ESIC confirms intentions to release new wave of Coach Bug Bans this week
ESIC have confirmed to Dust2.us on the record, for the first time, that they are operating under the assumption they will be able to release the third wave of coaching bug bans ahead of the start of PGL Major Antwerp 2022 on May 9th. While committing to this course of action, ESIC did mention that this is barring any mitigating factors as they finalize the investigation.
The integrity commission's public confirmation of their intentions comes after Richard Lewis, editor-in-chief of Dexerto, reported that the investigation of 52 coaches was in its "final stages" on March 29th.
ESIC have been the source of much criticism and derision in recent months due to the glacial pace of their investigation of the coach bug alongside other matters including the NA matchfixing scandal and the investigation into CIS team Akuma. While the latter two cases have had no appreciable updates, it seems that some degree of closure may be coming to the coach bug investigation with ESIC's disclosure to Dust2.us.
As discussed in Richard Lewis' article, a potential source of the delay came due to a number of new bugs being found that slowed the pace of investigation due to requiring manual review. Additionally, ESIC revealed at the Global Esports Summit in London announced they would be hiring a full-time investigation manager to help deal with the massive backlog of investigation. In a roundabout way this matches rumors of ESIC suffering through staffing shortages that have hurt the body's ability to close out investigations in a timely manner.
In the lengthy interim since ESIC's last release, a trio of notable coaches have been implicated by Dexerto and Jaxon. On February 6th, Luís "MIRAA" Mira published evidence of former Cloud9 coach Soham "valens" Chowdhury allegedly encountering the coach bug in 2017. This was followed up by Dexerto publishing a clip on March 29th that was later linked to current Evil Geniuses' coach Damien "maLeK" Marcel thanks to some internet sleuthing by Robin "ropz" Kool.
The final coach to be implicated in the recent way of journalistic leaks is Imperial's coach Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu via a slightly dramatic and thematic article by Jaxon on April 22nd.
With peacemaker set to attend the Major in a weeks time, ESIC have their backs against the wall to produce the third wave of bans, as a failure to publish on time would directly impact the integrity of the PGL Antwerp Major and be another key deadline missed by the commission.