A Taiwanese e-sports team has been invited back into an international tournament after they were disqualified for failing to register under the “Greater China” region.

The team, called SadStory, were competing against a Japanese team in the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2019 Asia Minor’s qualifiers for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They had already beaten the Japanese side by 16:1 in the first leg of the East Asia region before they were disqualified.

Chang Sheng-lun, also known as CrazyFace (third from right) with SadStory team. Photo: Facebook/crazyfacetw.

But SadStory were disqualified for not playing in the Greater China region, even though the team has been playing in the East Asia and South East Asia regions for two years. On Thursday, the tournament’s organiser invited them to play in the Greater China Closed Qualifier following an outcry.

Michal Blicharz, the organiser ESL’s VP Pro Gaming, said providing the best competitive environment has always been its top priority for e-sports events and tournaments, including the Intel Extreme Masters.

He said the tournament in Asia was split into five sub-regions for latency reasons, and the team should have competed against teams participating in the Greater China Region qualifier – which includes Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan – to ensure there was no technical lag.

Intel Extreme Masters. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“Unfortunately, we only caught this after the Open Qualifier had started, which left the team no chance to switch over to their assigned regional Open Qualifier (Greater China Region including Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan) running at the same time. Instead, they faced a default loss,” Blicharz said.

“We regret the assignment issue and have decided to expand the number of slots for the Closed Qualifier in the Greater China Region… to give SadStory a direct slot to make sure they have a new opportunity to qualify for the event.”

“Moving forward we are going to make sure to communicate with teams in a more proactive manner specific to the region they are supposed to play in. We will also re-evaluate regional distribution in Asia for future tournament qualification.”

今天ESL EMAIL了我們,讓我們有機會再打一次,很開心又有比賽能打了,我們會好好努力練習 也謝謝大家的幫忙ESL邀請了我們打IEM Katowice 2019 Minor的China Closed…

Posted by Crazyface on Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The team’s leader Chang Sheng-lun, commonly known as CrazyFace, said on his Facebook page that he was happy to be able to play again.

“We will practice hard, and we thank your support,” he said.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.