:41

Why did valve wait so long?

Aditya Singh Rawat  13:43

I mean, who knows, man, it’s Valve. Valve never, you know, openly communicates a lot to the community be DotA two, be it cs go. That is like the developer side of things. They’re not very open, not very public. And they took their sweet time to figure out this bug and you know, to solve it. And the worst thing is now that Valve claim that they have solved the bug. But Michael Stravinsky mccalls Lewinsky, the guy who is investigating who is one of the lead investigators in this, who is investigating this exploit came forward and told that this bug, you know, like there are multiple ways to activate this exploit. And maybe Valve has fixed some of them. But there are still ways to exploit this bug. So that is another thing to worry about.

Imad Khan  14:33

Okay. Well, you know, this was all what happened in 2020. I do want to talk to you a little bit about 2021 and what this means for competitive CSGO moving forward. I mean, it seemed that you know, a few years ago when Richard Lewis you know, uncovered the ibuypower stuff that that was like the biggest thing ever. All the stuff that happened this year makes that incident look so small in comparison. I mean, what does this mean for the integrity of the esport? What does this mean for all the organizations involved. What does it mean for I mean, what does it mean that like so many CSGO players, former CSGO players are now switching to Valorant. What is going to happen to this scene and the health of it?

Aditya Singh Rawat  15:09

Right now the in 2018, speaking about 2020 cs go was affected. But I think moving on to 2021. I think the tournament organizers have now adapted to these changes. They took their time, but I think they have come up with good countermeasures to still maintain the integrity of the game. They have figured out how, how to stop the instance, stream sniping, they have figured out this bug. So I think now they keep a more close, or they keep a more tight watch on the players when they are playing. They keep a more tight watch on the game that is being played. And once you know, the pandemic or the health global health situation is back on track is all right. And the tournament started turning to land once again, I think these problems will go away because it is very hard to replicate all this in a LAN environment. So I think once the tournaments are back on land, the competitive integrity is maintained. I think CSGO will be back on track. On the competitive side, the casual user base never took a hit this year. It On the other hand, it increased a lot. I think she has go saw five or six months of consecutive 1 million plus user base. And this is concurrent use of this. So on the casual side of things, CSGO did really well. On the competitive side of things, it got hit really bad. But that was just 2020 in a nutshell. CSGO got affected from this online transition, the North American CSGO scene, you know, it got crumbled. Many teams exited the scene, but the European scene saw a good rise in it. I think 2021 CSGO will recover and we’ll come back on track. For sure.

Imad Khan  16:49

Well, with that. Thank you so much for jumping on.

Aditya Singh Rawat  16:51

It was really fun discussing this with you,

Imad Khan  16:53

And that was FTW with Imad Khan. If you liked the show, please rate subscribe and share. Full transcripts of the show as well as links to our Patreon can be found at ftwimad.com. To follow Aditya and all the work he’s doing at AFK gaming. You can find him @catslayer_999 on Twitter. To follow me in my writing over at the New York Times The Washington Post and elsewhere find me @imad on Twitter. And Ron lines is our audio producer. With that, we’ll catch you guys next week.

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