June 30, 2007

Now I know what Sauron feels like. My freakishly large eye was so focused on CAL that I forgot to make sure plucky adventurers weren’t sneaking CEVO information past me. They almost got away with it. Thankfully, the Internet (a series of tubes) is bigger than Sauron’s ugly mug, and I caught this story before it was gone forever.

So, if you missed it: CEVO decided to let all the CGS teams into CEVO-P, even if they didn’t qualify in the Placement Tournament. This affects four teams: the NY3D, the CHImera, the Venom, and eXploit gaming. (eXploit didn’t get drafted into the CGS, CEVO just needed an even number of teams.)

"I used to be the Evil King of Middle Earth. Now I'm doing carnivals just so I can afford Fourth Meal from Taco Bell.

I have mixed feelings about this. As a fan, I’m excited about any chance to see the top teams play each other. They bring the best competition and the biggest rivalries. But something about the arrangement seems under-handed, like letting your buddies into an exclusive club through the back door. You’ve been there before, you know they’re cool enough to be in the club, and you just want to save them the time of waiting in line. But just by using the back door the whole operation seems dirty. Thieves come in through the back door, not people that belong in the building.

This quote from CEVO Stevens doesn’t help, either:

To make sure there isn't confusion of misconception, although we have adapted a format similar to that of CGS's, this does not mean that we will be mimicking everything they do. CGS has an entirely different set of objectives than CEVO and we do not plan to run our Source operations as if we were somehow one-in-the-same. The teams that qualify in CEVO, will play in CEVO, and those teams that get drafted, will get drafted. Simply because they are drafted does not mean they deserve a spot in the Professional Division. Although they may be professional, all teams have their priorities. If those priorities are not somewhere in the ballpark of CEVO, then it will be proven in the Placement Tournament.

I think he might want a do-over. Not only is it the direct opposite of what just happened, but it puts the Placement Tournament on a pedestal. They’ve built up the PT as The Path to CEVO-P. If you want in, you go through the PT. There are no move-ups, only invitations to the tournament. Basically, they didn’t leave themselves any leeway for special exceptions. Now that there’s a need for special exceptions, it seems illegitimate. It wouldn’t be a problem at all if they just left some wiggle room.

The other thing I thought was interesting relates to CAL. Namely, if CAL did something like this, what would the reaction be? 

Let’s say Check-Six and Devastation, two current CAL teams, played in the CAL-PT and didn’t make it because they were focusing on CGS preparation. Then, after they got drafted as taxi teams, they had extra time and wanted to play in CAL again. Given their history and talent, CAL lets them back in. I think the community would be in an uproar. I think people would talk about admin corruption, favoritism, and bending over backwards for teams that aren’t interested in CAL while slighting “loyal” teams. There wasn’t much complaining on GotFrag about the CEVO news, though. Most people seemed to react the way I did: happy the best teams were playing, but admitting it was a little shady.

Part of the reaction is probably due to the caliber of the teams. It’s a lot different if you let 3D, the Venom, etc, in as opposed to a couple CEVO-Main or CAL-Main teams. But CEVO still essentially misled the participants by saying that the PT results are The Way to Professional. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, and like I said, I’m happy that I get to see those teams. I think it was worth noting, though, and it’ll be interesting to see if CEVO still places the same emphasis on the PT in the future.