The New Zealand World Cyber Games National Qualifier organisers, HiTech Network, have posted a message to their site saying that the winners of the Counter-Strike competition may be disqualified from competing in Korea in the World Cyber Games Grand Final.
The World Cyber Games is the largest international gaming event, with a total prize pool of US$300,000. Calling itself the "Cyber Olympics", over 450 participants from about 37 countries are expected to attend the Grand Final in Seoul, Korea, in December.
The WCG NZ Counter-Strike qualifier, which was held over the weekend of 3rd and 4th November across several gaming cafes in Auckland, saw six of New Zealand's top CS clans compete to qualify for entry to the international event.
Although clan "Wave ~" beat "[r] Reality" in the preliminaries, Reality had the chance to fight Wave again in the final due to the double-elimination nature of the qualifier. Reality went on to win the final, qualifying them as NZ's top clan and giving them the opportunity to compete in Korea.
The controversy arises here, as Reality substituted a player for the final match. Due to insufficient PCs being available at the venues, the qualifier matches dragged on longer than expected, and the final match was not played until after 10 p.m. on Sunday night.
By this time, Reality player John Takumi ("John'a") had to catch a train back to Wellington to be able to make it to work on Monday, says team-mate Josh Burtenshaw ("Slaughter"), leaving the team a player down. After some discussion, HiTech Network officials agreed to allow Reality to substitute player Charlie Sun ("sula"). Sula had previously competed in the qualifier with clan "E", which did not make it to the final.
The message on HiTech Network's site claims that a "certain player" contacted WCG Korea directly about the issue, and Reality now "faces disqualification". If the team is disqualified, New Zealand will not be represented in the Counter-Strike tournament at the World Cyber Games.
Furthermore, rumours abound that due to this debacle the winners of the New Zealand WCG Unreal Tournament and Quake III Arena qualifiers, "eVeNfLoW" and "d2d.Mirage" respectively, may be disqualified as well, meaning that New Zealand would not be represented at the World Cyber Games at all.
HiTech Network could not be reached for comment before publication.