Controversy Reigns During Local Call Of Duty Qualifiers
This weekend saw the best Xbox 360 Call of Duty teams in the country battle it out for a spot in the Call of Duty World Championships, which will be held later this year and boast a $1 million prize pool. This weekend was all about finding out who the best team locally was, and who would then take our flag to represent us on a world stage. Sadly, the entire thing was ruined by the participation of foreign players.
The day began with favourites Team Adept winning their first two games, with many believing they would make it to the final and possibly fight it out with long-time rivals, Hi5. Hi5 were also making good progress, reaching the final before anyone else and waiting to see who they would face. Team Adept made it to the semi-finals, where they were put up against Team RiZe. This is where things got all sorts of weird.
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Team RiZe had a mix of local and foreign players, two of which were playing from the UK. Now according to the rules set by Major League Gaming, a team only required at least two local participants, which RiZe had. Another rule also states that hosting of games must switch between teams every two matches, in order to keep things fair since the tournament wasn’t being hosted over a local LAN. Again, not a problem if every hosting is in the same country, but what happens if, say, a person from the UK decided to host?
That’s exactly what happened during the game with RiZe, as Team Adept was forced to play with close to 200ms of lag while at least two -players on RiZe were lag free. Apparently an MLG referee was called in to make a ruling before the game could begin, deciding whether the latency was small enough to keep things fair. This referee, situated in the USA, was somehow able to make an accurate call by her standards, ruling that the latency experienced by players here in South Africa was negligible. How that ruling can be made from the other side of the world is beyond me, but ultimately the game went on.
And, as expected, Adept struggled, eventually losing to Team RiZe and failing to make it to the final. Hi5 now carried the hopes of South Africa, as the local community was already in uproar over the tactics employed by RiZe. Sadly, Hi5 was unable to beat RiZe in the final as well, dropping points on locally hosted matches but then standing no chance on those hosted from the UK. So at the end of the day a team that wasn’t even fully South African was now going to the World Championships to represent us, which ignited a rather hectic Twitter debate. In the end, Team Adept and Hi5 both lodged complaints with the MLG, and shortly after players from Team RiZe began asking what would happen if they had to forfeit. RiZe then also lodged a call with the MLG, hoping to see their own victory overturned and maybe replayed with better hosting.
The teams have yet to say whether they have been contacted back by the MLG, or what their ruling is, but for a brief moment the local Call of Duty community was united against a ruling that ruined the local qualifiers. It was great to see RiZe step up and admit that their victory was not fair, and we can only hope that the MLG will see this too.