Time really flies - we have already reached the Semifinals of the Blizzard Cup. We wish to conclude a great year of StarCraft II with the Blizzard Cup and hope everyone was able to enjoy some of the great matches we've had so far.
There seems to be great confusion regarding an incident involving NaNiWa that took place on the second day of Blizzard Cup. We would like to clarify this matter and hereby announce our official stance towards the incident.
1. GSL's stance toward the NaNiWa incident
Not only progamers, but professional athletes in every sports prove and showcase their skill through the game and by doing so entertain their fans. Since professional athletes do this for a living, competing in tournaments is a means to make money in order to sustain themselves. While money is an essential factor in a professional athlete’s life, it is the sincere competitive spirit that enables a mere athlete to become a professional athlete. This spirit entails the will to improve, work hard and try one's best no matter what. It also encompasses a mutual respect between those who share the title of professional athlete, which consequently leads to a certain code of professional conduct. It is this underlying competitive spirit, which goes beyond and is unrelated to any amount of prize money, of every professional athlete that touches and entertains many fans. We believe that the reason why so many people are such avid fans of baseball, soccer or e-sports has next to nothing to do with money. Korean e-sports fans generally share this understanding of the term 'professional athlete’ or in this case 'progamer', and might be less likely to tolerate a deviation from these core values compared to overseas communities.
A lot of people share the opinion that NaNiWa has not broken any rules and should therefore not receive any punishment.
It is true that NaNiWa has not taken actions that break any explicit rules, like for example using a cheat to gain an unfair advantage. NaNiWa has however purposefully not tried his best and shown this in a disrespectful manner. This was not only disappointing for his opponent NesTea and the GSL, but also for the many fans who had anticipated a great match. This behavior does not match with the definition of a progamer as laid out in the paragraph above.
We do however not doubt the sincerity of NaNiWa's competitive spirit. NaNiWa has come the long way to Korea just to compete in the GSL after all. We know very well how hard it is and the determination it takes to come to a foreign country and take the challenge to compete.
We want to make clear that NaNiWa will not be banned from the GSL for his actions. We will however revoke his candidacy for a Code S seed, which means that he will have to requalify for the GSL.
2. Doesn't that mean that the GSL is depriving NaNiWa of a Code S seed that he rightfully earned?
It seems like a lot of people have been under the impression that NaNiWa has received a Code S seed for taking 2nd place at MLG Providence. The truth however is that NaNiWa has received the right to compete in the Blizzard Cup for his 2nd place achievement at MLG Providence.
We have introduced our new format for the 2012 GSL Tour a while ago, which includes changes to the way international seeds are being given out. Since we have not explained these changes to the seeds in detail yet, this misunderstanding seems to have arisen.
In 2012 the GSL will have 2 Code S sponsor seeds. These seeds will be determined by outstanding results in international tournaments. In 2011 the GSL schedule luckily matched very well with MLG's schedule. For this reason we were able to introduce a system that allowed high-placing players at MLG to compete in the following GSL season in a regular manner. In 2012 we will again do our best to provide a schedule that matches well with MLG and other international leagues. As the GSL format has changed and a season now lasts for significantly longer, it will this time however not be possible to perfectly match our schedule with MLG's. Apart from that we would also like to consider players of other remarkable tournaments and have therefore introduced this change to our international seeding system.
NaNiWa has been considered as one of the players to receive a Code S seed for the 2012 GSL Season 1 as a part of the this new seeding system due to his recent impressive results. Other players under consideration were IdrA (MLG Orlando 4th, IEM Guangzhou) and Sen (Blizzcon Battle.net Invitational 3rd) among others. During this phase of consideration aforementioned incident happened, which led us to the decision to remove NaNiWa from the top of the list of considered players. This is not to be seen as a direct punishment resulting from the incident, the incident did however understandably have an influence on NaNiWa's position on the list of candidates.
What we would like to ask from all of the GSL fans is to not simply see this incident as just a simple meaningless single game between NaNiWa and NesTea. The act of purposefully losing a match, whatever the underlying reasons may be, does always also have a psychological effect on the other players. By tolerating such behavior, purposefully losing might be deemed as a legitimate action and we might see more of such matches in the future, which is something that surely neither the fans nor the players would appreciate.
Both Korean as well as international fans are important to us. We hope that no one gets the wrong picture and believes that NaNiWa is being treated disadvantageously because he is a foreigner. On the contrary, if a Korean had been involved in a similar incident, it is possible that a much harsher reaction would have followed. It is also very likely that the player's team would have taken firm action before the GSL could have even reacted to it.
The GSL is a tournament that is open for fans and players from all over the world. We are lucky to live in the internet era, which allows us to easily connect and share our passions. At the same time, we have to live with the time difference and can experience an interesting mix but sometimes also clash of cultures. We would be very happy to be able to always satisfy everyone, but unfortunately that is not realistically possible. We would like everyone to know that we tried to make a fair decision to the best of our ability in this unfortunate situation.
We promise that we will work hard to provide tournament formats that will lead players to do their best in every match and to create a GSL that will allow fans to enjoy and experience the competition as something that has more to it than just professionals trying to make a living.
We wish NaNiWa all the best for his future endeavors as a progamer.
Original post: http://www.gomtv.net/forum/view.gom?topicid=212470&cid=0&kind=8