In-game 'Counter-Strike' coaches are banned from Valve and ESL events
08/22/2016 09:02

Coaches are now banned from participating in Counter-Strike matches at ESL and Valve events, reversing a long-standing rule that allowed a sixth person to communicate with five-player teams during play.

 

 

Valve's Ido Magal announced the change to Counter-Strike's rulesets in an email Wednesday that Mashable obtained from a representative of ESL. ESL confirmed to Mashable that it will be following Valve's new rules.

"During a match, the coach may only communicate with the players during warmup, half-time, or during one of four 30 second timeouts that the coach or player can call," Magal said in the announcement.

At the top level of competitive Counter-Strike, coaches are almost always on the mic with their teams so as to keep track of who is where, team economy and to give advice. Between rounds, coaches can offer quick reflections  as they do in any sport.

Some teams and players are not too happy with the decision. Selfless owner and coach Ryu took to Twitter to tell coaches to start playing more, implying they would be out of jobs soon.

SK Gaming's FalleN said players should demand that coaches stay as they are even though SK Gaming has no coach.

In its announcement, Valve explained the reasoning for its decision:

"With unrestricted communication with their players, coaches can currently function as a sixth player, and not solely as a source of guidance or training. Activities such as keeping track of the economy, calling plays, and general situational awareness are important components of CSgameplay. If a person is performing these actions, we consider [him or her] a player.

"Since the goal of our events is to identify the best five-player CS teams that exhibit the best combination of all CS skills, the current participation of coaches in the game is not compatible with that goal."

Valve specifically states that third party tournament organizers do not have to follow this rule. FACEIT vice president James Bardolph announced FACEIT and its Esports Championship Series, a major online tournament organization, would not be following the new rules.

Valve did not respond to a request for comment.