In an email procured by HLTV, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) developer, Valve, addresses recent ownership issues regarding 7 Regional Major Ranking (RMR) teams like Made in Brazil (MIBR), FaZe, and Evil Geniuses. The company was able to discover multiple alleged conflicts of interest that present “a threat to the integrity of the Majors.” Valve has now issued an ultimatum, handle these conflicts before the tournament, or they will move toward a zero-tolerance policy.
At the heart of the matter is not only issues with team ownership, but also media rights, and operator event exclusivity. Valve originally addressed growing tensions last September in a statement released on the CS: GO blog site. They made their stance clear, ordering the disclosure of any known conflicts of interest or possible detrimental business relations, and forbade teams and players from possessing “any financial interest in the success of any team that they are competing against.” This didn’t exactly cure anything, as the issues continued to arise, with Valve’s latest email citing three alleged conflicts of interest. One regarding Brazilian esports team Yeah alleged to be owned by four people who have ties to three different organizations.
The next Major is scheduled for November and is a $2 million tournament. All parties have been instructed to resolve these alleged issues within the next five months, or they won’t be competing. Valve has been a lot more lenient in past situations, allowing Yeah and MIBR to compete in the ESL One: Road to Rio despite having mutual financial backers. This new motion indicates a change of heart, and the company notes the importance of competitive integrity in their September statement, saying “We think that avoiding conflict of interest is an important part of ensuring fair and honest competition, and so we do not have any plans to change these requirements for participation in a Major.” For more information on RMR click here.