And the winner is...
(A rather subjective review of PS finals)
The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and not nessesarily of UnrealNorth or its advertisers.
Written by Christian "gam" Eilers
This weekend saw the playoffs of the second season of the UT TDM Premiership Series and after some amazing action and close matches, we finally have our new champion. But to get to this point, it took us a long way...
The trouble started well before the official matchtime in the comments-area of the announcement about the playoffs. After not getting back to the adminteam in time as was requested from all teams and thereby forcing the final schedule for the finals, some players of one of the finals' participants claimed that they wont be able to make it and requested rescheduling. This doesn't sound so bad on first read but the teams hat close to 6 weeks to get back to the admins and give a go or nogo for the desired matchschedule. Still it looked like things would turn out for good and somehow they managed to show up and thereby saved us from arguing about requesting a reschedule after the official announcement of the playoff-schedule and after them having several weeks to tell us that the desired date doesn't fit into their own schedules.
So, Saturday, June 23rd, 2007 - shortly before 17:00cet, the desired time of the first round of the winner bracket and everything looks okay judging by the amount of players from all of the four teams in the official channel #premiershpifinals on Quakenet... but it only looks ok as one player from one team reports that his team will not be able to play due to lack of players caused by their missing interest in playing UT2k4 anymore. "We'll not be at home." Thanks a lot, pals.
So, after the second disappointment of the playoffs and after having to enter the first defaultwin in a four-participant-contest, we finally saw the first action with UTV running and a rather large crowd gathered in the match channel. Neophyte.intel had to play against the regular seasons champions Octopus and kicked off with a surprise - nePh managed to steal DM-Campgrounds2004-G1E, choice of Octopus, from their hands and thereby started their first game with a 1:0 lead in maps. But their victory lasted only short time and Oct regathered their concentration and brought nePh down after four maps with 3:1 in their favor. It could have been a great game if it went by without incidents - but it didn't. During one of the maps which were played on the Levitation-Server, the admin of those servers, being a member of one team in the playoffs, had the great idea to show up on the Teamspeak server of one of the playing teams while also being a spectator on the server and thereby commited a rule violation and became an illegal spectator.
Whatever drove him to the rather stupid decision of joining a playing teams' Teamspeak while being a spectator on the server at the same time, it was recognized by another community member who also took a screenshot of the action and immeadiatly contacted an ESL admin about this incident. Following the rules, the ESL admin corresponded with his responsible coreadmin and agreed that this was at least potentially some sort of "cheating" so that the playing team would have had to be disquallified from the tournament as well as the Teamspeak-joining-player who - following the rules of the ESL - would get 6 Penalty Points and thereby be banned from playing in the tournament as well. The rules are the rules but nevertheless he tried to get the current game interrupted and have the guy who was illegally on teamspeak as well as the leader of the playing team into an irc-channel first to sort the situation out.
Now, speaking of the ESL's rules, in any other game like CounterStrike, WarCraft 3, Battlefield or whatever, the player as well as the team would have tried to not aggravate the issue and thereby maybe get a rather mild decision from the admin instead of the above mentioned steps which would have been the normal procedures to handle such an issue, the leader of the team that played in the game started telling the admin off for following this issue and the player who came up with the bright idea of joining a playing teams Teamspeak went as far as telling the admin that he made a fool out of himself and how much his team was laughing about the admin at the moment in their own teamspeak. Handing issues by the rules makes you a fool in UT. Good to know.
In an attempt to get the situation solved without having to disquallify the team from playoffs, the admin along with his coreadmin who tried to give support offered as a more mildly made decision to have the map in which the spec was on their Teamspeak counted as a maploss for the team involved in the issue instead of disquallifying them, but their leader made it clear that they would drop immediatly from the playoffs if this decision was executed. Finally, in an attempt to find a solution keeping the moral up and suiting all, the admin invited the leader of the opponents into the channel, offered the facts as known and asked him whether his team would like to have the rule violation of their opponents persued or if they'd prefer to play. After both, player and team insured many times that the player only joined their teamspeak for a timeperiod of less than 2 minutes and didn't help them at all, the leader of the other team said that he and his mates would like to continue playing...
With this third disappointment settled and the playoffs becoming more and more of a farce, the match went on with the result as mentioned above and we were finally ready for the second round of the winner bracket, being the mix-team playing under the name of Betthupferl who got the defaultwin in the first round against the winners of their first round match -Octopus.
And the next surprise for those who already saw the hot and only favourites for the title in Octopus happened - Betthupferl managed to beat Octopus down into the Loser Bracket in four maps, winning 3:1 like Oct did versus nePh before. The next matches being the Loser Bracket Final as well as the Grand Final were scheduled for Sunday.
Early Sunday afternoon, the leader of Neophyte contacted an ESL admin to inform him that his team would probably not be able to play in the Loser Bracket Final against Octopus at 17:00 hrs due to a malfunctioning power-supply at one of their players and family issues with another one - and would it be possible to play the LB Final at 20:00 hrs and have the Grand Final played later. Sad as it was, some negotiation with the teams brought up the fact that - should the LB Final played at 20:00 cet - the Grand Final wont be possible on the same day as well as on the next days due to the inavailability of some players of all involved teams.
So the LB Final was decided by the second Defaultwin of the playoffs and everything was settled for the grand final between Betthupferl and Octopus who - coming out of the Loser Bracket - would have to win two Best-of-Fives to win it all.
The game started early but both teams as well as UTV were ready and after the first BO5 it appeared to be a rather well made decision as Octopus managed to bring Bett down in 3 by winning their Map Campgrounds2004-G1E as well as both of Bett's choice - Goosek24 and Corrugation. A second Best-of-Five was required to find the new Champion.
The second BO5 started as the old one did on Campgrounds2004-G1E but this time, Bett managed to win the game and the second map thereby became Octopus' choice. They picked Rankin-FE and it turned out to be a rather well made decision as they one by a larger number on this one. The next map, picked by Betthupferl again, was again Corrugation, but - as Campgrounds, this time Bett was on the better side of a 20 frag difference and managed to make it 2:1 on mapcount. Octopus picked Fractionary-X2 as their next map and it turned out to be the last map of the Finals. After like 15 minutes, one player of Octopus said "GG" and that he had to leave and thereby Betthupferl became the new Champion of the ESL's UT TDM Premiership Series with a 3:1 victory in the second BO5.
Well... what a hell of a tournament this was. GGs and WP to all teams who actually played and congratulations to Betthupferl for becoming the 2nd UT TDM Premiership Series champions.
Personal remark from the author: Yes, I know this article will be little less more than plain *whine* to most of the readers and it will probably cause a lot of flaming. Still I felt the need to give an insight view on how tournaments are seen from "the other side of the admin decissions" so don't hesitate to flame, call me a retard or whatsoever. Thanks for reading.