Valve has lightened restrictions regarding CSGO bans for competitive play, allowing some players with very old bans to finally qualify for profressional Masters tournaments.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooter that is part of a long-running franchise. Naturally, it also happens to be one of the most popular esports in the world and that means that there are some very clearly defined rules about qualifying for competitive play. Now, Valve has announced that it's essentially disregarding some of the oldest bans in terms of qualifying for competitive play.
You Can Now Play in Regional Masters with Old CS:GO Bans
A new blog post on CS:GO Regional Masters Eligibility Guidelines explains that older CS:GO bans will essentially be disregarded in terms of qualification. As one might expect, these new rules aren't exactly clear-cut.
Previously, having a CS:GO VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) ban on your account meant that you couldn't play in Regional Masters or any other official tournament. Now, that's going to be changing going forward — but only for the oldest bans. From this point forward, any bans that are older than 5 years won't count towards your eligibility for competitive play. There is, however, one exception — any bans received after playing in your first Valve-sponsored event will still prevent you from playing in official events.
Naturally, any CS:GO bans received in the last 5 years will still bar people from tournament play. Other disqualifying issues unrelated to a VAC ban (such as match-fixing) will also prevent someone from playing in official tournaments.
People can make mistakes and Valve's ban forgiveness is probably still a little too strict. That said, not letting someone play due to a ban from 5+ years ago also feels a little too severe, especially if they've had good behavior in the interim.
It's not quite clear what effect this will actually have on the game. Most Esports players are in their late teens or early 20s, so it's unlikely that this policy is going to have an immediate, noticeable impact on the game by bringing in any new players. However, there are probably quite a few people who got a ban when they were 14 or 15 that will now have a chance to play in organized CS:GO events at some point in the future.
What do you think of Valve easing up its policy on CS:GO bans for professional play? Do you think they should ease up the restrictions even more? Let us know in the comments below!