Valve recently disqualified the South American Major qualifier winner, Test123. Valve’s decision came as Test123 decided to compete in the South American qualifiers despite not having much of a presence in the region. They indeed approached Valve a few weeks ago to seek clarification. However, despite Valve’s clear insisntence that they will not be allowed to participate in SA Qualifiers, Test123 went on to win the Qualifiers.
Valve has since disqualified Test123 and replaced them with Thunder Predator for the Chongqing Major. The team, as well as CCNC, have released statements about this predicament.
CCNC’s statement about the disqualification
After the qualifiers, the Americans headed back to America as the ESL qualifiers were coming up and ESL had said we could play in them. We decided it would make more sense for us to play the qualifiers with only 2 players on ping instead of 5. After this round of qualifiers ended we had flown multiple times between NA and SA and had played many sets of different qualifiers and as we had WSOE coming up which we had invited to we took a small break so people could visit with their families. Shortly after WSOE finished I was asked by EG to stand in for Sumail as his visa had fallen through so I travelled to Germany very shortly after. This cut our planned practice against SA and NA teams before our boot camp in Kuala Lumpur short so our next period where we could play together was going to be our boot camp. It wasn’t a case of us hopping to SA then back to NA due to comfort but due to qualifiers, tournaments and practicality as we are not a rich team and paying for apartments and a place to play on such short notice would be extremely difficult.
CCNC explains that the decision to move back and forth between North America and South America was a decision out of compulsion. The team took decisions based on practical events. The constant back and forth also meant that they could not go forth with their planned scrims with local South American teams. Eventually, they only managed to get together for the Bootcamp which gave the impression that they were flying in for the qualifiers.
Roster changes in a limited time – No longer a truly SA team.
After we were eliminated from the Kuala Lumpur major we sat down and talked about what would be best for the team moving forward. Lelis originally a 3 player had switched to 5 to make room for us and was still a 3 player at heart so a change had to be made. It took quite a while as it was a very hard decision to make. Parting ways with people you really like and enjoy playing with is always hard. So 2 days before we flew back to SA we decided to kick 4dr and move lelis back to offlane. We had very little time now to find a replacement and with major qualifiers in SA already underway it was nigh on impossible to find a replacement from SA and as we had already payed for a bootcamp and hotels there because there was such a small gap between the end of the tournament and the qualifier we were sorta stuck. We also believed that at its core dota is a very region less game where different people can unite behind this awesome game and form a team with the aim to compete at the highest level vs other international teams, and that was our goal.
With that in mind we chose kitrak as we believed he would be the best fit for us and give us that opportunity to compete at the highest level. And with the core of the team being the same and a bootcamp and place to stay already pre-arranged we headed back to SA to practice the new patch and play the qualifiers. And that’s how we ended up where we are now. We had looked into ways to set up a permanent living setup but with only temporBootcampary visas and being on the road and away from home as much as we were it was very difficult to make that a reality by the time we returned to SA. At no point we’re we trying to take advantage of SA but we’re trying to become a real team of the region and I can’t say enough how sorry I am if that’s how this came across. I don’t blame valve or the fans in any way for this as it’s pretty easy to see how what ended up happening could be seen as slot stealing. But at the end of the day we’re just some guys that wanted to make the best team possible and got caught up in the travel and busyness that is dota.
It is clear that Test123 did not intend to flout any rules with their actions. However poor timing as well as the lack of an instant substitute for the team menat that they could not have a SA team. CCNC does not blame Valve and feels that they took thmeante right decision.
Lelis issues a statement on the disqualification
The latest addition to Test123, Rodrigo Lelis also has something to say about Valve’s decision to ban them. Valve issued a public statement regarding their decision and it was clear that Test123 had approached Valve for clarification on the matter.
So as most of you already know we have been dq’ed from the SA qualifier.
I would like to start by apologizing to anyone who felt hurt or uncomfortable by us playing in the SA region and competing in the qualifiers, this left many fans upset and I am deeply sorry for the trouble all this has caused.
I will also point out how poorly communicated this matter was between our team and valve. We were invited to the closed SA qualifier and even won the qualifier BEFORE we got disqualified. It seems like something is either very misinterpreted or people were not that concerned about it before we won the qualifiers. It feels weird how powerful a tweet can be, when all of this could have been avoided if we were just dq’ed from the qualifiers before it even started, even maybe giving us a chance to play in the NA qualifiers.
I am by no means trying to justify what we did nor am I calling anyone out on the matter trying to cause more drama, but having rules straight up would have avoided all of this, instead of giving us vague statements where it was allowed or not. I’m sure other teams also have questions and since there are no actual rules it feels all so arbitrary and random. As for our team, we will continue to play in the NA region and will try to qualify for the minor. Again I am deeply sorry for the trouble this has caused.
He blames Valve for not laying down the rules in writing and the arbitrary nature of their implementation. He mentions that there was very poor communication between the team and the game developer. However, he does not refute any of Valve’s statements which means that Valve did tell them that their participation in the qualifiers will not be tolerated. As such Valve are definitely within their rights to disqualify Team123 from the event.