So I am out at dinner with some friends on a Monday night for food and euchre (the local restaurant here (Skyline) knows most of us by name) when I get a text message about something happening in HoN Tour and how I need to check it out ASAP. Since we haven't started playing cards yet, I decided I would check out the forums and see whats up. Low and behold, drama has once again descended upon the Forests of Caldavar, and I was greeting with dozens of posts. Dozens of poorly written, barely comprehensible posts. It seems like after reading these posts (while listening to Mozart to offset any potential IQ imbalances) most people can be separated into two camps:
1. Those who SUPPORT the HTA decisions
2. Those who OPPOSE the HTA decisions
First, let's rewind to Sunday. Sunday night I met up with my main group at my friend Ryan's apartment. All of the people who are in my group of friends are gamers who have all played at least a bit of HoN, most play(ed) DOTA/2, but are still interested in watching some of the games from HoN Tour. We all have our little jokes about watching the games ie: Stay Green is called TruGreen (the lawn care service), once we were watching a really boring football game and I said "Let's see how Complexity's doing" and that is a running inside joke whenever we get bored with whatever we're doing, and a few others. So when I got to Ryan's place we were sitting around arguing about which game was worse: Diddy Kong Racing or Duke Nukem 64 and my friend John asked me how HoN Tour was today. I responded, "It was the worst cycle I've seen thus far. There wasn't a single enjoyable game today." Then I told them about the coL vs aL series and how annoyed I was with the casters, the players and the people in Twitch chat. Of course, none of them actually cared that I wasn't happy about how HoN Tour Cycle 7 ended, but that didn't change the fact that it is actually how I feel. Annoyed. I wasn't there for the first series (coL vs aL) live, but it was available shortly before they switched over to do the finals so I watched it on VOD while waiting for the Grand Finals. All I knew is that aL 2-0'd coL and coL was getting ready to play Team BYE for the SBHL.
What a disgusting display it was. Only exacerbated by Emperor talking in all chat while Breaky was just yelling and laughing like "AHHH WHAT A GRAND TIME WE'RE HAVING, IT'S SO FUN!" No Breaky, it's not fun. It's fucking embarrassing. It's sad that people bitched and pissed and moaned for months and even YEARS for S2 Games and HoN to get its act together in regards to the competitive scene, and now when people actually have a strong reason (and capability to some extent) to try and play HoN for a living, the players and spectators treat it with disrespect. "Oh but Phil, it's just a game, you're overreacting" No. I'm not overreacting, but let's move on anyway.
So as I said, there are really two trains of thought and then a couple people talking about Fnatic and DOTA 2 because apparently moon said he was going to start playing it again. Forgetting about the DOTA 2 talk (because frankly who gives a shit), I want to focus specifically on the people who support coL.HoN not being punished. I could talk about those who support the punishment, but it's really all there on the top.
So in case you read my blog and not the forums for updated news (I feel bad for you if you do) here's a direct copy/paste of what happened:
For all-chat spam, unsportsmanlike conduct and blatantly throwing the series in both games, compLexity Gaming receives 1 (one) warning and the 50% points and prize money loss will be applied for Cycle 7 (for intentionally conceding both games at 15min).
Most of the people who are opposed to this ruling are making completely idiotic and ignorant points. Let's single out a few of these nuggets
So these guys feel that since the games were "entertaining" and "fun" that they should not be penalized. Therkel feels that HoN Tour is a "tournament for the sake of the viewers" and definitely not a high profile prestigious tournament that should be approached with respect or reverance. This next guy goes a step further:
Hell yea bro! Let's reward them. Let's reward these teams for showing a complete lack of respect for one of the biggest money tournaments in online eSports history.
Yes, it is Milkfat's fault that Riser_ and his teammates are unable to keep to a schedule that had been known about for a week. It's Milkfat's fault that a team who couldn't show up to a tournament that THEIR OWN SPONSOR ORGANIZED was forced to reschedule to a less than ideal time. I really wish Team BYE would have forced coL to forfeit that match in SBHL, not because I hate coL, but because players need a reality check. CHEERIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!you're an idiot.
Varane is a well known sub 70 IQ Competitive Discussion forum dweller, so pointing out his stupidity kinda feels like I'm making fun of a handicapped person, but I'm desperate for a couple more forum images so I let it slide this once. He starts off by making it seem like it's all good, but follows it up with an ignorant backhanded comment about how the "rules were created because of Experience Gaming" and how Complexity got punished for something completely beyond their control. Then when he gets called out by another forum poster he reaffirms that he actually has no idea what he's talking about. At all.
Let me be clear to anyone who might be mystified about what happened with coL and BYE in the SBHL. Riser, who apparently hasn't learned to read yet or doesn't care enough to actually check the schedule on his own, showed up 45 minutes late because his team basically gave him the incorrect information on the match. Team BYE then took a FF win, but changed their minds (speculation can be made here about why they changed their minds) and decided they would reschedule. The only time Team BYE was willing to reschedule to was 1PM EST on Sunday. I imagine this was by design by BYE so that coL would have to choose the lesser of two evils: forfeit HoN Tour costing them 50% of their winnings and earned points for the cycle, or costing them the change to win much more money in Sound Blaster Heroes League. Regardless of how Team BYE approached this situation and what HoN Tour Admins allowed or did not allow to happen, the ONLY people who can be blamed for this situation occurring is CompLexity.HoN.
Not all posts were without reason however. A few people tried to make a case without looking stupid.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Obviously, most of you know where I stand on this issue. I feel Milkfat was completely in the right. I feel that any team who signed up to play in HoN Tour, Sound Blaster Heroes League, Clan Milk Amateur Fun House, Bob's HoN Team Super Challenge, whatever; deserve the full amount of respect of the players. If you can't make it to a game, it's YOUR fault. If you don't have a substitute player on your roster, it's YOUR fault. If you decide to try and play pocket lawyer with administration by saying "well TECHNICALLY" and get burned for it, it's YOUR fault. Deal with it.
Edit: PPD just released a 16 minute long video response to the HoN Tour Administration decision, be sure to turn ad block on.
This video basically explains what happened in detail, but changes nothing of what I've said. It's a good look into the minds of the Complexity HoN team, as well as the fact that PPD thinks that Absolute Legends should have conceded at the 15 minute mark because they were losing. If you can stomach the arrogance and delusions of grandeur which rival only my own, it's worth a watch.
Edit 2: After rereading this post a few times over the past 12 hours I came to realization that a lot of things that the topic really is supposed to deal with went unexplained as I uncharacteristically dipped into troll mode. I think the important thing to take away from this situation is that both parties have some level of blame to accept. While I agree with the ruling, because I truly believe that Complexity understood the spirit of the forfeiture rules and were attempting to save themselves the loss of $1,000, the case must be made that the rules need to be fine tuned and communication between administrators and teams could be better.
I believe that HoN Tour admins, and Milkfat in particular, made this decision to protect the integrity of the tournament. I also believe that protecting the integrity of the tournament is the most important thing, more-so in some cases than the teams who are playing in it. This is one of those cases. Complexity openly admitted fault that the situation occurred because of their miscommunication with Riser_, but that doesn't change the situation that became of it, and doesn't excuse them from the punishment which the HoN Tour Administration (or Milkfat solely) levied against them. While many will argue that the enforcement of this rule is questionable, I ask you to be honest and think about the spirit of sportsmanship, and whether this type of activity would be looked upon in a positive manner by any professional organization.
Having listened to PPD's video a couple of times now, I think he brings the thoughts of Complexity up in a sincere fashion. While I completely disagree with using personal/private Skype conversations, the irrelevance of Roland vs Insania (which occured nearly 8 months ago), and the usage of the DoP vs coL example (which took place prior to the forfeit rules being expanded upon), I can understand the frustration of the Complexity players. However, keep in mind what I was saying earlier, I also see the frustration of HoN Tour Administrators.
HoN Tour must be respected. The tournament was the culmination of years of ideology and was developed because of the rabid desire for HoN's players to have a predictable and sustainable tournament model. Respect HoN Tour, or you disrespect what everyone who has ever been involved in it has worked for; whether you be a player or someone behind the scene. coL threw away games on purpose, regardless of how they approached the match initially, by the time the 15 minute mark passed and they knew aL wasn't going to concede they should have just called it right there. I actually think the admins would have even shown some slack, perhaps not even reducing their winnings/points, had Complexity approached it this way. In the end, one thing is for sure: HoN, despite having come such a long way in the last year, still has a ways to go; both its players and its administrators.
Let us look at this as a hard learned lesson for both parties, because that's ultimately what it is.