The Resurgence management, together and in representation of our player Samuel "Sequinox" Chan, have proceeded to file an official complaint to the Blizzard Hearthstone Esports Team on the unfair decision for a rematch of the first game of the HCT Fall APAC Playoffs top 4 decider match between Sequinox and Akumaker.
We question the motivation and procedures set in place for the decision of invalidating the results of the first game and proceeding with a complete rematch after Sequinox leads 1 - 0 in the series.
The decision made by the lead admins were based on the sole findings by the Australia on-site admin (Akumaker's location) that caster audio could have been heard by Akumaker. The Taiwan on-site admin (Sequinox's location) were not asked to verify if the caster audio could have been heard by Sequinox.
Even after the ruling was given, the Taiwan on-site admin proceeded to perform another round of checks on the settings and set up for Sequinox of which no foul play was discovered and he was left in the exact same setting and set up.
Given that Sequinox won the first game, the caster audio that could have been heard by Akumaker did not result in an unfair advantage as claimed by Blizzard's official statement.
We believe that unless it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt by the Taiwan on-site admin that caster audio was heard by Sequinox and that he had won the game through unfair advantage, the decision on the rematch is illogical and unwarranted.
We await Blizzard to address our complaint with an official reply and if there will be any changes made to the protocols for the assessment of unfair advantages gained for a tournament that has multiple sites such as the regional season playoff.
As of writing this official statement, Blizzard has responded that they have received the email and indicated that they will be getting back to us.
More information on the incident below:
Over the course of the last weekend, our players Samuel "Sequinox" Chan and Toh "katsucurry" Jin Shuen competed in Taiwan for the Hearthstone Championship Tour Fall Asia Pacific Playoffs where top 64 players from the Fall season played for the 4 spots at the HCT Fall Seasonal Championship and the chance to qualify for the 2018 HCT World Championship.
Sequinox managed to make it up til the final round where he had to play a decider match against Akumaker. Game 1 of the Best of 5 was won by Sequinox only to be invalidated due to a "technical error" and a rematch was decided, leading to Akumaker winning game 1 and then the entire series.
The "technical error" in question, (as reported by the Australia on-site admin where Akumaker was competing at) was that live commentary could be heard through Akumaker's headset. Based on this, the Australia on-site admin assumed that there might be a chance that similar commentary might be playing through Sequinox's headset, giving him an unfair advantage, and reported this to the lead admins at Blizzard HQ. (Note: Akumaker was competing in Zen Gaming Lounge, Melbourne, Australia while Sequinox was competing in Blizzard E-Arena, Taipei, Taiwan)
The reason given for it not being reported until after the match was Akumaker was not wearing the headset during the match as he was playing his own music using his own earpieces and unaware of the entire situation. The Australia on-site admin was the one who discovered it halfway through the match.
In truth, there was no caster audio being played through Sequinox's headset. The Taiwan on-site admins was only informed of the lead admin's decision to invalidate the match without even being consulted upon. The admin present in the spectator slot (in game) issued the decision onto Sequinox via in game chat. Sequinox then proceeds to question the Taiwan on-site admin of the lead admin's decision.
The Taiwan on-site admin did not even have a chance to present their side of the facts and was told that there would be a rematch. There was no attempt at any point in time made by the lead admins to check through with the Taiwan on-site admin about the possibility of caster audio being played through to Sequinox. Even then, the Taiwan on-site admin proceeded to do another round of check and confirmed that there is no foul play involved. Sequinox is then left with exactly no change in any form of setting or set up on his side and he continued to play the games as per the same original set up.
Thus, the rematch ruling did not change anything on the side of Sequinox's set up and there was no need to invalidate the results of the game he had won.