Last night’s Blizzard ANZ HotS Season 3 Playoff bracket (Week 2) featured some unusual circumstances that unfairly disadvantaged team MilkShake:
- MilkShake were unable to field a full team of five. Under rule 1.4(b) they were not permitted to change any team members. Based on this they notified admins that they would not be playing in the Week 2 Playoff bracket.
- City Wok were also unable to field a full team of five. They contacted admins and requested an exception to rule 1.4(b).
- City Wok were due to play Dark Sided in Dark Sided’s first match under their new organisation. This match had been advertised on Gamestah’s social media and had received considerable attention due to the entry of Dark Sided into HotS.
- Because of these exceptional circumstances, the admins agreed to a substitute for City Wok in order to allow their match against Dark Sided to go ahead.
MilkShake raised an objection to this exception, arguing that if they’d known they could play with a sub, they would have, rather than withdrawing (and thus forfeiting their bonus point).
At Gamestah we always try to be consistent with our rulings. Given that we had agreed to allow City Wok to play a sub, for the sake of the Round 1 match against Dark Sided, we would have allowed MilkShake to do the same, had they requested to do so. The only reason they had not asked for an exception for themselves is that they assumed it would be refused under 1.4(b).
The result of these circumstances is:
- City Wok received a Bonus Point (for playing in Round 1 of Playoffs) – a bonus point they received only because an exception to 1.4(b) was made.
- MilkShake forfeited a Bonus Point – which they would not have done if we had given them the same exception to 1.4(b) that we had given to City Wok.
This unfairly disadvantaged MilkShake. For this reason we have decided to award MilkShake a bonus point in lieu of the opportunity to compete with a sub.
It should be noted that this ruling will not be allowed to set a precedent. Teams should not assume that they will be allowed to disregard 1.4(b) in future weeks. It is unlikely that the same set of extenuating circumstances will arise again and the admins of the Tournament will expect teams to forfeit their Playoff Bonus Points if they are unable to field five players from their official roster.
However, teams should be encouraged to raise issues like the above with admins as soon as possible. We understand that the Season 3 two-day-per-week format is new and may stress some team’s rosters. If you are unable to play in a Playoff bracket for which you have qualified, please contact the admins as soon as possible so that the option of an exception can be explored.