For the past 10 years, the Starcraft community has created a culture of passivity towards cheating and abuse. There has been very little enforcement or accountability by tournament organizers, teams, and fans. It seemed as though as long as a player was good at Starcraft, he could get away with anything. It is a shame that such a great community could have such a huge flaw. This culture of leniency and apathy towards cheaters certainly contributed to the large numbers of high level players choosing to abuse in the recent TSL Ladder.
Ladder abuse is just as criminal as hacking. The end result is no different. An abuser is essentially stealing prize money from honest players and robbing the community of a worthwhile competition. TeamLiquid strongly values honest competition and fair play, and we have decided to use our TSL to send a message to the community that these sorts of actions are no longer acceptable.
These penalties will only be applied for this TSL (see future penalty rules later). Our goals with these penalties are to ensure that the current TSL is as clean and fair as possible, and to deter future players from cheating.
Group 1: Banned from TL events for 12 months AND TSL3 (whenever it is):
Group 2: Banned from TL events for 8 months AND TSL3 (whenever it is):
Group 1 include players who abused and gained from the abuse.
Group 2 include players who abused but only to help another player.
Future Penalty Rules
These rules will come into effect after the PokerStrategy.com TSL is over. Our future penalties rules will be stricter, because players now have notice about them.
- First time offenders without personal gain will be banned for a minimum of 12 months and the next two TSLs.
- First time offenders with personal gain will be banned for a minimum of 18 months and the next two TSLs.
- Repeat offenders will be banned for life.
To all players (not just those who abused during this TSL):
If you cheat in any way (even in a non-TeamLiquid event), we reserve the right to disqualify you based upon these rules. If you want to participate in TSL3 (or any other TL event), be 100% clean, everywhere.
We urge other web sites, teams, clans, and tournaments to take similar action. The only way this widespread problem can be solved is if we all work together. We applaud GosuGamers for banning all TSL abusers from their events for six months. But it is not enough for just two sites to take a stand against cheating. There should be zero tolerance for cheating from anyone in our community.
A tournament organizer or site administrator who does not take similar action against these players is supporting cheating in their tournament. A clan or national team that does not remove these players from their lineup is sending a message that their clan or country finds it acceptable to have cheaters on their team. This passive tolerance of cheating is not acceptable, and TeamLiquid will not advertise clans, teams, or events that continue to disrespect this game.
We hope that by 2011, these players will work hard toward earning back the trust of the community and become honest competitors again. We also hope that our community as a whole will have a strong anti-cheating reputation.
Thank you to all the fans for their support and to the legitimate players of the PokerStrategy.com TSL for making our tournament possible. With these cheating incidents behind us, we can finally focus on the good parts of the TSL. Get ready for a great tournament!
TL events include TSL, Liquibition, TL: Attack!, Progamer Merchandise sales, SC2 related competitions, the PokerStrategy.com raffle, and any community run tournaments or special events.