ESEA player bans RIKO

ESEA Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) admins have released a statement exposing details behind player Dylan “RIKO” Sabin-Arnce’s malicious behavior ban. ESEA is CSGO‘s most prominent competitive league. Over the last year, the massive league restructuring and a lack of transparency with players have put the organization under a microscope.

On June 5, ex-professional CSGO player RIKO publicly questioned ESEA about a one-year malicious behavior ban on his alt account. As a result, RIKO can no longer play on his main account without being accused of ban evasion. It turns out the ban was a result of RIKO queueing in a lobby with cheaters. The ban put RIKO and his Mountain Dew League (MDL) team under immense stress and eventually caused the team to die.

“He instantly knew they were cheating.”

In response to the social media backlash from RIKO and other professional players, ESEA released a statement breaking down the ordeal. ESEA admin Aluminati countered RIKO’s claims, saying ESEA had more than enough evidence to justify his ban. Aluminati explained RIKO and his friend “sovve” queued with a cheater named “kiss.” Over a span of two days, the trio played a total of 10 games –winning 9 and losing 1. After securing himself a leaderboard prize, sovve stopped playing.

The ESEA admin stated: “We find it unlikely that a player of Riko’s calibre who has competed at a high level of league would not be suspicious that he is continually outfragged by a player on a brand new ESEA/Steam account. ”

What’s more, sovve wrote, “[RIKO] instantly knew they were cheating and said not to queue another day with them, or I will most likely get banned.” This shows that RIKO was aware of kiss’s cheating and advised his friend to stay away.

Therefore, Aluminati said RIKO had a responsibility to add the cheaters to the suspect list. Instead, he chose to downplay their behavior. This is dangerous because sovve would have benefited off the cheaters by winning the leaderboard prize. With these factors in mind, Aluminati said they intend to uphold RIKO’s malicious activity ban.

It seems that the ESEA admins are taking the opportunity to make an example out of RIKO. They say they expect a player of RIKO’s caliber to “understand the long term impact of cheating on our platform.”

What do you think about RIKO’s ban? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Minna Adel Rubio
Minna is a Purdue graduate and Texas native. She enjoys team-based FPS games, including class-based and arena shooters. She's a former competitive Overwatch and Team Fortress 2 player. Her writing focuses on all things FPS, specifically Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the esports industry.