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Tournament integrity, infractions, and player penalties

On Sunday, September 25th, we ran our first FiveShards Weekly Series Finale tournament in client.  There was an issue with the ticket system and, instead of just eligible players entering the tournament, players realized that anyone could enter the tournament. Not knowing if we could remedy the issue, we attempted to run the tournament anyways and have non-qualified players drop from the tournament as non-qualified players were not eligible for prizes and could disrupt the standings.

Most players complied, a few ignored global warnings as well as private messages, and one player decided to escalate the situation. We have specific guidelines for player behavior and exploitative behavior in game and we have updated the rules to make sense contextually both in client tournaments as well as out of client tournaments. Given our previous guidelines and the active disruption the player sought, we have issued a temporary, six-month ban to the player making the player ineligible for FiveShards prizes and participating in tournaments organized outside of the client.  While we cannot stop the player from entering tournaments within the client, we do handle much of the important prizes for our tournament series.

After being warned that the player should not be in the tournament, Nostragamos replied with “u funny”. Upon a second prompting, the conversation proceeded as follows:



After initial internal discussion, we agreed a ban was appropriate to both player conduct as well as attempts to exploit a client bug and informed the player. The six-month ban will last until March 25th, 2017.

We have not had to make a decision like this before and, for a very long time, our tournaments ran outside of client and were successful partly due to player conduct and trust. Within the client, we have few issues where player trust matters, but there are a few opportunities when we encounter bugs.

We hope this is an isolated issue going forward (we have not encountered it previously). We will maintain a player penalty list on the website, but hope for it to remain depopulated. Fortunately, we were able to resolve the tournament issue and proceed with the tournament maintaining integrity.

We are moving forward with the hope of being transparent with our decision-making process and do welcome feedback from the community going forward.

Michael Allen is a competitive HexTCG player, co-host of the 2 Turns Ahead podcast, and founder and moderator of the Hex Subreddit.

12 Comments on Tournament integrity, infractions, and player penalties

  1. Doesn’t this fall under name and shame?

  2. That code of conduct is for the official forums. Given this is a 3rd party site, I’m all for public shaming.

  3. A bit sad to hear, but it looks like some well deserved shaming. Hopefully it is discouraging enough.

    Perhaps one day you may add a blacklist to in-game tournaments also. I hope it won’t need to be used, but it might need to exist.

  4. I don’t think that it’s really necessary to share the in-game conversation. Just his name and the message that he is banned is enough. I mean clearly the guy has some issues and is deserving of the punishment but shaming him is a little unprofessional IMHO.

    • It’s not unprofessional. This guy went out of his way to disrupt the tournament and was rude too. Naming him is part of this ruling disclosure and also they are performing a public service for others in the community to help avoid this person in the future.

      • So having one example of him being rude means he is always rude? This is why shaming isn’t allowed on the official forums. People pass absolute judgement based on one encounter. Shaming also encourages mob justice, so yes I’d 100% call this unprofessional by 5shards. I doubt any of us can say we are 100% friendly in 100% of our encounters and none of us would want that one bad encounter to be what we are judged on for the rest of our life.

  5. People with that attitude should be named and shamed. Not sure how calling the good people of Fiveshards unprofessional adds any value other than aiding the troll’s case.

  6. The conclusion I came to was that I disagree with the decision to post the screenshot. I think that if fiveshards sees itself as a group of players who run passion projects/tournaments that it’s more acceptable but I don’t love the decision. If fiveshards wants to be more of an institution in the game instead of a group of players I find myself wishing they took the high road. That being said, I do like that the decision to post the ban + reason for it since it demonstrates transparency. It’s possible that fiveshards did not think it has the level of integrity in the eyes of the public that I think it has and felt compelled to justify their decision. Either way, I have faith that fiveshards: the institution will continue to improve and keep generating fantastic community events in the future.

  7. I am all for this name and shame, riot and other companies have done it for years. He obviously doesn’t give a $%$# so there you go.

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