1st - Automatic qualification spot to the GPL main tournament
2nd - Qualification for a playoff series against the 7th seed on GCD points - winner Qualifies for the GPL main tournament, runner up gets 15 GCD points and does not qualify. (This series will have a best of 5 single elimination format, and will take place between the end of the Qualification tournament on Friday and the start of the GPL main tournament on Saturday)
I've been reading a lot of stuff on the forums about the things that went down at the EU regionals this weekend, and I was thinking people would like some clarification/update from someone who was actually a part of it, instead of all these rumours.
I'd like to start off by debunking the rumour that Nolifers team supposedly reported Xonika for accountsharing to get him disqualified. The team of Reawakened 1 was in no way responsible for what happened to my team, just like we did not report their team in some pathetic attempt of payback. We respect each other as both players and persons, get along really well and just wanted a fair and exciting tournament.
When we arrived at the hotel thursday, Xonika told our team that he had received an e-mail by Blizzard saying he had gotten a 72-hour suspension on his account for account sharing, which put his account in bad standing for the weekend. Remembering that he had logged his own account from his girlfriends computer earlier that week, he asked his girlfriend to check her e-mail aswell, and just as expected she had also received a warning and what I believe was a message saying she would be ineligible to receive any titles this season.
After having discussed this issue as a team, we thought it'd be best to mention it to the ESL staff to make sure there would be no problem, as it was surely all just a misunderstanding caused by the automatic detector system Blizzard is using to prevent account sharing. The ESL staff told us they would contact Blizzard and thought, just like we did, that this wouldn't be a problem. During thursday and friday we had several conversations with the ESL staff, asking if there was any news on the matter. There wasn't, so we assumed that we would be allowed to participate on the same terms as other teams in the tournament.
When we woke up Friday, we ate some quick breakfast and went to the O2 Arena around 8.30 I believe, as we had to help Blizzard promote the teams better by taking pictures and shooting videos of everyone. This whole process was very poorly organized, and instead of just telling each team when they had to be at the different filming locations so everyone could practice while waiting, we all had to sit and wait in a locker room for several hours.
By the time all teams was done with this entire process consisting of individual and group photos, individual and group filming, filming of the team leaving a limousine, filming of the team walking around and lastly an interview, the time was around 16-17, and we could finally start setting up our characters on the tournament realm and get some practice in.
There was just one big problem with this process though. While the teams this year consisted of 4 players, there was only 3 computers per team. This meant you had to "sacrifice" one player, and basicly prioritize practising your main setup, needless to say that my team prioritized our shatter over our MLS. All the teams played a lot of wargames against each other, and when the clock hit 21, we were told that we had to leave. We left feeling pretty confident that we would place amongst the top 3, as long as we wouldn't choke on stage.
The games saturday was scheduled to start around 12 I believe, which made most teams wake up around 8-9 to get some good practice in before the actual tournament. Blizzard fixed taxis for us to the O2 arena, and upon the arrival we were all pretty pumped for the event, as the amount of people standing in line outside was pretty big (I'm sure people came to watch Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone). Skipping the line was pretty awesome, and once we got settled we got quite a few of wargames in, once again feeling pretty confident.
Around 11.45, 15 minutes before we were scheduled to play, the top Blizzard employee present came to tell us, that Xonika could possibly be disqualified from the tournament. We tried to explain him the issue, and that it was all just a big misunderstanding, since none of us had been boosting in the period between the 1st qualifier and regionals. He was super stubborn on the matter, but wanted to make sure no actions was taken that would punish an innocent team, so he decided to double check. 5 minutes before we were supposed to play Blizzard confirmed that Xonika was indeed disqualified, and his pro player badge was confiscated and he was escorted out of the arena. He wasn't even allowed to stay in the arena and watch his team and everyone else play!
While I was explaining to the other teams what was happening, I was told to shut the fuck up, as apparantly I wasn't allowed to do so. The admin was obviously really stressed out and frustrated by the situation aswell, and did come to apologize to me later after the tournament, which I respect him for. It was obviously a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing.
After several players failed attempts at challenging the decision that was made, including our opponents Fewen, Souken, Wafflez and Pyrocta, we realized nothing could be done. At this time me, Froffsy and Livin was pretty demotivated and mad, and Froffsy and Livin didn't even want to try to compete, which I fully understood. We did however go through the options we had, and due to Livin not wanting to set up his druid, we decided for me to set up a holy paladin to play shatter, which I have never played before. Blizzard gave me 20 minutes to do this, meaning I forgot to bind abilities like execution sentence.
The games started, and we lost our first game as shatter vs jungle. A fun fact to mention is that everyone actually lagged out in the end of the game for around 5-10 seconds, but there was no referee behind us to see this, so Blizzard claimed that no one disconnected. People could have used add-ons while playing at the backstage, and Blizzard wouldn't have noticed. The second game Froffsy and Livin wanted to play RMPala with arcane mage, due to no one actually caring at this point, which we obviously lost aswell.
In the meantime of our series, Nolifers team had knocked Fritterus, Cervantes & Cavyx to the losers bracket, meaning that we now had to face them. We lost in a close series (Kappa) 2-0, and was thrown out of the tournament as 7-8th place. Nolifer now had to face Solari Gaming Yellow, and after having won the first game and being ahead in the series 1-0, there was a break that was prolonged several times. It ended up being around 25 minutes, whereafter Reawakened 1 was told to come meet Blizzard backstage. At this point the tournament was kind of a joke, and people didn't think it could get much worse - They were wrong! Nolifer was told that he was also disqualified. Apparantly Blizzard had been having a meeting since disqualifying Xonika, with some of the heads of their eSports department, and gone through every single player to find out that Nolifer was the only other player who had also done boosts in the time period between the 1st qualifiers and regionals.
Obviously their team was also not satisfied with this decision, and tried to challenge it with no luck. There was actually a lot of teams that tried to have the disqualified teams play in the tournament with no luck. Wafflez, Souken and Fewen even asked the Blizzard admin if all the teams could vote for it, and have them play if the teams would agree. All ideas was shut down.
They chose to drop out of the tournament instead of playing RPD, meaning that Three Languages One Team was no longer in the losers bracket. They had now advanced to the winners Bracket, and had to face Solari Gaming Yellow. This also meant, that my team was supposed to face Reawakened 1 in the losers bracket instead of TLOT, which we got a free win for as they dropped out. As TLOT won Solari Gaming Yellow in the winners bracket, we had to face Solari Gaming Yellow on the mainstage.
I convinced Livin to set up his druid for us to play MLD, as I figured we maybe had a chance with that setup. This is where it got really funny. Blizzard didn't even show our promotional videos, probably because Xonika was in them. They didn't even mention the disqualification, and actually said that we had been practising MLD for the tournament. I'm sure Venruki, Vhell and Lore was told that it had to be this way, they had to do what they were told of course. I'm pretty sure they even tried to challenge the decision made by Blizzard off-screen, so props to them!
As we didn't really have much time to set up our characters, I forgot to track all enemy debuffs, meaning I couldn't chain any CC in the first game. Livin also forgot glyphs in the first game, aswell as forgetting to bind dispell for both games. It was kind of a disaster, and we ended up losing once again.
On the entire ban situation, I can say with 100% certainty, that Xonika logging his account from his girlfriends computer trigged the investigation of his account. He might not have gotten disqualified only because of him doing this, but it's what caused the investigation. Xonika didn't boost from the 1st qualifier to regionals. We knew that Lagyna had already been disqualified for doing this, why would we take the chance?
The Blizzard admin kept mentioning the fact that they looked into the accounts from the timeperiod between the 1st qualifier and regionals, but Xonika got the suspension for having boosted since the account creation. The rules was very inconsistent, just as they have been during the online qualifications. He was disqualified based on the fact that his account was in bad standing during the tournament.
It amazes me how Blizzard can say that they are 100% sure no other teams boosted in this time period, as we know for a fact that they did. Xonika didn't account share in the time period that was in the rules. If Blizzard was gonna disqualify people for having accountshared since the creation of their accounts, no teams would have been playing at regionals. Literally everyone there has done boosts, and does them every season, meaning they should find some other way to punish the players, instead of disqualifying them from the only tournament that is held every year.
The question is - What will happen next year? What will happen at Blizzcon? Surely they will have to actually CLEAR players now, else ANYONE could get disqualified the next tournament for having boosted since account creation.
I know I might sound super salty, and yes, this does indeed suck. But I'm happy for the teams that made it, and I enjoyed the weekend a lot. It was nice to finally get to meet all the players, and we all had a lot of fun, even though the mood took a big hit for some players saturday.
I thought I just wanted to clear all of this up, as Blizzard seems to be trying to hide what happened from everyone. The community deserves to know exactly what went down, which is why I wrote this wall of text that most people will probably not care about.
Once again, congratulations to all the 3 teams that made it, no one should have any hard feelings towards them, this is Blizzards fault. No teams reported each other for account sharing. Remember the fact that they could've qualified either way, it wasn't set in stone who was gonna qualify.
If you have any questions ask them here, and I'll answer them as fast as I can
Thanks for the support and I understand people dnt care but for the sake of the people that do, I can explain. I arrive in prague and have 1 of the greatest times of my life meeting the people I met and just having a great day. That night I check my email and find I got 72 ban only along with my gf gettin a warning on her account altough we've lived together for over a year ive never logged my new acc (1 I set up specifically for qualifiers which was completely clean and passed all 2 pre checks before the qualifiers, about a week ago my dad came over to visit from ireland, staying for 3 days in my room where my pc is, he slept quite early and ofc I was bored with my gf currently being on a nightshift so I logged my acc on her pc) as of recent blizzard has a new system which tracks pc id of some sort instead of the standard ip address ( which is why boosters who use proxies got banned before the qualifer/during the checks eg. Gelubabas team. I showed the email I got to multiple esl admins/rederees and multiple blizz staff who I asked for a contact number because I didnt have time to sort this via ticket, despite my worry every assured me that this happens sometimes and should be fine, not to worry. After practicing for 3hours this morning I was confident we would place atleast top 3 after being very successful in wargames. 5mins before the opening game I arrive with my fresh banana and nice cold water. I get told by some guy im dq and I cant play, I question him and many others and so did every other team(excluding pjke and cavys team who were starting their match. After 20mins and appearntly triple checking with blizzard, im dq and have to leave the premises. I assure you, I and many others did all we could to find out the reason of my "bad standing" account. I asked many blizz staff for a contact number to atleast explain/ask them to check location/ip etc, I was told to ask x guy who sent me to y guy and so on. Lagyna and I left after we figured no1 cares and it was too late to get un-dq considering other games had been played. Its hard to read over and check everything on my shit phone so excuse the grammar and I dnt expect any reply and will ignore most arrogant and idiotic comments coz believe it or not ima go have some fun in this sick weather and beautiful city. Thanks to every1 for the support and the guys ive spent the amazing players ive met in the last days.