DazeD, Swag and Azk Freed Following Change of ESL Ban Policy

By: Alvin Carlo L. Buencamino


There were numerous controversies that held the neck of the Counter Strike competitive scene e.g., KQLY's VAC shot against PaszaBiceps during a 1v1 retake at ESL One Cologne 2014, the live banning of Emilio from Team Property against HellRaisers in a mid-tier tournament, etc. But how about the controversial news that had surfaced across the CS:GO community where the four players of the team iBUYPOWER got the bitter indefinite ban due to an alleged match-fixing against NetcodeGuides.com at CEVO Professional League Season 5 on August 21 of 2014? Sam "DazeD" Marine, Braxton "swag" Pierce, Keven "AZK" Lariviere and Joshua "steel" Nissan, all who benefited from the "throw," were all given the red cards by Valve, with only Tyler "Skadoodle" Statham being excluded in the process since he didn't take a single share of profit from the ostensible match-fixing.

The drama further escalated as an article circulated online following the controversy posted by eSports journalist Richard Lewis on the DailyDot website that showed screenshots of back-and-forth messages on Steam client between Shahzeeb "ShahZaM" Khan and a supposed unknown whisperer who claimed he had sources about the planned "throw." The two chatted of what could've been a genuine inside job committed by iBUYPOWER.

The following had created an absolute outcry from several fans of iBUYPOWER which led to the marring of their reputation. However, some have expressed their disdain towards Valve's application of "indefinite" bans and considered it as "ridiculously" unfair. Others continued their valiant effort of giving encouraging words to the "indefinitely" banned players.

With most things coated by regret and angst since the infamous setback, the three banned iBUYPOWER players, namely DazeD, swag, and steel, continued to go on with their CS: GO lives by livestreaming full-time on Twitch. AZK, however, did take a break from playing the game.

Thus, their dream of making a breakthrough in the international stage and, ultimately, getting a major trophy would only be achieved in their wildest dreams.

However last July 24, the "jailed" players had finally felt the sudden change of breeze, as ESL's restructuring of their ban policy lifted their cruel "indefinite" ban.

The now-free former players of iBUYPOWER will now be able to compete in ESL events, making a complete pavement for them to claim that cheese they've been longing for and give their American fans the taste of finally defeating the European juggernauts.

What an interesting way to open the "ber" months for the game's competitive scene.

Hey, the #FreeBraxMovement finally did its trick, and it even covered the other three.

I was a part of it, lowkey.

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