Only Valve benefits from CS:GO rule change

Lincoln Lau, whose gamer tag is fnx, practices for the ELeague finals against Cloud9 at Turner Studios. Kevin D. Liles for ESPN

Update: Valve has responded to requests to clarify the reasoning behind its new rules regarding coaching. From the post: "[W]e intend the Majors and Minors to be events that can be won by any team of 5 players that demonstrate excellence in all skills of CS and this adjustment is intended to ensure that this remains true."

Original story continues below.

On Wednesday, Valve announced that coaches would no longer have communication with their teams inside the rounds and are now limited to calling during warm-up, halftime or pauses. From Valve's point of view, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a 5-on-5 game, with no sixth man.

Multiple teams, however, put resources into building around a coach's in-game leadership, thus freeing up a player on the server to increase performance. Valve's announcement, reported by HLTV.org, runs counter to that strategy.

This change was neither needed nor wanted. From a fan's perspective, the only thing we want to see is the best CS:GO possible. With a coach who can call in-game, the potential of the players inside the server is maximized. From a player's perspective, teams can more easily discern what went wrong in a game or round with a coach's help.

Perhaps the bigger question is, who stands to benefit from this?

No one, except teams that have great in-game leaders who also double as competent players. Teams like Godsent, SK and Immortals. As for everyone else, it is a loss, with the biggest losers being Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic. It is even worse for teams that have contracted coaches for in-game leading with the assumption that it would be allowed going forward.

And what about the fans?

They lose out because they don't get to watch the best CS:GO possible. Teams like Na'Vi, Team Liquid and NiP have had their successes in large part due to the in-game leadership of their coaches. There has never been an outcry about coaches being an unfair advantage because any team could get a coach.

And what about the players?

Beyond just easing players' responsibilities, coaches also had the role of scout, analyst and emotional control. The biggest example of this was Sergey "starix" Ishchuk, coach for Na'Vi, and widely considered the best CS:GO coach in the world. He led his team in the server and helped mentor young, emotional superstars like Egor "flamie" Vasilyev. With the addition of Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, starix's presence was a necessity for this team to work. With the new rule, this team could very well implode since it doesn't have a player on the roster who has taken up leadership before.

The only beneficiary here is Valve. And what exactly does this change do again? It provides satisfaction to the developer by enforcing a vision of the game that players, casters, analysts, coaches, fans and the community don't agree with. In exchange, they'll ruin teams that have been built around coaches calling plays in-game. This change is so bad, it supersedes the implementation of the R8 revolver as the worst update in recent memory.