40K: Sportsmanship & Competitive Gaming – An Uneasy Pair

BlackBlowFly here to talk about the best and worst of sportsmanship he’s seen in competitive 40K tourneys this last week!

Last weekend was the much awaited Las Vegas Open featured the largest ever 40k grand tournament in the world with 500 players and three days of competitive gaming to determine the best general going 8-0.

Our Better Angels

I watched many of the televised games on Twitch. Unfortunately I did not get to see the Glacial Geek versus Reaperspam but I did see one of the quarter final matches featuring Mark Wright playing pure Blood Angels versus Jared Friedman playing Chaos Soup. They both made some mistakes – it happens – but this was an amazing game to watch. The battle swung back and forth every turn, both players were true gentlemen throughout the entire match. It was absolutely the best televised match I’ve ever watched and a perfect end to the second day leading into the finals.

A Bad Apple

The next day a very unfortunate issue occurred in a semi final round between Reaperspam and an Imperial Death Star army. A lot of bad things happened due to the Eldar player:

Very long deployment eating up a lot of the clock.

Very long first turn eating up even more of the clock.

Finally – the shot heard round the world: the Death Star player was trying to play quickly to save time and deployed some assassins before completing his movement phase. The Reaperspam player then informed him that his movement phase was over since deep strikes typically occur at the end of the movement phase. The Death Star player was the perfect gentleman and really did not argue accepting the Eldar player’s decree. This pretty much decided the game with Reaperspam advancing to the final round. Had the Death Star player been able to complete his movement phase there was a good chance he could have won. It should be noted both players discussed it amonst themselves prior to the start of the game and said they wanted to play more by intent rather than RAW.

What Goes Around…

The final round was Reaperspam versus Reaperspam featuring almost identical lists – a dreaded mirror match. The Eldar player to advance from the semi final versus Death Star had pretty much copied the list of the other Reaperspam player. As fortune or karma would turn out, the Reaperspam player to beat Death Star in the semi-finals made a very similar mistake to the one he jumped on the previous day. It cost him the game, yet he vehemently complained prior to finally accepting his fate.

It should be noted that a judge was assigned to the table during the final round to monitor the clock and observe the game. It was stated that a player exceeding 20 minutes per turn would first receive a warning… a third warning could result in ejection.

As a viewer watching these two games, the final day was a major disappointment, especially compared to the absolutely fantastic quarter final match that ended day 2. I think most people want to watch exciting games decided by great tactics and some luck. Watching two games in a row decided by rules lawyering was not entertaining with the exception of the abusive Reaperspam player getting a dose of his own medicine. Unsportsmanlike behavior like this streamed live to the world does not put the hobby or the competitive community in a positive light.

Now here is the thing – I am sure Reaperspam will be nerfed just like Ravenspam was at the beginning of 8th edition but there is no guarantee there is any incentive given for players not to abide by good sportsmanship if they really think they can win.

~Do you think something should be done to punish this type of behavior?


  • Legitimancer

    Has this been posted before? I’m getting crazy dejavu.

  • YetAnotherFacelessMan

    Tournaments are cancerous, the death of the hobby, and basically legalized gambling dens. My kitchen table on the other hand is a pristine place that is never compared hyperbolically to anything.

    Seriously though, I never know what to say to these sorts of stories apart from “Ok.” I’ll do my best not to do any of those bad things in any game I play. Thank you for reminding me that there are bad players in the tournament scene.

  • PiotrekEtoo

    Good sportsmanship is not whinning about loosing when not adhering to the rules. Imo, if one makes a mistake on a competitive level it is not unsportsman to dissalow them to undo the move. But it should be the case everytime, not just for one of the players.
    I’m not tryimg to say that you should forget about the rules during friendly games, but WAAC during a friendly game IS bad sportsmanship.

    • NagaBaboon

      He didn’t actually need to take back the move, it would have had no impact on the rest of the game and the point is the intent of the rule regarding timing of deepstrikes is to prevent you from moving, not make you forget to take your movement phase and they had agreed to play for intent.

      In the next game that the guy in question lost, he forgot to declare his run and shoot strategem when he advanced so when it came to the shooting phase he couldn’t fire, his opponent said it was obvious what he meant to do and normally he’d let him but after what he’d done in the previous game he wasn’t gonna let it pass.

      The guy had been playing intent all tournament and he’d been let off harmless timing errors but as soon as he got faced with his opponent making one he slammed down the rulebook which is pretty unsportmanlike.

      There isn’t a TO at every table so a lot of the decisions like this are down to the players to agree on, either that or everyone stands around waiting for someone who’s free to come and ‘preside’ over the decision which is impractical. What your saying might seem reasonable in theory but in the real world it’s a crap game to watch, a crap way to win, a crap way to lose and also not very practical with the current structure of tournaments.

      • PiotrekEtoo

        Ofc you are right – it is all in theory, and I personally let my opponents do some actions “out of the right order” just to speed up the game or even let them undo some mistakes. On the other hand, when you go to the tournament you want to win (not at all cost, but you certainly don’t want to loose) and you want to play fair and adhere to all rules. When one side makes a mistake the other side wins – the one who made less mistakes (tactical or regarding rules, forgeting etc.) should be the winner.

      • You’d think they would have a judge on hand for all the streamed games.

      • Walter Vining


    • I have grave concerns about the introduction of large cash prizes into the 40K competitive scene.

      Unless very carefully regulated and controled – this usually will attract unwanted people and behavior.

      Magic the Gathering has large cash prizes, but their events are high regulated BY THE MANUFACTURER and all people involved the events are rigorously screened.

      There just isn’t that kind of accountability in the current 40K community. I think this is asking for trouble.

      • Walter Vining

        This as well^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      • Bri B

        Huge cash prizes in a game that, at its core, isn’t designed for competitive play.

        Highly unregulated event. Poor/non-existent review process when things go bad.

        Sure, let’s do it!

  • zeno666

    I didn’t watch any of the games.
    I’ve heard stories about someone helping his opponent deploy his models via the webway portal stradegem. And then calling the judge on it (its supposed to be done at the end of the movement phase).
    Is this true?

    • Walter Vining

      that’s what essentially happened in the semi-final game but with imperial deploying an assassin

      • zeno666

        Ouch. Did he get disqualified for it?

        • Walter Vining

          nope. he went on the to the finals and lost there.

          • zeno666

            Glad to hear that he didn’t get DQ’ed for it.

  • NNextremNN

    Considering that any major sport has some kind of court and they often come to play with international sport events I don’t think this is unusual. Rules are rules and on tournaments they should be followed. It’s something else in a casual, friendly or learning environment. Also reaperspam guy being a bad looser has nothing to do with rules.That’s a separate thing.

  • Senexis

    500 players, that’s enormous. Imagine how good you’d have to be to get into the top eight of that bunch? How competitive? Imagine what you’d learn from playing against people of that calibre?

    I guess for some it must take everything you have to get there, every bit of focus and perhaps things like sportsmanship are a luxury?

    I wouldn’t know. I’m typically in the bottom two-thirds (every now and then I get lucky and make the top ten) and sportsmanship is easy when you’re playing with just folks.

  • Nyyppä

    Yeah, I get to experience the “reaper player” every once in a while. What amazes me is that, surely enough, these players tend to not be as strict with themselves. The good thing here is that this teaches me to be precise with what I do instead of doing what feels natural (imo the timing of deep strikes is meaningless as long as it happens during the movement phase) and to be strict with them too, though only if they are that with me.

  • euansmith

    Though he wasn’t involved in this tournament, I’ve enjoyed watching games posted by Ash Baker from Guerrilla Miniature Games. He keeps on reminding his opponents of anything they appear to have overlooked in their turn. That is good sportsmanship in my book; working with your opponent to produce the best game you can between you. I think that, when is comes down to it, it is still a game of toy soldiers after all.

    • Bakvrad

      Also: winning those games, are the most satisfying ^^

      • LankTank

        But reminding your opponent what they have forgotten and then still crush them shows a true master of the game. Stealing the rug out under them on a technicality you have yourself employed cannot be satisfying as you know you are a weak player relying on lawyering

        • Bakvrad

          Exactly this 🙂

    • Ash is cool.

    • marxlives

      True, Ash is a pretty good example of how to play games with other people, even when you are more experienced than them.

  • Sad that a “TFG” made it to the finals in this tournament.


    The tournament scene from 1998 – 2007 (when I was active) the top tier players were also not very sporting during the game. But rules mastery and such is as vital to winning tournaments as knowing which broken build to bring.

    I made it to the top 10 on a few occassions at the old GW GTs and I will admit I was a rules lawyering TFG as well to get those spots and I’m not proud of that behavior.

  • Simon Chatterley

    “Reaperspam guy”…lols…I love how we aren’t using names but everyone knows who he is.

    Best bit of the karmic comeuppance was when he was called on not using the stratagem in the final and Nick said “I don’t like to win this way but you did last game” and he said “no, he forgot his movement phase”

    No he didn’t, his intentions were clear, He was trying to speed a game up you were deliberately slow playing…you will always be remembered as “that guy”.

    The whole hall knew what had gone down so quickly as well…his applause for coming 2nd was very muted compared to everyone else

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    If you were playing for a large cash prize.
    It might be understandable to cheat, but it must be done in a way that you would never be found out.

    I would consider the ability to successfully cheat in a high level competitive event its own skill.

    • I consider the ability to cheat simply scum. This is exactly what the tournament community does NOT need.

      • Exactly Aticus.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        could you explain why you think this?

        I strongly believe that in high stakes tourney environments, cheating (and not getting caught) requires all the skills necessary to win, and is very much in the spirit of the setting.

        • Why do I think that cheating at a game is scum?

          I think in 40 years of living that this is the first time someone has ever asked me why I think cheating is scum or wrong.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers


            But I think its worth discussing

            Is it just a gut instinct, or is there a logical reason why its not ethical?

            For clarification I am only talking about events with large cash prizes and very high skill levels.

          • I think that if someone has to resort to cheating to win that they definitely are lacking in the high skill level category.

            For a philosophical discussion on cheaters and ethics, google can provide all kinds of discussions on the topic.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            40k tournaments are essentially a chance based game, where you try to play and strategise in such a way to stack the odds in your favour, hopefully doing it in such a way to beat your opponent and claim a prize.

            In what way does cheating differ from this? To pull of high level cheating, it would require a deep knowledge of the game, intelligence and a strategy. The purpose would be to stack the odds in your favour.

            A person lacking these skills would be likely to be caught.

          • I’ll chime in and say that one of the most important things these big events do is put our best foot forward to the wider community and world.

            Top games get streamed and provide an easy window into our community and hobby for new people. It’s exciting and is a great gateway for newcomers.

            The last thing we want to do it have poor sportsmanship, and cheating at top tables.

            It makes us all look like a bunch of unorganized jerk losers, who will do anything to get cash prizes.

            Think about what you would think of Football, or Soccer, or even major Video-game events if major games had similar behavior beamed out to the world. It would be catastrophic to the sport in question.

            By cleaning up our own act and pushing out bad behavior and players, we only help ourselves.

          • Yessir that is exactly my point. Bad sportsmanship and cheating was a bit rampant when I was a tourney player. I can’t speak for how it is today but I’ve heard enough about the LVO last week to keep me in narrative land.

            The community definitely needs to take care of its own trash and not tolerate this kind of behavior.

        • Geronimo32509

          “and is very much in the spirit of the setting”

          What on earth are you talking about? I keep seeing you say this and have no idea as to the logic you’re using to arrive at this conclusion. The tournament is a series of 40k games. 40k games have rules. The tournament uses those rules.

          Cheating is by very definition the breaking of said rules. So someone not following the rules in a setting where everyone is using those rules is “very much in the spirit of the setting”?

          Obviously not.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            When playing high level tournaments with cash prizes, you are essentially gambling.

            You are trying to stack the odds in your favour, and play and plan in such a way that you are more likely to win games than your opponent.

            Playing with units that are over powered or exploiting rule loop holes to your advantage are common strategies. Though they fall inside the legal rules, they might not be what the designers intended.

            Cheating would be similar to this.

          • Geronimo32509

            “You are trying to stack the odds in your favour, and play and plan in such a way that you are more likely to win games than your opponent.”

            Which is allowed by the rules.

            “Playing with units that are over powered or exploiting rule loop holes to your advantage are common strategies.”

            Which is allowed by the rules.

            “Cheating would be similar to this.”

            Which is not allowed by the rules. That’s why they are, in fact, not similar. If you can find a place in the 40k rules or the Tournament rules that says that cheating is allowed, then they would be similar.
            I’m not familiar with any such passage.
            If you are, feel free to leave a page reference. You’re trying to turn this into a complicated subject. It isn’t.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Obviously cheating is not playing by the rules. That is what it means.

            What is your point?

          • Geronimo32509

            That it is then therefore not in the spirit of a setting where everyone has agreed to play by those rules, which was your original claim…

            I’m now positive you’re trolling, so have a good one.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Would you agree that a high level tournament winner would require an in depth knowledge of the games systems, skill, strategy and planning?

            Cheating (and not getting caught) at a high level tournament would also require an in depth knowledge of the games systems, skill, strategy and planning.

            The aim of the tournament is to stack the odds in your favour so you can win money. Cheating would fit into this.

          • “High level cheating” or any other colorful adjective attached to it still cheating and clearly not allowed in any game – 40K or otherwise.

            By it’s nature cheating undermines rules which are the structure that separates games from play.

            So stop the idiotic trolling to justify cheating and move along. The adults are talking.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            So this is why I argue that it is important that you do it in such a way that you would not probably be caught.

            I do not think it is ethical if you are caught.

          • Interesting moral compass you have there.

            “Your Honor, I think that murder is unethical if you get caught.”

            Boy I can imagine the line of people lining up to play you.

            Also, STRIKE 2.

            This is your last chance to show the community you are a learning organism and not a Troll on a suicide-run. Move along to other topics.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I think conflating murder with cheating at a warhammer tournament is out of order.

            I think that to imply that I would ever think that murder would be acceptable is incredibly offensive, and that as a moderator you should apologise.

          • Koonitz
          • Haha you kill me.

          • Learning Organism FAIL


          • Koonitz

            I’ll miss the entertainment, this Friday afternoon. O7

          • Valeli

            While I’m still sure you’re trolling… just for giggle, I suggest you go to a fancy casino and try cheating at whatever game there.

            See how they respond.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            the idea is to do it in such a way not to get caught.

            I think it is unethical if you are caught.

          • Sebastien Bazinet

            Do you work for the russian olympic committee by any chance?

          • BS

          • LankTank

            Sweet. Next time we game I’ll just smash your model, call the TO over and say you are trying to play with broken models and have it pulled off the table.
            Very much in the “spirit of the setting”

          • Bri B

            ffs, it’s not gambling. You undermine any argument you’re trying to make when you say that.

    • Kendo Russ

      I am kind of shocked someone would write this. Shame on you

    • Kendo Russ

      You are being ironic right?

    • Very hard to do on a streamed game.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        I agree.

        That is why I am more sympathetic to cheaters at high level/high stakes games.

        It requires a lot of intelligence, planning, skill and strategy to pull it off and not be caught as well as an in depth knowledge of the game.

        These are all necessary to win the tournament and are in the spirit of the setting.

        • Koonitz

          I will not lie, you are right that it takes a great deal of skill to be able to cheat and not get caught.

          I am absolutely confident that you are WRONG that it is in the spirit of the setting. I am equally confident that every major tournament circuit organizer will confirm that.

          It is difficult to catch, and even more difficult to stop, but that doesn’t mean they don’t try, nor does it mean they desire or encourage that attitude.

          To not only allow, but encourage, cheating, “as long as you don’t get caught”, is a cancerous attitude to have. One that will utterly destroy your tournament organization.

          No one but the bare minimum WAAC players will want to even bother to attend, if that’s the case.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I completely agree tourney organises should not encourage cheating.

            This does not mean that a entrant should be held to the same standard.

          • Koonitz

            Would you say the same thing holds true outside the tournament? Outside the hobby? This society has laws. Those laws can be bent or broken for benefit or profit and, make no mistake, they are, on a regular basis.

            Is it in the spirit of the setting “of real life” to do so?

            You, and criminals, would agree. Until they get caught.

            No reasonable person would agree that it is in the spirit of our society to break the law for personal benefit or profit.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I am only applying this to very high skill tournaments with cash prizes.

            In any other circumstance I feel that it would not be ethical.

            I think this is because the tournament setting is essentially gambling, where you are trying to stack the odds in your favour. If you are able to cheat, and not get caught, you are showing that you have the same skills required to win, if not more.

          • Koonitz

            Good luck.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Would you agree with me that cheating does happen at these tournaments?

          • Koonitz

            I repeat, good luck.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I’m more of a narrative gamer?

          • What should be the punishment if caught ?

          • Walter Vining

            at least a 1 year ban from ALL competitive events, if not a life time ban.

          • Really? So if I slipped you a sedative in your drink during the tourney and had you disqualified for slow play (because you kept falling asleep and not finishing your turn) that would be okay with you?

            Cheating is NOT okay if you don’t get caught. I shudder to think how bad your moral compass is, and would not want to think how you treat people you date/marry.

            I have played in tournaments against people who did all levels of cheating from dodgy dice (the I am going to use my lucky dice for this roll) to having their friends ‘accidentally’ look at all my yet to be used cards/powers (from the edition where that was a thing) to having them suddenly declare that the troops that they initially said were in their rhino were actually held in reserve when I obliterated the aforementioned rhino. Actually all those happened in one tournament game against someone who became well known for cheating in the local community. To counter my complaints against them of cheating to the tournament organiser, they complained my army was illegal (it was almost a match to theirs) as they had decided no one else should be allowed to have a similar list to them, and that I was using invalid models (most of my army was my classic RTB01 marines as I wanted to bring something different to gain a few extra points for army uniqueness). Suffice to say it put me off the local tournament scene for quite a few years having to go through all that crap.

            I did end up ranking second in that tournament, only being knocked down from first as I was tied to the winner and they used VPs in games to determine the winner and the other player had faced a tyranid meat grinder battle where they had to survive the game and the tyranids could recycle units or similar. (from the first tyranid codex rules) so they had literally 60 more VPs than I did as the disqualification of my opponent gave me zero VPs for their game even though I got the tournament points for the win.

          • Exactly

    • Valeli

      You have to be trolling.

    • Walter Vining

      its NEVER understandable or ACCEPTABLE to cheat

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        In the environment and conditions I have outlined.

        Could you give me a reason to support your statement?

        • I know of a local gangster organised Poker game that I would love for you to try cheating in. Just hope you don’t get caught as they would love to take some of your fingers to teach you a lesson and to make sure others don’t cheat in their games. And I don’t mean just break the bones. I do mean take. It isn’t easy to play cards with no thumbs…

          Just because you think cheating to win when there is prize money doesn’t make it any more ‘right’ than at any other time. You are not only ‘stacking the odds in your favour’ you are actively breaking the rules of the game to harm the opponents chances in the game. Using loaded dice in Las Vegas for example will get you a lifetime ban from the casinos there and anywhere else that has access to their banned player database. (unless it is run by gangsters and then you will get a beating AND be banned for life)

  • Drpx

    Truly a group of fine chaps who’d only better any store they’d play at.

  • Angus MacKenzie

    I’m rarely one to defend the importance of tournament gaming as I think my voice is not needed. Its own importance is already shouted to the heavens and assumed by enough people as it is.

    However, I do think tournament gaming has a legitimate and unique place as the most visible face of our hobby to the rest of the world. Spoken as someone who is not tournament player, I found the behavior and presentation of the players and armies in that final match disgraceful and insulting. It was shameful not only to the players themselves, the LVO, and the GW reps but to all tabletop hobbyists, competitive or not.

    Even if you never play in a high level tournament, you now have to accept what these two gamers showed to the world about your hobby. That it is dominated by cutthroat individuals willing to throw practice, hard work, love of the game, and common decency in the wood chipper in the name of a win. That, for now, is the face that Warhammer presents to the world. Its ugly, nasty, and insultingly selfish.

    I hope the LVO, other major tournaments, and the community at large will take this opportunity to reflect on the damage that this kind of behavior does to game and its players. Its not limited to one ruined game with “that guy”. It drives away new players, drives out experienced players, and sullies the reputation of the hobby in its entirety.

    • Personally I’d like to see a one year ban.

      • LankTank

        Why not a biggest w@nk award at the show? It’s not a prize that is always given out but if there is a terrible abuse like this, streamed internationally, give that guy an award for the whole world to see.
        Then slap a point deduction for the following year on the player who still holds the award

      • Walter Vining

        a one year ban SHOULD in place for extreme unsportsmanlike play. Another thought that I had is a gateway score for players to be able to get into events, something tracked across other tourneys. just a simple up/down like ITC already does, but at a certain point your not allowed to enter. Scores would track for 6 months and fall off after that.

    • GreyPanthers

      It’s ok, the Frontline Gaming guys put an article on their page explaining that tony is a nice guy and that this is an isolated incident. Nothing to see here. Move along….

      Seriously though, having attended the 2018 LVO, it was pretty apparent that behavior like what was observed on stream was not isolated to just those couple of games. It was pretty rampant in the GT. If I were to do it again i’d probably go for the more casual events. No wonder they sold out so quick.

      • Koonitz

        Without checks, balances and punishments, this behavior will only be encouraged. I’ve long since ceased going to any non-local tournament, and am pretty selective on the local ones, and this is one of the biggest reasons why. I’ve also seriously limited my player-base, for the same reason.

        Competitive players and competitive natures are painfully common. This person may have to deal with the stigma, yes, but his attitude got him 2nd place at the LVO with zero official ramifications for his proven actions and attitude. If you think for a moment that it’s not going to encourage others to do the exact same thing, you’re wrong.

        Now, my opinion may not matter much, as I already had little to no interest in traveling great distances for a tournament (as I’ve already stated in my comment above), but if anyone asks why, this is going to be one of my prime examples.

        The LVO crew can take that as they wish.

      • Walter Vining

        On a FB page that im on, one of the FLG staff saw nothing wrong with the behavior that happened in the semi final game

        • Which one ?

          • Walter Vining

            ITC TO page

          • Not exactly the most unbiased audience over there…

          • Wow !

          • Walter Vining

            I went back and re-read things, allow me to be more specific and correct my statement.
            He doesn’t see anything wrong with putting them on stream (reaper guy and death star guy). doesn’t think that reaper guy doing what he did hurt competitive gaming at all, rather that people who would say something to the effect of “this is why….” weren’t going to go ANYWAY.
            I apologize for my memory slipping.

          • That’s a shortsighted argument and a way to ensure you will limit future attendance.

            The real goal of streaming is to attract future attendees and make an event look like something attractive and well organized.

            Saying that streaming bad behavior isn’t bad for an event’s brand is wishful thinking.

            Sure the offended viewers “weren’t going to go ANYWAY”, and they certainly now have an incentive to avoid THAT SPECIFIC event.

            If they eventually decide to go to events in the future there are plenty of other big ones they can attend.

          • Simon Chatterley

            There was talk at the event that the Twitch clip where “reaperspam guy” or Tony to be specific called him on the movement phase was being suppressed by the organisers. I don’t know about that but people were saying every time it was posted up it was being deleted.

            However it’s out now and I can’t see how anyone can defend it. I know a few people who are nice guys when not gaming but if a games makes you be that guy then stop gaming. It’s not for you.

            I played 5 great games (had to call game 6 due to jet lag catching me up 🙁 ) and all my games were tough lists but nice people playing hard but fair. Not stropping, no cheating and no slow play. It’s a shame at the other end there was all the shenanigans going on and being broadcast. It’s does our hobby no good to see and hear that.

          • Walter Vining

            I think the main problem is the winner take all aspect of it. Soft scores SHOULD be a part of these in some small way. Even if its just a +1 or -1 to your points for sportsmanship score, and at a certain point you get a talking to from the TO/crew, and possible removal, or DQ from prizing.
            Top prize should go to over all Sports and battle score IMO.

          • GreyPanthers

            I think it’s important to point out that the first had a late start and the event ran 6-8 hours in length during the days of the event. It’s easy to skip over some things in a game, especially when you an opponent pushing the pace so quickly. Had tony simply helped him set up the models then told him to move the rest of his army it would have been a moot point. He didn’t though and then used that blunder to secure a win. It’s also critical to point out that tony acknowledge and apologized for his manipulative tactics.

          • Simon Chatterley

            The first day was a mess. Best coast pairings app clearly couldn’t take 500 of us hitting go at the same time. But that was day 1. These events were day 3 when it was working fine.

            Of course Tony said sorry after. We only ever apologise with the benefit of hindsight but the fact it happened tells me that it would happen again.

            We all miss stuff and I have a 1 mulligan rule where if you mess up you are allowed to do over. People forgetting to bring down a unit for example. Sure, you missed it, bring it on.

            Sportsmanship is built into our personalities. Some people clearly have more of it than others.

  • nurglitch

    It would be nice if the other comes with good sportsmanship were emphasized, instead of a single instance of turpitude being wrung dry.

    • LankTank

      Tbf in the article he gave an example of a great game, and then to contrast a poor game

  • Ben Raven

    This is exactly what 40k needs and what tournament play should be about.(Hear me out) It is an environment unlike anything you will see during casual play, especially when you put thousands of dollars on the line. If you want casual gaming where the players barely know the rules and their armies and are always nice to each other, watch miniwargaming on youtube. If you want to watch 2 intense players who know every nuance of the game and every detail of their army, watch the LVO championships.

    I was VERY disappointed by what Tony did to Alex but the intensity of the moment made this feel like a REAL event. We want players who are intense and care about the game even to the point of being cutthroat and these moments are the result of the stress and scrutiny of the finals. This isn’t any different to what happens to players during other championship sporting events. How many times have you seen athletes act out inappropriately in the heat of the moment. Even in golf which is thought to be a standard for players demonstrating integrity and decorum has devolved under the stress of a championship.

    However, as to the BS that Tony pulled, I think the ITC has come a long way but I really think we need to start adopting a tournament system based on intent. Most championship players are good enough to make this determination and in the ETC team championships it would be almost laughable to think of this happening because of the self-governing nature of the event. The other members of your team would roast you if you tried to pull this crap and would vow to kick you off the team. Hopefully we can evolve the system to allow games to be won based on tactics and luck and not procedural errors.

    • Valeli

      I don’t think “not knowing the rules” is how i’d define casual gaming. I’d never proactively want a game where players weren’t good with the rules (exception: teaching someone new how to play).

      Intensity is good, in tournaments especially, but I’d say in more casual matches as well. When it comes at the cost of shenanigans like time wasting though, it’s just silly.

      In an i-go-you-go game actually designed for -intense- competition there /would/ be a rule against that sort of thing (shot clock/play clocks in basket ball and football, for instance).

      Because WH isn’t designed to be intentionally competitive on /that/ level, that sort of a rule isn’t in there. Maybe it should be? I don’t think it should /have/ to be though. Common sense (and courtesy) should prevail here. It’s sort of a sad statement on humanity that it doesn’t always.

  • Valeli

    I’ve become more interested in tournaments (though have yet to go to any) simply because there’s no longer anywhere around me at all to play. Taking a trip out to wherever for a few days to get some competitive games in seems like it could be fun…

    That said, some of the behavior being referenced here is just obnoxious to the point of toxicity. I don’t want to buy a plane ticket for competitive games, to get stuck with someone intentionally slowing the game down. That’s not a tactic.It’s being rude.

    I don’t think it’s accurate to talk about this as if it’s a tourney thing though. While time-wasting might be unique to that environment, a lot of the other stuff isn’t. As a kid at my flgs there would always be a few people completely skipping over intent (except, of course, when intent would benefit them ~.~).

    It’s a problem with people in general… (possibly) more exacerbated in this hobby than in some others for reasons i won’t try to guess at in this post.

    Whether on the national scene or in your flgs though, it’s not helping anyone. And if you’re the kind of guy who feels good about a win you were able to obtain by wasting away most of the game’s time limit intentionally… I feel sorry for you. And hope you can eventually out-grow that and mature some.

    • Walter Vining

      FWIW the number of people who do this are actually low. Mid tables are where the best games are, top tables if you happen to get there are the ones where some of the most cut throat people are. for those events that aren’t dictated by over all hobby score those there SOLELY to will win do so by most means necessary, its sad.

  • Valeli

    I just read that the other guy got given a spontaneous $5k sportsmanship “award” by someone associated with league of legends who was there, and then donated it all to a children’s hospital (while securing a matching $5k donation from his employer I think).

    Now that’s something that should have been in the story.

    It’s nice to hear about people genuinely acting well for once, and that’s way more “breaking news” than “40k player goes WAAC, Tune in at 10:00 for more details. “