Found in the Publisher or ESIC Bans section of the IEM Season 12 Rulebook, the rule states the following:
The league administration reserves the right to refuse players who have standing bans from the game publisher to take part in Intel Extreme Masters tournaments.The announcement has been heavily criticized by players, as seen in following tweets.
Also, ESIC bans will be honored and translated into ESL bans.
CSGO VAC bans are specifically honored, but only until 2 years after they have been issued.
What exactly is accomplished by essentially saying 2 years is the punishment for CHEATING? Rough @ESLCS— Will (OpTic) (@RUSH) March 23, 2017
If I started cheating right now I could earn enough money to pay for my tuition, get banned, finish school, then come back and compete. ????— Timothy Ta (C9) (@autimaticTV) March 24, 2017
Its unbelievable that swag, dazed & co are still banned and cheaters might come back to play once again. Unreal.— Gabriel Toledo (@FalleNCS) March 23, 2017
The in-game leader of SK Gaming was amongst the first to bring up a long-abandoned issue of former iBP players, including Sam "DaZeD" Marine, Braxton "swag" Pierce, and Joshua "steel" Nissan, who had been handed lifetime bans for fixing a match in CEVO Season 5: Professional in 2014.
ESL has quickly reacted by releasing an official comment on the situation in a TwitLonger post, with two main points:
Our policy regarding players caught cheating by our systems has always been the same, namely a 2 year ban from participating in any ESL competitions, which we adopted based on industry best practices in many professional sports.ESL was referring to its anti-cheat technology (ESL Wire), which has been used in its matchmaking, ladders, and tournaments for the past 15 years. The biggest organizer of CS:GO events also acknowledged that implementing consistent and meaningful punishment for integrity violations is "extremely complex and multifaceted", and will continue to collaborate with relevant parties, as stated in the last paragraph:
We will consult with with players, teams, organizations and sports integrity experts such as ESIC on whether the existing policies are still adequate for professional play in Counter-Strike.