C9 withdrawal triggers follow-up ban

posted by iamshockWave,
Cloud9 have received a ban from the next installment of i-League after dropping out of the Season 2 LAN Finals "without giving a valid reason". Whereas Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling commented on Reddit the move was down to lack of commmunication and last minute changes, as well as bringing up concerns about being paid in cash.

This is not the first tournament that Cloud9 have withdrawn from recently, with the team also dropping out of both Starladder Star Series and D2L due to a conflict in schedules with other tournaments, but this time their decision might have more serious consequences. The i-League organisers announced that Cloud9 will be banned from competing in the following season of i-League as "the team dropped out of the Season 2 finals without giving a valid reason".

The i-League statement also mentioned that since the second place team in the American Qualifiers for the event, SNA "can't attend the event due to undisclosed reasons and that the open spot will be awarded to a Chinese team."

"Our i-league organizers always devote ourselves to building the most professional DOTA2 tournament. Even though some communication problems still exist, and we can understand overseas players' anxiety, we truly do not expect to see that any of them vent their anger about other organizations on us. We hope that we can provide a wonderful China Trip for players from overseas, instead of increasing misunderstandings between us," said the organisers in their official announcement. This statement also comes off the back of EternalEnvy's blog that did not paint the Chinese events in a good light.

"It's usually extremely frustrating to solve these simple problems at Chinese events because of incompetence and language. I feel like half the people working at the event don't play the game, and we have basically no way of communicating. At WCA instead of hiring proper translators they get volunteers from local universities who took english courses.

The volunteers basically speak no English, and they don’t play the game so communication is impossible. They weren’t treated that well by the organizers and although they barely spoke english they tried really hard. It actually made me sad dealing with the situation," said EternalEnvy in his blog.

Aui_2000 had commented on the related i-League Reddit thread which was entitled C9 drops out of i-league season 2 cause prize pool is too low prior to their ban, and had tried to clear up the reason behind their withdrawal:

We dropped out because they randomly changed their prize pool last minute without communication with us, gave us visa info very late, and we weren't confident in the conditions we would have to go to China in.

It wasn't a money thing. The prize pool is still quite high. Also, they said they'd pay us back for flights in cash when we landed. The last Chinese tournament that said they'd pay us back for flights hasn't given us anything (wpc ace). I don't want to have another bad China experience because I think it's team ruining and I think a misleading prize pool advertisement sort of indicates a bad experience. Oh and they won't pay us to our bank accounts--they said they'd pay us in cash. That scares me. Not scares me because I think they won't pay out, I know I-league has paid out their season one, but I don't ever want to be paid for a big tournament in cash again (look at tidesoftime, got his money taken at the airport etc).

Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling

Evil Geniuses manager, Charlie Yang, also had some opinions on the matter which he shared in the same Reddit thread:

(...) The original post does note the problems with tournaments but dismisses those problems by stating that Chinese pro's have endured them honorably and quietly. What an assload of irrelevance, maybe if more noise were made about the shitty quality of Chinese tournaments, league's like I-league or WEC or WCA wouldn't have the most incompetent admins I've ever dealt with in my life.

Bringing up C9's withdrawal from I-league isn't a measure of their lack of dedication, but rather a mark of how shitty their handling of this season has been so far with the misleading prize pool and the incompetence in handling the qualifier.

The last point brought up in the post is C9's manager apologizing (they assume its out of embarrassment) for dropping out. The actual people that should be embarrassed is the I-League staff for withholding the fact that a large portion of their advertised prize pool goes to tournament costs (travel, hotels, production) and that they're too incompetent to set up a wire transfer to pay out prize money.

Charlie "Monolith" Yang

Monolith has commented in the past about the risk their team took when they had to carry a briefcase containing the WEC prize money - approximately $100,000 in Chinese currency, on a plane back to the United States after the team won the tournament. i-League plan to adopt the same method of payment in order to speed up the process, but only if teams so wish it.

"Since it will be a very long period of verifying for transfering money to overseas bank account from a domestic one, the i-league organizer offers the option of cash-distribution to overseas teams, and it's not compulsory. Players have the right to choose their own distribution methods freely" said the organisers. With Cloud9 now joining Evil Geniuses in their lack of confidence in Chinese events, it may open up opportunities for other teams to take the potentially lucrative Western invite spots.

The teams qualified for the event so far:

cn Vici Gaming
ua HellRaisers
ru Virtus.Pro
kr MVP.Phoenix

They will now be joined by four Chinese teams from the qualifiers.

This article was written by pt Pedro Unas, joinDOTA's writer.iamshockWave is a high school student who started his eSports adventure covering the Portuguese Counter-Strike scene back in 2011, after that he started following the spectacle that is DotA since the beginning of 2013. When he isn't near his keyboard he's trying to conquer his last year of high school. Location: Porto, PortugalFollow him on @ShockwaveDota.

Update: I-League has officially withdrawn the Cloud9 ban for season 3, said Matthew "Cyborgmatt" Bailey in a recent tweet.