Joined: 03 Jan 2017, 15:41
|(Ok. Unless I forgot something, I am done on the major parts. What I reported to you is true. I would love to share the records I kept on these conversations, but doing so would only deepen the wounds. There was no malice in my heart as I named names. I will defend these observations should we disagree. But as long as you don't troll, I promise it will be as good as the convo I had with Amil.)
I. GRIMREAPER IS THE NEW RAYNOR
II. TOURNEYS ARE BIGGER THAN A PERSON
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This community have been through so much the last two weeks. But nothing hit this small EU MA community the hardest than when one of it’s most respected member betrayed the trust of all.
MA works best when player did their best to win. He and Kontz got so out-played by Aya/Vincent in the first round, and by Crow/Fluffy in the second round, that he simply rage-quitted, before Game 3 of the Finale. And by the doing so, he up-ended the balance of the map and ruined the experience for everyone.
And this was the game format Grim wanted. In fact, a lot of things we implemented during this tourney happened to be the things Grim liked. He asked for Raynor ban and he got it .He favored the Best of 3 format, instead of single-elimination and he got it. He favored map position rotation for every game and he got it. And yet his team did not destroy Aya/Vincent early on in game 2 when they effectively locked down the top left corner with Ravens and Hunter Seekers.
Days before the event, Grim flagged many forum posts because they spoke badly of him. Yes, many were just hateful, but actions speak louder than words. Grm caused everyone to wait close to an hour to get things sorted out. Why he left, he didn’t say. But we can guess: Perhaps he could never admit that he lost to some new kids on the block.
And the thing is, Grim planned this part too. He asked Monty what happens if one team leaves mid way through the finale. What happens if two teams leave? How about three teams? When Monty said nothing could be gained from doing this, Grim cooly reply, “Interesting.”
We suspected he wanted to know if a protest could sway Monty toward removing a certain team. We never expected he was thinking of doing it for no other reason than hate.
Intentionally sabotage an event that everyone worked so hard to succeed is the most hateful act of all. What he did was no different than Raynor’s intentionally feeding another team to shape the outcome of EU-6.
Monty’s too heartbroken to write this. But if he did, I suspect he will recommend banning Grim from future events until some hosts willing to risk wasting their time again.
So good job, Grim. You're the new Raynor.
III. ONCE A YEAR IS TOO FEW
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- As many tourneys as we hosted/assisted collectively (about 10 or so), Monty and I have never seen a community so divisive, distrusting, and pessimistic at any time as this this. The toxicity between clans didn’t start last week, or even last year. It is a build-up from the days of MAfia and Nvy. It enforces tribalism and self-victimization so deep that we had to wait until Day 1 of the tourney for everyone to stop. This division prevents people to face up to the structural problems and come up with meaningful suggestions.
Take the bracket system itself. Many people read what Monty wrote as tentative and thought it was final. When Monty told them the setup was NOT final, some members insisted over and over that he overlooked their evidence. This forced Monty to tune them out, treating their concerns as pure noise, until a few days before the event. Only then, when passion cooled, would they agree that he was right all along, even though nothing else changed since.
This division and distrust also created the most mind-blowing back and forth this community ever registered. Teams un-signed their names with loudly, but ended up whispering in private chats, asking to be put back onto the list.
Raynor, of all, promised that he would resign if his presence in the tourney would force OoE to un-sign their names. When that happened, he switched tunes and started a new argument that was even more ridiculous. He said he would behave and sit out of the next tourney if we let him back in, when in truth, Raynor “planned to uninstall” the game next month anyways because of life and work.
Some of you faulted us when we decided for the final time that Raynor can’t play. You told us that the forum and community had never seen such upheaval like this in years. You spoke with equal conviction that Raynor’s ban would destroy the event, that no one would show up, that it was better to walk away, to cancel, than to do what could amounted to an in-house premade for 4. And then, what’s the point for that when anyone can do it on any given weekend?
This episode strengthened our belief to do what’s right rather than what’s popular. We could take this tourney down to just 4 teams and called it a weekend warm up. We could do it with 8 teams, or 12, or 16, or 32. The point is: We believe we could deliver if people could just pause the hate and keep an open mind. And when did, we had the most active channel many had never seen.
In future events, it is better to see a tourney as an event bigger than yourself.
IV. ALL BUT FEW BELIEVED OUR CONVICTION
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- This game and this community is a bit older than six years old, with an average of one tourney a year. To make up for that, I’ve read that some clans got together and hosted league matches. Nuku told me about this some years back, when Nvy and Mafia went to war. One league now exists on a spreadsheet, with something like two dozen games. Having hosted some dozens of my own in the earlier years, I was pleased to hear about it but not yet immersed in it.
But turning something from a weekend get-together to a weekend festival requires a lot of patience and sympathy. During the Raynor’s ban discussion, I was deeply sympathetic to Raynor’s situation. Banning him also meant deciding Vincent’s fate. MA is a team game, banning one member can very much doom the other.
It was not an easy decision. God knows I talked to both Grim and Raynor in private, hoping they could reach the middle ground. Grim was too stubborn and Raynor was simply unreliable with the truth. But we had to decide against Raynor because of the evidence before us. We had every intention to be inclusive, and Monty did forgive Raynor many times over the US Tourney. But if we didn’t ban, Raynor would have cheated at least twice and pay ZERO for his acts. If you care about this game, or this community, or your self-respect, you should have stand up and joined us.
And if you thought we went too far against Raynor, you should know Monty and I went strongly against Grim’s paranoia. He pushed on us a theory that Raynor was playing Aya’s account. We looked at the screenshots he showed, we read up on his premises and his conclusions, but we never decided because there was no ACTUAL smoking gun. Yet he would continue to do this even to the night before the finale.
How is that not odd? Unless the fake Aya intentionally fed, referees can’t just disqualify him. And even if it was Raynor playing Aya’s account, and winning but not by cheating, is Grimreaper too embarrassed to admit that? Maybe it would be easier to accuse someone of cheating than to owe up to the fact you are no longer as good as you think you are.
And this is where our experience comes in. We watched US-4 thinking TBF_Ice’s great raven-DT-muta micro would win everything. Then in the finale this new start-up, “kids” really, by the name Starelf and friend, ended up winning against everyone else’s surprise.
EU-7 was great because the winners upset the expectation.
Events like this should happen more than just once a year. We think the more major events this community hosts, we less toxic the atmosphere becomes. When everyone decided to show up and have fun, anyone trying to ruin that experience will be banned the next time around.
The thing is, everyone has to want this, together. Unity happens on the day of the event. It should have been there earlier.
V. A WAY FORWARD
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- Throughout the planning process we’ve been told over and over that if it was not for Raynor, there would not be this tournament. So wrong.
If you could not see the problem of having someone hosting an event and also playing in that event, you haven’t watched sports or e-sports. Hosting a tourney requires an insane amount of time and dedication. You can’t train to be great and worry about how to get as many people to turn up as possible.
So we’re glad Raynor handed over the tourney when he did. We also wished after the ban Raynor would join us making this tourney better. (We did reach out to Raynor for casting, but things fell through on our parts; so, sorry Raynor).
We also wished we didn’t have to fight amongst ourselves to get to where we wanted to be. We wished those who disagreed with us would keep working with us instead of doing what essentially abandoning us; because when you did, you essentially told us you didn't want to be there, that you weren’t ready to make tough choices, that you cared for some abstract concept rather the actual event itself.
By having endless doubts, by calling us “dictator(s),” you prolonged the crisis, destabilized our confidence in this whole journey, and renewed the bickering over and over. This is not the same as saying, With Us or Against Us. But rather, Hire those you trust and Trust those you hire; because in the end, we’re all in this together.
And to prove this, Monty went to every clan titans and captains. He did it in a way that embarrassed no one. He and I went to MAwin and answered every question Amil asked and this only worked because Monty and I believed in what we’ve done. It was thankless work and I would like to think that we earned his respect. We just wished you guys believed in us sooner. We wished you stood by us the moment Game 3 went into haywire.
Of all the tourneys he has hosted,I never thought it was possible that Monty truly lost his mind in that lobby, for this tourney.
I wished you could read what he wrote in private after the game finished and the winners announced. He took a shower and drove to a birthday party two hours away, and three hours late.
I've never seen a man, so wistfully that day.
VI. THE UPSIDE OF HOSTING
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- Nuku once told me he would never come back to the forum. I forgot to ask why. But now I see why.
To get this tourney actually going on game days, Monty had to reach out to someone who lurk the forum (Akash), someone who never explained why he stayed away (Nuku), and someone who came to talk politics and culture with friends (me). The four of us here share one thing: We got nothing to gain for being here. Ragey also had nothing to gain. Last I heard, he has something of 3,000 followers on his project, so Game 1 was just pure love.
Maybe this is what it takes to host an event that is destined to be hated by all even as it was enjoyed mostly by all. But must it be?
Whoever hosting the next tourney will need all the help the community can patiently give. There is no gain by making their work so hard that they would walk away in melancholy.
If you want to be part of the tourney, sign up yourself. Clan captains, please don’t do that again. It’s not hard to log in and sign up. Clan titans, tourneys work when politics get put aside, sooner the better. If your members disrespect others, do what Amil did and clean house.
Be kind to each other. Nookie needed a partner but only Aya and BLK (the two names that got many of you riled up) actually wanted to help Nookie. If you love this community, you have to love those not yet part of the community. Each of you were once outsiders and few of you were ever here before Monty, let alone me. So why no warm helping hands?
Iwontdie said he won against a big name in a pub and that big name called him cancer. How do you expect the public to come to EUMA if they see you carry the donor icon, or the tester icon next to your name, and all they got from you is a bunch of B.S. and B.M.? No wonder this community has a hard time expanding.
Once upon a time, EU-3 had 32 teams playing on Day 1 with more than 6 teams on standby. Last week, we barely taped together 16, and already, some of you told me you never seen anything like 4 high-skill games going on at once.
The brackets should be cut-and-dry. If each game is an hour 1h 40mins, we need to think about Single Elimination. Games are much more satisfied to play or watch when there are clear knockouts. Even the best of 3 or 5, with position rotation, meant someone will always get screwed because they are not next to the weakest team. As Grim showed today, what's the point of playing Game 3 when you have no incentives to win? So just accept fate and roll with it. Otherwise, you are just delaying the abject misery of losing. Plus, people has jobs and life on a Saturday or Sunday.
Ref or cast, not both, and make it a double. We learned from this tourney that the two roles should not mix, Casters have a duty to focus on the action and overall state of the game. Satisfying their audience is the sole reason they stream and comment live. A ref's job is the opposite. It's about details and constant vigilance. It's a lonely and thankless job that doesn't try to be popular or stand out. Also, for future finale, it is better to have 2 refs in a single game because they can cover the entire map better. Monty was full time watching Teams 1 and 2. I had Teams 3 and 4. We fully admit this was the better way because a game this contentious requires this level of attention and secrutiny.
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- Okay, I am done with the harsh criticism. I have a list to share of the things that I loved about this tourney.
Grim was a jerk in Game 3. But throughout the planning process, he was the one person willing to hang around and questioned us. In many ways, he kept Monty and I honest. Just when I was being too sympathetic to Raynor, he put me back in focus of the evidence at hands.
When Raiden was supportive of this project, he really pushed himself to shape the map the way we wanted, even as he was working on the next major update. Raiden also came around after having doubts and cleared the air as much as he could. It was not easy and we really appreciate that. Our visions may differ, but we’re all pursuing the same goal of expanding this community and perfecting the game. EU is lucky to have this man at the helm. In fact, I’ve never seen someone so intimately involved with the community like this since Kiwa.
Andriu is our unexpected advisor. He helped Monty figuring out other methods of bracketing, just when we were about to close out minds and left it to fate.
TheVoid has to be the most misunderstood voice of the tourney panel. He, like Grim, kept Monty and I honest. We disappointed that TV did not have more time to participate in the planning process. Perhaps next time.
Ragey. Thanks for coming by and do one guest episode for us. What a surprise! What a treat! Solo casting and all. Nothing but hearts right there.
Nuku pulled it together despite coming down with a cold. He said he’d show up and he did. Nothing sexier than stating a commitment and follow it through.
MAwin titan Amil is a classy guy. Our discussion about Raynor’s ban was cordial, rational, and deeply respectful. If every conversation with forum members were like this, I would have nothing but optimism for the future. MAwin captain Crow also gets the thumbs up from us for helping us getting our messages out to the clan members.
Excal was a true gentleman. Okay, so he hated losing---who doesn’t?--- but like Amil, his support for this event helped us moving miles ahead.
I leave Akash for last because I am thrilled that he finally stopped lurking this forum and took a bigger role than a mere cameo.
But truly, Monty, why are we here? We don’t play this game. We barely know this community. Few even knew my contributions to the foundation of this version or the full extent of your involvement. We even discussed the Unity Tourney two weeks from now. Or is it a month? Why did we even do it?
I have never seen you, so wistfully that day.