We believe it is necessary to address the statement made by Project Paradox, one of the competitors in the currently ongoing Open Qualifiers for 4 Nations – Autumn ‘23.
The reason for doing so is that the statement made by Project Paradox at 00:16 BST on 30th August does not provide adequate context and information to support the claims made. In that regard, the statement unfairly brings the 4 Nations, and by proxy the UK Esports League and its staff, into disrepute.
As a Tournament Organiser, we are not able to provide evidence publicly, but can assure the community that at the earliest possible opportunity, a full and detailed account and supporting evidence was handed over to the relevant parties. These parties were also made aware that if the account of events provided was not satisfactory, we would be more than willing to engage in further discussion and provide additional evidence where clarification was needed.
All teams competing in the Open Qualifiers were made aware, at 00:54 on 29th August, that two teams would be required to play a tiebreaker match for the last seed into the Double-elimination stage. No issues were raised by any team regarding this.
Upon conclusion of Round 5 of the Swiss Stage, our Operations Director, Alex, posted a statement that confirmed the teams who had qualified, the teams playing in the tiebreaker, and the eliminated teams. This statement was made at 21:37.
This statement contained an error with regards to the teams competing in the tiebreaker, which was acknowledged by Alex at 21:42 through two messages in separate channels. One message asked teams to “please wait one moment on this”, the other said “Yeah one sec, looking into it” and “Please don’t start”. All previous quotes are said in context. Both Alex and the UKEL acknowledge that these messages could be seen as vague, and recognise that improvements must be made for the future. However, we also want to acknowledge that Project Paradox made no attempt to clarify the meaning of these statements.
At 21:47, Alex posted the corrected statement that confirmed the teams who had qualified, the teams playing in the tiebreaker, and the eliminated teams.
At 21:49, a staff member of Project Paradox replied to this statement saying that all players had gone due to initially being informed they had no more matches that night. Alex responded to this at 21:51, saying that he would be open to that, as well as simultaneously messaging a staff member from Lionscreed Lionesses (Project Paradox’s opponents) to begin determining a suitable time for a reschedule to occur. Through the messages to the Lionscreed Lionesses staff member it was quickly established that their team was available and ready to play at the scheduled time. It was also established that a reschedule the following evening (30th August) was not possible due to prior commitments.
At 21:52, Alex asked the Project Paradox staff member if there was any possibility of them being able to play that night. The overall answer was no, and reasons were provided as to why the team believed they could not play at the scheduled time. They were also alerted to Lionscreed Lionesses inability to agree to a reschedule on Wednesday 30th August. The staff member was also informed of their ability to play with a substitute provided that person was already registered on their roster. The team only had one registered substitute who was unfortunately unavailable.
Throughout the conversation, it was made clear by Alex that he recognised that a mistake had been made on his part. It was also noted that the mistake was flagged 5 minutes after the initial incorrect post, a time frame which the UKEL deems reasonable.
Following further discussion, a deadline of 22:15 was set for their response, otherwise Lionscreed Lionesses would be awarded a victory by default. This deadline was unable to be met, and so a default victory was awarded.
Reschedules are made available at the discretion of League Ops, provided that both teams agree on a specific time (Section 7.11.2). The UKEL was happy to allow for a reschedule given the circumstances, however neither team was able to provide a time and date that was acceptable to the other. In addition, had League Ops forced the reschedule to occur on the next match day (31st August), this would have severely impacted the remaining tournament schedule, to the detriment of the other 15 teams in the Double-Elimination stage.
The default victory was awarded to Lionscreed Lionesses as they were available at the scheduled match start time, while Project Paradox were unable to field a valid roster at that time. As such, the result stands.
The UKEL has made every effort to find a solution that was equitable to both teams. However, it would be wholly unfair, and in breach of our own rules, to force Lionscreed Lionesses into a reschedule that they could not agree to, especially given they were ready to play at the scheduled time. It is also the belief of the UKEL that the reasons provided by Project Paradox for their player’s unavailability, especially when considering they were notified within 5 minutes of the original mistake, were insufficient to warrant forcing a reschedule.
With all the above considered, the UKEL does not consider Project Paradox’s statement to be an accurate reflection of the events that transpired. In addition, the statement makes claims that speak to the character of our Operations Director which are not supported by any evidence, and so we believe this to be an unfair representation of his character. We would like to make clear that their statement is in breach of multiple rules established in the rulebook (8.1.9. & 8.2.5.), however the UKEL does understand that at the time of the statement emotions could have been running high. As such, the UKEL will not take any action regarding this.