Valve will be setting new rules to limit coach communication during matches at Valve-sponsored tournaments,
This was stated in an e-mail sent out by ESL to select professional teams.
According to its contents, from now on coaches will only be able to communicate with their players during warm-ups, half-time breaks and newly introduced four, 30-second timeouts per map.
The reasoning provided was that Valve would now view coaches as a sixth player rather than a “source of guidance or training.”
Valve additionally explained in a new blog post that they were open-minded about the involvement of coaches in preparation, support, and opponent study but believed that only the five-men lineups should be involved once the actual game started.
Such a rule will severely limit big teams who use coaches as in-game leaders, such as Natus Vincere, NiP, Liquid, mousesports and FaZe. This was especially true in the case of Na’Vi, who had been using former pro Sergey “Starix” Ishchuk as their in-game leader from the coaching role.
Naturally, not many took the news of the new rule kindly, with some even suggesting player strikes.
Meanwhile, ESL is set to enforce the rule in upcoming offline events, with the next being ESL One New York, taking place from September 30 to October 2.