Beginning next year, teams and players competing at CS:GO majors must disclose any partnerships with leagues, tournament organisers, or other competitors.
As is set out in a blog post from Valve, this new ruling is set to improve transparency in the competitive Counter Strike scene and allow them to keep track of partnerships to better evaluate whether there are conflicts of interest. This move is likely as a result of the backlash earlier this year after Astralis, one of the most dominant forces in CS:GO esports, were criticised for missing tournaments in order to attend BLAST events. Both Astralis and BLAST are owned by the same parent company, RFRSH.
While the blog post does not discourage partnerships and companies being able to own both teams and tournament organisers, it does want to make that information more easily available so it can be more easily scrutinised if teams begin to abuse their partnerships.
The blog post reads: “While we can point to clear cases where relationships between teams and TOs have generated distrust in the community, we agree that our near-term priority should be collecting more data and requiring more transparency so that conflicts of interest can be properly evaluated.”
“Therefore, for 2020, teams and players registering for the Majors will be required to publicly disclose their business relationships with other participants and/or the tournament organiser, so that public conversations can be had about the value that leagues and other entanglements offer versus the risk that they pose.”
The post also states that withholding information on partnerships will “likely result in disqualification.”