GamesThe Impact of CS:GO Account Bans on the Esports Scene

The Impact of CS:GO Account Bans on the Esports Scene

With the competitive CS:GO season on hiatus, many players are using this time off to spend time with family or (like Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev) play games they love; others, however, take this chance to experiment with hacks.

  1. Incentives to cheat

One of the main issues surrounding cheating is its impact on game integrity and legitimacy, as well as possible incentives to engage in match-fixing which create an unstable ecosystem within esports.

CS:GO players banned for cheating will lose a significant catalogue of in-game items known as “skins,” valued at millions of dollars – acting as an effective deterrent against temptation to cheat.

Once caught, being exposed to the community will likely discourage future instances of cheating. Furthermore, continuing to cheat could risk them losing their Prime status, creating an endless cycle of punishment and banishment for cheating.

  1. Incentives to engage in match-fixing

The esports industry is growing quickly, drawing big name investors and wealthy sponsors as well as offering lucrative careers for players who excel. Unfortunately, match-fixers pose a threat to game integrity that could drive away investors – thus, governments and developers should take a more hands-on approach towards combatting match-fixing for higher chances of apprehending and prosecuting suspects.

Sanctioning institutions, defined as organizations, companies or other entities which have defined measures against cheating and can impose related sanctions, play an essential role in the economic system of esports. This Comment explores their specific roles within publishers as well as implications for its political aspects; furthermore it suggests incorporating potential tort damages as arguments for increasing penalties will enhance their deterrent effect and thus enhance deterrence of cheating behaviors.

  1. Disappointment

Esports communities are no strangers to the frustration caused by csgo accounts bans, be they permanent VAC bans after match-fixing scandals such as Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian or Braxton “swag” Pierce receiving indefinite VAC bans after match-fixing scandals or Steam accounts being banned for using third-party skin trading services; many feel their punishment was harsh and unfair.

Even without clear evidence of cheating, CS:GO players still suffer the loss of access to their account and its valuable virtual goods – costing millions in virtual goods to be lost forever. Many crypto Twitter users and Web3 gaming advocates claim NFTs could help solve this problem; unfortunately until Valve fully embraces them CS:GO players will remain vulnerable against its decisions.

  1. Loss of trust

Esports relies on trust between its participants, so when players get caught cheating it can damage that foundation. Therefore, it is crucial for governing bodies to reprimand teams when they break rules of fair play – even if such action may seem controversial at the time.

If a CSGO player is banned through VAC, their inventory and skins could be worth millions, impacting their career to an irreparable degree.

Epsilon lost over $2 Million in skins when they banned players Gordon “Sf” Giry and Robin “GMX” Stahmer for match-fixing in 2014. Such action can have lasting repercussions for an individual player as well as on the trust of the esports community as a whole.

  1. Damage to the image of esports

Players caught engaging in cheating or match-fixing may incur both financial penalties as well as public relations damage that will reduce future employment opportunities. This is especially the case if they engage in match-fixing schemes.

Esports can also be subject to hacking and exploitation from hackers and exploitation from players through DDoS attacks that disrupt video game servers (Ghoshal 2019). Furthermore, some competitors in esports games may engage in political positioning via their games, like Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from Hearthstone who publicly supported protests in Hong Kong at a live event during 2019.

Frobose warns that amateur esports players are particularly at risk from unhealthy practices. Training hours upon hours without regard for health or sleep patterns is detrimental to physical wellbeing, often leading to physical illness in turn.