A relief for players and coaches, the tournament organizer announced they would not restrict coaches from communicating with players during the 2021 BLAST Premier Spring group matches.
A new ruling announced by Valve on its official Counter-Strike blog means that only players will be allowed on the server during online matches. In other words, coaches are now banned from assisting players during a live match. And Regional Majors, the events that determine Major qualification are subject to the ruling.
CS:GO has always had a contentious relationship with it's coaches. Back in 2016 they restricted coaches from the room during live events. A move Valve said they were making to "shift the focus to the players," and a move that many in the community claimed would be dangerous to the game's future.
As expected, Valve's new ruling garnered strong criticism from the Counter-Strike community. Specifically from eminent coaches and their players. It was widely seen as an extreme overreaction punishing those who did no wrong.
Sad day for Counter-Strike ☹️
— Danny Sørensen (@zonic) January 28, 2021
I did nothing wrong and get punished the same. Honestly just heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.
Thanks to everyone who knew about / abused this bug.
Thanks to @CSGO who can't even acknowledge their own fault in all of this.
— Wilton Prado 'zews' (@zews) January 28, 2021
BLAST To Allow Coaches For CS:GO Spring 2021
However, not everyone seems to agree with Valve's ruling. And now BLAST have announced it will not be implementing the new rules during Spring Groups 2021.
BLAST's Commissioner Andrew Haworth is confident the coaching system won't see any abuse during the event. Pointing out in his announcement the procedures they already have in place to mitigate it.
NEWS | #BLASTPremier will allow coaches to communicate with players and be present in the room during this month's Spring Groups.
👉 More below from BLAST Premier Commissioner: pic.twitter.com/SfdSHRtK1f
— BLAST Premier 💥 (@BLASTPremier) February 2, 2021
"We believe that the mechanisms we have in place enable us to listen and observe coaches' actions," Haworth said. Also noting that BLAST would be "able to directly monitor actions in real-time and have information to review post-event if any concerns are raised."
BLAST to evaluate new ruling
BLAST indicated it will be observing and evaluating its new ruling. Which means after this first tournament coaches could be allowed back in the playing room.
The move was widely welcomed by the community, with Coaches, orgs and players all commending BLAST on their stance.
Especially agree in regards to the safety measures...
— Wilton Prado 'zews' (@zews) February 2, 2021
Good stuff! Once again you prove that you care about the players/teams 🙌
— Hege Botnen (@Hedjee) February 2, 2021
It will be interesting to see how Valve will respond to BLAST's counter-ruling. They've got a long history of being unwilling to budge on issues like this, despite community sentiments.
The 2021 BLAST Spring event begins Feb 4 with Group A. With Astralis going toe-to-toe with Ninjas in Pyjamas, and OG up against BIG.
Stay tuned to ESTNN for all the latest CS:GO and esports news!