ESIC Lifts LMBT’s ‘Coaching Bug’ Ban After A Solid Appeal
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) lifted the sanctions for Sergey ‘LMBT’ Bezhanov, the current coach of ForZe, and one of the 37 CS:GO professionals involved in the ‘coaching bug’ scandal. ESIC made the decision after LMBT submitted an appeal.
LMBT and other banned coaches were suspected of exploiting the so-called ‘spectator bug’ in CS:GO during multiple live and major matches. The bug allows the coaches to move around the game maps without anyone seeing during competitive play. As a result, these coaches can feed information to their respective teams about the opponent’s positions.
LMBT was banned due to an alleged coaching bug exploitation in four of ForZe’s matches in 2015 and later in 2020. ESIC originally gave LMBT a ban of 7.5 months during the preliminary investigation. After appealing the decision and with ForZe supporting his appeal with a documentary video and third-party evidence, ESIC’s commissioner lifted LMBT’s ban.
The organization was satisfied with LMBT’s appeal that in two of the cases he was accused of, he was actually not at his computer. In the other two cases, there were times that LMBT was disconnected in good time and sought admin assistance. This move would ultimately prevent him from seeking or gaining an unfair advantage through coaching bug exploitation.
“Sergey ‘LMBT’ Bezhanov has supplied compelling documentary, video and 3rd party corroborative evidence to ESIC…Consequently, the original findings and sanction are hereby rescinded and he is free to coach in ESIC member events with immediate effect. ESIC is grateful for LMBT’s and ForZe’s patience in waiting for this decision, appreciating the significant complexity of the matter and other compelling calls on our limited time and resources,” ESIC said in a press release.
LMBT is now free to coach his team and participate in all upcoming ESIC member events as ESIC’s call to lift the ban is effective immediately. He was the first coach to be officially unbanned by the organization.
Aside from LMBT, FaZe manager, and ex-coach Robert “RobbaN” Dahlström and BOOM coach Alessandro “Apoka” Marcucci also filed their appeals earlier this month. However, ESIC has yet to respond.