The movement to implement soundproof booths in professional CS:GO is attracting support from all sides.
Following a controversial moment during the ESL Pro League Season 10 Playoffs on Saturday, some of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players involved in the incident have taken to social media to back the use of sound-blocking technology in future competitive CS:GO events.
The controversy began during the EPL semi-final match between Astralis and mousesports. As the Danish hometown crowd roared in excitement, Astralis support Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth used the screams to triangulate an opponent’s position and pick up a free kill.
Though the incident didn’t influence the eventual outcome of the semi-final—a 2-1 victory for mousesports—it soon sparked outrage within the CS:GO scene, with figureheads such as Duncan “Thorin” Shields weighing in on the matter.
Shortly after the event, Astralis rifler Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen hopped on Twitter to castigate spectators willing to intentionally give up players’ positions during a competitive match. However, dupreeh admitted that the crowd noises that led to the incident were the result of genuine excitement, acknowledging that it’s a natural response for players to look for flanks or uncleared positions after hearing crowd hype.
Earlier today, Xyp9x addressed the controversy in the form of a detailed Twitlonger. In his statement, Xyp9x echoed dupreeh’s opinion that reacting to crowd noise is an instinctive action for professional players—and he took his teammate’s thoughts one step further by framing this instinct as an argument in favor of the use of soundproof booths at CS:GO events.
“As I see it, there is only one option: Make soundproof booths,” wrote Xyp9x. “I’m not talking about booths which are merely made to look like soundproof booths...I’m talking about a properly soundproofed booth which eliminates undue outside sound interference. Also, I’m talking about diligently placing the speakers or designing the stage in a manner which it prevents it from being vibrated by the bass.”
In a Twitter thread, mousesports rifler Robin “ropz” Kool agreed with his EPL opponent’s take, pointing out that the strategies many esports hinge on the fact that both teams don’t automatically know their opponents’ locations. According to ropz, this is a key factor that differentiates esports from traditional sports.
The debate over the use of soundproof booths in competitive CS:GO has raged for years; this incident is simply the most recent controversy to raise the issue. In 2017, an ESL representative told Dot Esports that the league avoids the use of soundproof booths because they “dampen the energy of a LAN tournament and disconnect the players from the crowd”—an opinion that is still shared by ESL Pro Gaming vice president Michal Blicharz.
But with noise-blocking technologies such as soundproof booths and noise-cancelling headphones becoming the norm in esports such as Dota 2 and League of Legends—and in response to a growing fan movement in favor of soundproofing—ESL and the rest of the professional CS:GO scene may soon reconsider their approach to the issue of soundproof booths.
Main Image Credit | ESL