Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has changed its rules for competitive players who’ve been banned for violations of Valve’s Anti-Cheat system. Previously, those bans were permanent; now, players who’ve been banned for VAC violations in the past can compete in Valve-sponsored events under specific circumstances.
In a post on the CS:GO blog earlier this week about the game’s upcoming Regional Majors Rankings (RMR) season, Valve wrote that
Moving forward, a VAC ban will only disqualify a player from an event if it was either received less than 5 years prior, or if it was received at any time after their first participation in a Valve-sponsored event (e.g., after participating in a qualifier for an RMR event). Note that VAC bans stay in place with all of their other effects; the only change is how they influence your eligibility to play in Valve-sponsored events.
The reason for the change is that the previous VAC rules “had not seen an update since the game was new and all CS:GO VAC bans were relatively recent. But VAC bans can now be more than 8 years old. So we’ve decided to update them.”
The rule change affects two prominent players in particular. One is Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen, who received a VAC ban in 2015 and went on to sue Valve before jumping to Valorant. Olkkonen tweeted on April 15, “Officially... Unbanned... Thank you CS:GO.”
Fans have also brought up the case of Vinicius “VSM” Moreira, a Brazilian player who received a VAC ban in 2014. VSM tweeted a photo of himself uninstalling Valorant in response to the news. The hashtag “FreeVSM” spread on Twitter following CS:GO’s announcement of the change.
Other esports organizers have changed their rules around VAC bans in recent years. In 2017, the ESL changed its policies to allow players with VAC bans over two years old to participate in its CS:GO events. That rule change was controversial.
In this instance, fans on the CS:GO reddit seem pleased with the decision. As one smartly summed it up, “Five years is enough to still have [a] career in CS if you were just a dumbfuck kid, and it should be enough to wave goodbye to competitive CS if you were old enough to understand the repercussions, and still did it anyway.”
(H/t Ars Technica)