Yesterday a cheating and disqualification incident at the ATC Tournament first broke. Today the TOs have issued the event’s official statement on the matter.
You can read the initial reporting from witnesses on the floor of the ATC 2018 Team tournament here. As former TOs ourselves, we stand by all the event organizers out there and wish to see tabletop gaming events continue to grow. We want to see events inviting more and more players into our communities, and keeping their events fun year after year for every attendee. We want to see every event taking strides to ensure all players from the youngest to the eldest compete on an even playing field.
Here is the complete and unedited statement from the ATC TOs. It has been released to the ATC Facebook page and in their Captains Council.
“July 16th, 2018
This press release is in regards to Team Happy being asked to leave this year’s ATC. Any article, podcast, blog, etc.that states otherwise is misinformed and inaccuratein their information and should be disregarded.
The ATC has clearly stated policies on our website and mission pack. It is our responsibilityto follow these guidelines in fairness to all players involved. The statements below reflect that we did just that. We also want to take this opportunity to say that it was made obvious to us this year that our slow play, some model policies and our penalty system are in need of a revision. Those revisions are already in the works and in future years will be much stricter.
What happened at the ATC 2018 event concerning Team Happy:
After Round 3 a player with an illegal model was brought to our attention.
According to our policies we issued the player in question a retroactive Round 1 warning and a current round 2 game loss. The model issue had been corrected after game 2 and was not used in round 3 so there was no need for any action in regards to that model in round 3.
As to the question of “Why was a specific points penalty/loss not announced immediately?” Our response is that we had an event already running late and a room full of players who continued to bombard uswith their concerns, giving us no chance to think it through clearly. We needed and wanted to make sure that we had the time and clarity to make the right penalty that would have an actual impact on the team penalized and we knew that anything less than a complete removal of the team (at that time) was not going to affect the next round pairings, so we kept the event moving and applied the penalty during rd 3 once we had a few mins to take action.
Also, duringround 3 another player on the team had an issuewith his opponent which led to a situation with our head judge. Both players were running on high emotions and attitudes were in poor form. The original rumor regarding what had actually happened was found to be false and grossly over-exaggerated on the floor. The truth of the matter was confirmed by our head judge. The over exaggerationthat was sweeping the room was that the player had told our head judge to go F*** himself, when what was truly said was “I’m not going to do that” (in regards to the judge’s suggestion to resolve the controversial game issue at hand). The issue was resolved by the players once the TO’s came on the scene and as per our policy, a warning was issued to the player (first warning to that player) and team captain. We want to be clear that had the player actually said that to any of our staff, they would have been immediately ejected and banned from the event. We have a zero tolerance policy for such behavior and we immediately went into a 30 minute conversation with the team captain with full intention of removing the player from our event. Once the truth was discovered, the warning was issued instead of player removal.
During the lunch break (after game 3) we had a very long meeting with the team captain, Tony. An agreement (initiated by the captain) was made that if there were any other issues with anyone on the team, thatthe team would withdraw from the event. We did not disclose this agreement to the rest of the event players at that time but promised the other captains that we would reveal our decision and intentions in their entiretyat the end of the event (which we have just done).
As another layer of enforcement and proactivity, we also posted our head judge as a permanent judge at the team’s tablesfor the rest of their event.
After round 4 there were questions of slow play brought against the team.
This was reviewed and checked against our slow play policies/guidelines.
After review, all game lengths had met our requirements (minimum 4 turns completed), there was no pattern of games not meetingthe required number of rounds and our judges had not seen proof of any”slow play tactics” during the round.Again, we understand that our slow play policy is in need of revision.
After round 5 there was a modelconversioninfraction brought to our attention.
We addressed the issue and ultimately the team was asked to leave our event, with no games played in the final round.
The teamdid not argue to try and stay in the event, they were courteous to take our request and in order to not create more delays, they waited until the final round was underway to come and discuss all of the details. The team left after a very reasonable and respectful conversation with our staff and TO’sand there were no confrontations of any kind.
We want the community to know that we do not take these situations lightly. What we do at the ATC sets a precedent and a certain standard. A decision like this is no small thing,and no TO ever wantsto have to eject someone from their event, let alone five players. We always want to make our decisions with a clear head, in accordance with our policies and guidelines, with integrity and fairness to all players involved. We also want to make it very clear that mob mentality and threats of not coming back to our event were absolutely not a factor in our decision, in fact they hindered us from making the decision sooner as it added an entire other layer of issues to our already full plate. We understand that players were upset;they had every right to be, especially if what was being said around the room was true.We were extremely upset as well and if the situation was what it had been rumored, then we would have removed players immediately, but by taking the time to go to every player directly involved on both sides and getting the facts, and then taking it all and putting it all together, we were able to do our job correctly, clearly and fairly, without anger and influence from outside sources.
In the end, we learn every year what we could have done better, where we failed and where we excelled, we listen to our players input and we adjust from there.
That’s the best we can do, for you, for us and for the community.
We are ready to move forward to better days, higher player standards and the best ATC event ever in 2019 and we hope that you will move forward with us!
– Shane, Chris and the ATC staff “
~ There you go.