Live esports events are an incredible experience for everyone who attends them, but they’ve got their fair share of problems. For years now Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players have complained about crowd interference during games, so ESL is trialling a series of new measures at IEM Katowice that encourages “crowd etiquette.”
In simple terms, ESL wants CS:GO fans to be respectful of the teams on the stage. The tournament organiser still wants the crowds to create the atmosphere, but it also wants fans to be quiet in important clutch moments and act like rugby fans do during a conversion or a penalty kick or tennis matches. In previous years, fans have cheered before knife kills, shouted the locations of enemies, and encouraged players to jiggle aim to get information – but now, hopefully with this change, that will all come to an end.
“We fundamentally believe that the core issue lies with audience behavior,” ESL’s Michal ‘Carmac’ Blicharz says on Reddit. “The presence of a live audience changes the way the game gets played. There’s no going back from it. It’s not the same game as you or I could play at home and it’s not supposed to be. Players finding information out from fans also isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, though.
“However, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s introduce etiquette instead. In golf, snooker and in tennis crowds know how to behave, when to cheer and not to cheer. We want to be in the same place with CS:GO.”
In Katowice, fans will be educated about the correct etiquette by the stage MC and PSA videos before matches. Cheering before a knife kill, cheering during trigger discipline moments, and cheering for things players shouldn’t be able to see are all things ESL considers to be bad form.
If the etiquette rules aren’t followed, the X-ray vision in the arena will be turned off for around 20 minutes at a time, and fans will be ejected from the stadium if they continue to breach the rules. The X-ray vision limitation, which was suggested by Chad ‘Spunj’ Burchill, will only affect fans in the stadium.
IEM Katowice kicks off on Monday, February 21, so we won’t have long to wait to see how these new measures perform.