During a recent Overwatch Contenders tournament, Blizzard told two teams that they’d be playing a best-of-seven showdown. Then, halfway through, said it would be a best-of-five and pulled the pin on what was looking like an incredible comeback. That, understandably, did not go down well.
As The Verge reports, this was a clusterfuck from the top on down. Unless it’s a Grand Final, competitive Overwatch matches don’t normally run for seven games. Yet in this case, a Bracket Final (so one round before the Grand Final) between 01 Esports and Munich Esports was listed as being a best-of-seven.
Confused, one of the Munich players “reached out to a Blizzard tournament administrator,” and “received confirmation and reassurance that the winner’s finals match was best of seven.” So the teams got started and Munich stormed out to a 3-0 lead before 01, with the tournament seemingly on the line, started a comeback, clawing their way back to 3-2.
That’s when Blizzard reps stepped in and abruptly ended the match. Pointing to the usual rules, which state that these rounds normally only run to a best-of-five situation, they announced Munich would advance since they were the first to get to three wins.
Rightly believing the decision to be some bullshit, 01, who having “lost” were then scheduled to play Ex Oblivione in a loser’s bracket, “coordinated with their new opponents...to essentially strike.”
Ex Oblivione, alongside many others within the Contenders scene, are distraught regarding the decision made for the match between 01_Esports and Munich Esports and the issues that have occurred following multiple errors on Blizzard’s end.
We believe this in combination with a general lack of communication has affected the competitive integrity of this tournament.
We hereby refuse to continue our series until the issues have been addressed. We apologise to all viewers watching the matches, and hope you understand.
“We made an agreement with them that this was unacceptable, and that Blizzard can’t treat the players like this,” one of the 01 players told The Verge. “We agreed with Ex Oblivione to not play the game, but we wanted to make a statement so we decided to play the game but not actually compete.”
As a result, the two teams turned up and sat down, but instead of shooting at each other they barely played at all, with most of them simply standing around and failing to complete even the most basic tasks. This earned them a warning from a Blizzard rep, who threatened to disqualify both teams for refusing to actually play.
After fans had taken to social media to protest, and cooler heads prevailed, Blizzard eventually issued a statement that basically said yeah, we fucked up, and the rest of the match will be allowed to continue later today.
PRIOR TO THE START OF THE EU UPPER BRACKET FINALS OF THE A-SIDES SUMMER SERIES TOURNAMENT BETWEEN 01 ESPORTS AND MUNICH ESPORTS, TEAMS RECEIVED INFORMATION STATING THAT THE SERIES WOULD BE PLAYED AS A FIRST-TO-4 SERIES. THIS INFORMATION CONFLICTED WITH THE OFFICIAL RULES DISTRIBUTED AT THE START OF THE TOURNAMENT, WHICH STATED THAT THE MATCH WOULD BE A FIRST-TO-3 SERIES.
DURING THE MATCH, TOURNAMENT ADMINISTRATORS IDENTIFIED THE ERROR AND HALTED THE SERIES, DECLARING MUNICH ESPORTS THE WINNER, AS DIRECTED BY THE OFFICIAL RULES.
AFTER INVESTIGATING THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE HAVE DETERMINED THAT MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY WITH OUR MOST RECENT COMMUNICATION TO TEAMS, WHICH STATED THE MATCH WAS A FIRST-TO-4 SERIES, IS THE FAIREST COURSE OF ACTION. AS A RESULT, THE SERIES WILL RESUME TOMORROW, FRIDAY, JULY 29TH, AS A FIRST-TO-4 SERIES, WITH MUNICH ESPORTS LEADING 3-2 AND IN POSSESSION OF THE NEXT MAP CHOICE.