The Dog comes back for the scraps

Harry Richards
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Illustration by Crash_ Source: VaKarM

ESIC have had a few nightmares in the last few years, to say the least. But we can all agree that they got one thing right: Banning HUNDEN.

They had him bang to rights on coach bug abuses, went on a thinly veiled PR offensive on Astralis TV.2, and was then served with a further 2-year-ban for attempting to share Heroic’s strats to another team around IEM Cologne in 2021.

He was about as cancelled as you can get in esports without having a drink with a certain someone. He’d been sent to the bottom of Tartarus, as far as we were concerned.

But never count out HUNDEN. The sly old fox put together a team of lawyers, and before you can say ‘bye bye casle’ it was announced that ESIC had unbanned HUNDEN.

What’s worse, ESIC didn’t even have the balls to tweet about it. All we got was an untitled press release and the deletion of everything related to his ban from their website.

There was silence, too, from the Astralis camp. So we’ll just remind you what they said a few months ago: “Once his ban has expired … we would not have any second thoughts about offering him a position.” Lost your Twitter password, gla1ve?

And yet, after all that, all their fuck ups, the CS:GO community still decided to be upset at ESIC for the one thing that’s not really their fault: Valve’s Major bans on the likes of RobbaN and guerri, who ESIC unbanned months ago.

If you want to seem smart, check out this handy guide from TomTom on what ESIC are actually responsible for.

That way, we can get angry about the stuff they’re actually responsible for — of which we’ve got enough exhibits to even scare Ben Stiller away.

Dust2’s Mnmzzz put it best: Either ESIC don’t have the funding to uphold their bans in court, or there were loopholes in their HUNDEN case just like there were in peacemaker’s. Whichever reason, it’s hard to see ESIC surviving much longer.

A lot of people will celebrate that, but we should not forget the need for a regulator like ESIC in the space. Having game developers decide punishments didn’t go well. TOs can barely sort a shared calendar let alone a nuanced ban system.

A world without ESIC might not be as rosy as we imagine.

December 5, 2022

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