WardiTV Statement on WTL Psionic Aftermath Situation
Last night a situation arose in the Third Division of the WardiTV Team League, involving Psionic Aftermath and a player named "Kendrick". We have disqualified Psionic Aftermath from the league and will be explaining why throughout the statement as we want to take you through the events which led to this position.
Psionic Aftermath, during the playoffs of the league, tried to add Guitarcheese to their roster. The Third Division is (from our rules & information) "division is suggested for teams who are mostly made up of Bronze through to Diamond league players, with a low number of Master league players on the team.". We have always had issues with finding the right way to limit players in the Third Division and so at the start of this season we set no hard limit on who could play.
During the season however it became clear that teams thought use of Grandmaster players should be prohibited and so our Third Division head admin made the call to no longer allow Grandmaster players from taking part in the league. This was potentially relayed poorly to teams and we are aware that some teams may have used Grandmaster league players since this rule was established, however we have not had any repeat offences and due to the fun & friendly nature of the league we had not needed to take any further action. We do feel we could do a better job in updating the information and rules.
As we continue however, a "lack of information / visibility on the rule" is not the cause for the eventual disqualification as we will go into now. During their playoff match last night Psionic Aftermath chose to play Guitarcheese, a player who has been in WCS Premier & Challenger league back during 2014 & 2015, and who is in the current GM league. Their opponents mentioned this to an admin who stopped the game from being played and explained to Psionic Aftermath the Grandmaster league rule. At this point we were happy for the match to continue as we understood Psionic Aftermath were just not aware of this rule and were not maliciously trying to break it.
Unfortunately the next played they chose to send out is Kendrick, which rose alarms in multiple ways. Firstly, while Kendrick is not in Grandmaster league, he has got Grandmaster MMR and is only not in the GM league due to inactivity. It was also brought to our attention that Kendrick is an account that Guitarcheese has played on recently, as can be seen on this screenshot from a VOD on the channel of Guitarcheese, he is playing on the Kendrick account while streaming & played on it throughout the entire stream (https://gyazo.com/b605aa82ff8b59bf74d663ecbe12c900).
At this point we have to look more seriously into this situation due to the possibility of Psionic Aftermath trying to bend the rules. The first issue is that while Kendrick is not in GM at the moment, it is due purely to inactivity on the account (he holds the MMR of a GM player but has not had the minimum number of games required to remain in the GM league) - a situation which would have to be discussed and considered as there is no specific rule on this situation. Secondly and more seriously, if Kendrick is in fact Guitarcheese then we have a very malicious attempt to play an ineligible player.
From what we can tell, the account does belong to Guitarcheese - thought we have no definite proof. Both accounts are an "officer" rank in the PsiX clan on the NA server, Guitarcheese has a VOD of him playing on the account and the account has been otherwise inactive for over a year until February of 2017 where it was laddered up straight into Grandmaster league. Prior to this the account had been played as a Terran player for a brief period of time in 2016. None of this is definitive proof that Guitarcheese was going to be the one playing on the account, but it does mean that we had to continue the investigation as it seems highly likely at this point.
Again at this point we either have the worst case scenario, which is that Guitarcheese is Kendrick, or we have to have another discussion about whether Kendrick can play due to the MMR situation. Sadly the Psionic Aftermath manager was very uncooperative, being extremely rude to admins and refusing to listen to our points when we explained why we were having to look further into the situation. He was continuously calling out other teams for breaking rules (which we covered earlier in this statement) as well as just making a much larger mess of the situation.
We never enjoy having to take serious action but we saw no other choice - to our knowledge it was highly likely that Psionic Aftermath were trying to take advantage of the rules & due to the continued harassment from their own manager we were not being given the time to look further into the situation. Based on this & the fact we would not expect such bad treatment of team league staff & other members to be permitted in the league we disqualified Psionic Aftermath.
For us it is the worst possible outcome as we hate to remove teams from the league at such a crucial stage of the season. WardiTV fully understands & agrees that these situations can be frustrating but the attempts to abuse rules & then being malicious about it is not an attitude we can stand by. We feel that we could have done a better job in communicating rule changes/additions as well as dealing with the situation tonight in which there was a lot of back and forth and frustration on either side due to the late hour & the large disagreements.
We are happy to answer further questions on the situation. We would also like to take this an opportunity to announce that we will no longer intend to run the Second and Third Division of the team league after Season 7, as we continuously run into these issues multiple times a season with teams using smurfed players, bending rules, having extreme levels of bad manner in their games & more. We run the league (especially in the Second and Third Division) with a heavy emphasis on fun, involvement and fair competition, but it seems we continue to miss the mark on these fronts.