ESIC changes demerit system after successful appeal; Valve disagrees

In a landmark appeal by Apoka and guerri which saw ESIC apply their concession matrix to the demerit point system, Valve has refused to agree to such a change.

This summer, Alessandro "Apoka" Marcucci and Nicholas "Guerri" Nogueira filed an appeal with the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) through their lawyer Luiz Felipe Maia regarding their punishments regarding the coaching spectator bug.

Apoka was found guilty of utilizing the spectator bug on six different occasions for more than 60 rounds, resulting in eight demerits and a Tier 1 Aggravated ban. However, due to Apoka's compliance with the investigation, he received an 85% concession on his ban and only needed to serve 5.4 months out of competitive play. guerri was under a similar situation as he was found to have used the bug on two different occasions for a total of 26 rounds, earning himself five demerit points. Like Apoka, guerri complied with the investigation and earned a 60% concession and only served a four-month ban.

The two decided to file their appeal with ESIC as the concessions to the time served did not translate to the demerit ban, which Valve ended up using as the basis for disqualification from future Majors. ESIC was unaware of Valve's intention of using the demerit points as the basis for the bans and has internally disagreed with that decision since the RMR update. However, ESIC was unable to act until the appeal presented by Apoka and guerri was brought forth as they did not have justifiable legal standing to alter their first rulings.

Previously, the way ESIC handled all punishments was to calculate the demerit points, apply the corresponding ban, then any applicable concessions would be deducted from the final ban.

ESIC final sanction = ban equivalent for demerit points - (% award x ban equivalent for demerit points)

Under the new ruling after the successful appeal, the new calculation is laid out in this manner;

Final Demerit Points = Initial Demerit Points – (Initial Demerit Points x Total Concession Percentage)

As an example, apoka earned eight demerit points under the system, however he had a 85% concession percentage. His new demerit points would be 1.2, or realistically, 1. For guerri who had earned five demerit points, his final demerit figure under the new calculation methodology would be 2.

The difference in the demerit point calculation is critical for members of the spectator coaching bug as it would allow them to return to their respective teams and participate in Majors once more. The previous demerit point system utilized by Valve at this point extends the punishments of coaches from a measly four months to nearly two and a half years in guerri's case, and from five and a half months to a permanent ban in apoka's.

While ESIC has recognized that by not initially applying the concessions to the demerit point system when it was first issued was an oversight, they did not believe at the time it would be used by Valve as the basis for future Major bans. ESIC's recent ruling was communicated to Valve, who rejected their decision within the last forty-eight hours and will continue to ban coaches from Majors using their initial demerit system. With Valve deciding against ESIC's decision, guerri will be forced to wait until 2024 until he is able to participate in a Major again while Apoka will remain permanently banned.

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