#FreeZAKK worked. Sort of.

Harry Richards
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Photo: PGL / Joao Ferreira

Oh ESIC. They can’t win now, can they?

In a similar decision to their one regarding Imperial’s coach peacemaker, Counter-Strike’s ever-popular governing body have lifted the suspension of 9z’s coach zakk due to receiving “additional information.”

God, if only they had announced their bans more than four days before the Major they could have had time to gather sufficient information to, you know, not falsely ban coaches attending the biggest event of their careers.

Hold on, though — zakk isn’t free quite yet. He could still face a ban, it’s just that ESIC have determined he is not enough of a threat to the competitive integrity of ESIC-partnered events for a suspension to be necessary.

Like peacemaker — who was banned for 22 days and 1 Major — and RobbaN — who was banned for 5.5 months — zakk’s crime appears to be one of not reporting that he had the bug, rather than actually using it to give info or gain a tangible advantage.

Confused? Us too. ESIC have a real public messaging problem; we’re finding out about their bans from journalists and by the time they announce anything the public have already made up their mind. Which generally amounts to expletives and claiming ESIC are biased against their favourite player, team, or region.

peacemaker, hally, and zakk’s bans were supposed to be slam dunks, the easy bans for clear wrongdoing. But just a short while later, two of those suspensions have been overturned and it seems unlikely the final ruling for all three will be as harsh as initially expected.

ESIC’s authority, whether it is fair or not, has evaporated.

June 26, 2022

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