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SLTV #3: A manager's view
To my mind, one of a manager's general tasks is to protect his team from the injustice and fails of the event organizers. Sometimes there are pretty clear situations, which was the case with TPL where we finally got invited to, but sometimes there are not so certain confrontations one of which we have to deal with now at the current StarLadder season. It's about some unpleasant situation which should be taken into consideration by the organizers.

At events like StarLadder (with many participants in a group) the teams are like snooker balls: they hit each other thus changing each other's trajectories. For some it's enough to get hit only once or twice to head towards a very distant edge and see their victorious opponents being taken out of the field before the deciding phase. The value and the representativeness of the online stage depends exclusively on the seriousness which the participating teams are approaching it with. Some of the teams in the current season had somewhat careless approach, but one can't judge them as long as they don't violate the rules. It turns out that some have to literally wear off their skin to get the first spot online just to face Natus Vincere (who is satisfied with their 8th place) in the first play-off match. The organizers planned to preserve a share of the prize pool for the online stage, but it seems like they refused this idea in the end while there is no other way to really motivate guys like Natus Vincere.

Situation #1. Black spends 3 games like a substitute player for team Next and then joins Mousesports. The situation when some team faces different opponents with the same guy on their roster during the group stage - is far beyond any sort of common sense, in my opinion. Yes, I'm deeply disappointed about M5.BenQ losing to Mousesports. I approached the ref before that match and said to him: "We will file a protest if we win." I also reminded in the game lobby that according to the rules of the league (the use of an undeclared player in the team's profile will result in a re-match or forfeiture) our opponents should have declare their players in their profile. Instead of highlighting the necessity of following the rules to our opponents the referee advised me not to force things. If the organizers want the players to follow the rules, maybe its worth doing something about it?

Situation #2. The Americans and CLG. Many people ask why the organizers invite the American teams for the third time. I would like to remind the readers that the first and the second seasons saw the American teams who got a right to participate in the finals decline the opportunity, while CLG are walking away from the online stage the second tourney in a row. As for me, I think the actual question should be asked a little bit differently: why the management of the mentioned teams agreed for their squads to participate? I mean you take part in a tournament, altering its probable outcome, and then you pull out of the final stage showing your lack of professionalism and disrespect towards the others. The only reaction the organizers should make is to prohibit all those organizations (not only particular players) from taking part in several future seasons of the league.

Situation #3. The substitutions which may cause the tremendous influence on the course of some particular matches. One can't guarantee that the team would have performed better or worse with a stand-in, but there are some prerequisite for me to doubt that. The declared number of stand-ins during the season is 2 players, but in reality this rule is not followed by many. It turns out that a team could perform in some games with, say, 90%-100% of their ability while "having a rest" in others. Considering there are 5 players on team it should be sufficient to have only 1 stand-in player and not a whole bunch of people rotating between the participating teams, not being able to put up some definite roster for the announced matches.

Situation #4. Team BVM was replaced with SE after 20% of their matches were played out while it was learned yesterday about that the teams who faced BVM would have to play some additional games versus SE. From a logical point of view the re-match is the right decision, you could hardly argue about it, but from a different perspective when a team gets replaced during the full swing of the tournament, such decision carries much less logic in it. That's why if a team pulls out of the tournament even after a single match, its results should be nullified while all the opponents should be credited with a technical win.

The Moscow Five organization has no claims for the StarLadder committee, but we feel it's our duty to underline some shortcomings in the rules and the whole regulation process which in case of our players affects the approach to the current online season and undermines the prestige of the league. We are interested in the high level of such events' organizing primarily as its direct participants, as well as in following the rules and thus developing eSports in general.
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