Soham “valens” Chowdhury, a former CS:GO head coach and ELEAGUE Boston Major champion with Cloud9 in 2018, ran into the notorious coaching spectator bug—the same bug that got dozens of coaches banned in 2020—in three official maps several years ago, according to a report by Dexerto.
The 32-year-old can be seen using the spectator bug in a closed qualifier for EPICENTER in October 2017, where C9 faced their North American rivals Team Liquid. On Inferno, valens placed his camera on the middle of the B bombsite during three rounds when his side was playing as the Terrorists. He encountered the bug again that series, this time on Mirage, where he can be seen free-roaming on the A bombsite during the fourth round.
The third instance occurred months after the match against Team Liquid. C9 was playing OpTic Gaming for ESL Pro League North America season seven in March 2018 and valens’ camera was positioned in the T-spawn of Train, the side OpTic was playing. Many coaches that encountered this bug used it to their advantage as they repeatedly placed their camera in advantageous positions after running into it for the first time.
Valens, who has been working as a data scientist for Evil Geniuses’ analysis department since November 2019, told Dexerto that he run into the spectator bug in several instances but didn’t know what it was and that he never shared the information he was seeing on his screen with his players.
“I thought it was just another glitch and one time it wouldn’t go away, so I contacted the TO mid-game,” valens said. “The other times, I would just try to restart the game as soon as possible since I needed to spectate my players, and it fixed it. I definitely don’t know how it came to be and I didn’t seek it out in any way. I hope the lack of a pattern in getting to that game state is self-explanatory of my intent.”
Regardless of whether the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) punishes valens or not, this will unlikely affect his career in esports since he’s no longer a coach. The esports watchdog stated in August 2021 that it was still reviewing cases but no further details have been shared.