The cheating problem has reared its head again in ​CS:GO, with various community figures voicing their opinions about banned players. FACEIT announced numerous bans this week for FPL players for using cheats, exploits or having connections to VAC banned accounts. It could be argued that such an aggressive stance is a dangerous precedent to set, considering many professional players today have admitted to cheating once upon a time as youngins in Counter-Strike 1.6. Fair arguments can be made for both sides, but I think it should be treated the same way I believe match-fixing should be treated: on a case-by-case basis.

Personally, I just can’t look past the fact that the next s1mple could be permanently banned from one of the most popular playing platforms at the age of 12. I made stupid decisions at that age, and I bet you did too. So the question is, how old is old enough to know it’s not OK? I’m not ready to write off players that hardly knew what the game was and got an account banned as a child. The fact that these individuals did the same exact thing as many professionals have, but on the current iteration of the game, isn’t enough of a difference for me.

On to the meaty stuff:

--As everyone knows, Cloud9 is looking for a fifth member to replace Skadoodle. I’m told the team has been aiming toward another North American player but hasn’t locked in on anyone yet. I routinely see players from NRG mentioned, as if any of them would jump ship at this point. I think it’s more likely you see a C9 player join NRG than the other way around. I don’t understand all of the “Cerq to C9?” conversation. What's more interesting is the players who have turned C9 down in recent months, two of them being Wardell and Cromen. I’m not sure what the timeline on either of those is, but it’s still telling as to how people feel about the team.

--I’ve had numerous people ask me about SK Gaming or 100 Thieves getting another CS:GO team, and from what I’ve heard neither of them plans to return anytime soon. SK teased about picking up ex-Space Soldiers, but I would be shocked if it happened. The Turkish players are always a risk with their constant struggled attaining visas, which is a concern for all parties interested.

--At least one team has inquired about Sean Gares in attempt to recruit him as a coach, but nothing is imminent, and it’s quite possible nothing happens. As it always has been, it comes down to what Sean wants to do. A number of teams would recruit him instantly is he was willing.

--When Snax was initially benched, I inquired to find out if he’d be interested in playing with Byali again, but the answer was a firm “no.” I think the biggest problem will be escaping his mousesports contract; the org will have to weigh the possibility of him earning pay on the bench for months on end if they ask too much for him. He is in a tough spot.

Photo by Helena Kristiansson/ESL