Valve restricts CS:GO coaches in competitive matches

Valve has decided to restrict coaches in competitive CS:GO matches.

Valve is taking aim at coaches now

Valve is taking aim at coaches now

The reasoning for the company doing this was stated in a recent blog post, saying:

We were always open with them about our opinion that distributing the work of 5 players (e.g. keeping track of the economy, calling plays and mid-round calls, and general situational awareness) across 6 people was not in line with our goals, one of which was to make it possible for new teams to emerge and compete at the highest levels. We had no concerns with the other coaching responsibilities and at the time any potential harm was hypothetical.

Since then it has become apparent that teams are, in fact, transitioning away from fielding players that have a wider breadth of skills and instead relying on coaches to handle some of that work.

They went on to explain how they had gotten requests from some top teams to allow more access for coaches:

…teams were further investing in coaching in a way that was contrary to the goals of the Majors and the concerns we had expressed. It was important to make a decision before teams further invested in coach IGLs and we decided to rein in the role of coaching in the next Major to exclude player responsibilities.

Valve responded to these requests with this message:

With unrestricted communication with their players, coaches can currently function as a sixth player, and not solely as a source of guidance or training.
Activities such as keeping track of the economy, calling plays, and general situational awareness are important components of CS gameplay. If a person is performing these actions, we consider them a player.

Since the goal of our events is to identify the best five-player CS teams that exhibit the best combination of all CS skills, the current participation of coaches in the game is not compatible with that goal.

To address this problem, future Valve sponsored events will enforce the following coaching rules:

* During a match, the coach may only communicate with the players during warmup, half-time, or during one of four 30 second timeouts that the coach or player can call.

Obviously, third party events can use whatever rules they want but if you want to align your events with ours then we recommend using this coaching rule.

It will be interesting to see the response by teams as this new rule is implemented.

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