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CS:GO – ESIC Begins Investigation Into Stream Sniping Within Counter-Strike Matches

Here’s an aspect that streamers (and fans) can readily attest to the frustration: stream-sniping.

Stream-sniping occurs when a streamer (typically a popular one) is attempting to play a multi-player game, and an opponent recognizes the name of the opponent; they then turn on the stream in order to gain information unfairly so that they can outplay the streamer.

Streamers have been combatting this since the rise to prominence of Twitch, where it has become an extremely popular platform for gamers to congregate upon. Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has struggled with them, Felix Arvid ‘PewDiePie’ Ulf Kjellberg has as well, and Eric Flom has reached a point in his streaming where entire Discord communities work together to stream-snipe the player, and then cheat to ruin his matches.

Although comedy can be had where the streamer states his suspicion only on their stream, to have someone in-game state that they are not stream-sniping.

It’s an issue in the streamer world that isn’t simply fixed: adding delays onto streams makes it difficult for streamers to readily interact with their communities, and hiding various UI portions (mini-maps and the like) is a similarly bandage to a grievous wound.

The problem is stretching beyond players, however, and beginning to affect competitive scenes in the era of online-competition, where integrity is left to players and staff as best as they can adhere.

Stream-sniping within official Counter-Strike matches has been noted by the ESIC recently, and they are beginning an investigation while simultaneously executing the coach spectating exploit and match-fixing investigations.

Teams have been seen on official match streams stream-sniping to gain intelligence on what the other team has been doing: notably, MIBR’s coach was seen watching an ESL stream which allowed him to offer intelligence of economy and strategies, even if it was delayed by thirty seconds.

Intel is intel, and it doesn’t necessarily have a time limit in long-form matches that CS:GO can readily offer.

While a small buzz was created when MIBR was seen on the ESL stream earlier this year as actively watching the broadcast to discern what the opponents were doing, it was readily hand-waved away as being unimportant to the competitive integrity.

Now, it seems that ESIC are ready to tackle this as well, noting that they have seen ‘a hell of a lot of people’ stream-sniping and that they have some consequences coming sooner rather than later.

Currently, the allegations coming from the community of who they have caught stream-sniping is surprising: allegations have come forward towards the legendary French AWPer ZywOo, dead, and MarkE have all been named multiple times by various members of the community.

Precisely how will ultimately be received a bit of negative attention isn’t clear at the moment, as ESIC has their hands full with match-fixing and coaches cheating. From what ESIC head Ian Smith has stated, however, the results are going to rock Counter-Strike even harder.