Georgia Southern Gold disbands by request of both the team members and their esports club. Read on for more information regarding the situation.
Previously, a case against Holden Schneider "ClassicSchnei" was brought to our attention regarding Georgia Southern Gold's match against Georgia Tech Gold; an investigation was launched but was concluded after CEVO found nothing suspicious in their anti-cheat and manual review of the specific accusations did not yield conclusive evidence of cheating.
Following new submissions given to us regarding other matches involving "ClassicSchnei" from this past Fall half, a new investigation was launched. While looking at the specific accusations objectively and being careful to not hop on any bandwagon decision, the reviewed claims were determined to be inconclusive. While the manual review of the evidence did show potentially suspicious activity on some points, other points were not suspicious at all, and no concrete data proving that "ClassicSchnei" was cheating has been obtained. That being said, there appeared to be some merit to the claims. As a result, we were planning to enforce stricter measures going into Spring, including requiring the player to create a local recording of each match from starting up CS:GO through match end, with all sounds and voice communication.
However, in light of the renewed cheating accusations against player "ClassicSchnei", Varsity CS:GO team, Georgia Southern Gold, has been disbanded by their parent organization, Eagle Esports. This move was agreed upon by all active members of the team, and the following statement was issued to us regarding the situation:
"Eagle Esports does not condone cheating of any kind and any player found to be cheating will be banned from our organization indefinitely. But we must also stand behind our players when such accusations are reported until a final decision is made. No action was taken by our organization until this point as we decided to respect CSL's authority and decision in the matter and that the initial investigation had concluded. But at this point our players have voiced their concerns and we will be withdrawing the team in question from competition. We will continue to respect any outcome that CSL decides and hope that the situation is ultimately resolved."
As a result, and in consideration of the team disbanding, no extra penalties will be incurred and we will be leaving this situation as-is and considering the matter closed for the rest of this 2018-2019 season.
With the disbandment of the Georgia Southern Gold team, we are overturning their wins for the Fall group stage so that the other teams in their group will not be affected by their previous participation. This means that all applicable teams will gain a seed ranking as Georgia Southern Gold will move to the bottom of the group standings; essentially, their matches will be counted the same as a BYE for the other teams in the group.
We would like to conclude this with a reminder to everyone that CSL does not tolerate harassment or bullying by our players in any sense, whether on or outside of our platforms. We welcome the discussion of any and all criticism and disagreement but the actions taken to exacerbate the situation because of the dissent went out of hand, even going so far as to making personal attacks/threats on multiple platforms. We are a collegiate league, so a basic level of professionalism is expected. CSL has rules in place regarding bad manner and while we do understand that things can get heated, conduct during this situation passed an acceptable threshold and penalties will be given to those in the future found to be engaging in such behavior. This is not limited to actions in relation to this case only, but is our stance for all future ones as well.
Additionally, while we understand the interest that this situation has brought forth, please remember that accusations need to be proven decisively for us to take responding action. Banning through manual review is not an easy process nor decision, and is controversial in its own right. Banning potentially innocent players is a very large concern and, as a consequence, the burden of proof is appropriately high.
Thank you to everyone that approached us with their concerns and submitted cases for review. We rely on our community to bring to our attention issues within the league and it is encouraging to see the level of care our players have and pushes us to provide a better competitive experience.
If any future issues may arise, be sure to contact us at [email protected] with all the relevant information for review.