Valve views team coaches as the sixth player, but are limiting their communication time at Valve sponsored events. The ESL (Electronic Sports League) has also adopted the new policy and are only now permitted to speak to the team in warm-ups, half time, and newly introduced four 30 second timeouts. This means the coaches can no longer interact with the players when the rounds are underway.
“With unrestricted communication with their players, coaches can currently function as a 6th player,” say Valve, “and not solely as a source of guidance or training.” This change will be a big blow to teams like NiP and Liquid, who use coaches as in game leaders.
Outraged by this many pros look to Twitter. They were frustrated at Valve’s lack of communication to them about such a big change before it went live, and not giving them time to prepare. Examples are from Fnatic’s Olofmeister, and Dignitas’s RUBINO.
Outraged players all over the world have been complaining about the irony of restricting communication in a game that requires good communication to win. This is not the first time that Valve have not communicated such a drastic change to the teams, as all players remember the last winter update that changed the spray pattern for all guns. It was so out of the blue and changed the game so dramatically, without giving anyone a warning. They clearly haven’t learnt from their lack of communication, which Valve is now notorious for, and this new coaching fiasco could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.