Anonymo refused to compete in a rematch against Ninja's in Pyjamas (NiP) on Sunday, despite Flashpoint releasing an official competitive ruling requiring the rematch.
Flashpoint ordered the controversial rematch after they that their own security settings caused NiP to have a connection disadvantage in their match against Anonymo on Friday, a match that Anonymo won 2-1. NiP believes they should have the right to replay the match, but Anonymo believes the original result should stand. While both teams are angry at each other, it was Flashpoint who made the disastrous error that led to the need for a rematch in the first place.
Now Flashpoint is under fire from CS:GO fans as well as both NiP and Anonymo over their handling of this whole catastrophe, with many suggesting they should not be allowed to host RMR qualifying events in the future.
Timeline of the Flashpoint NiP-Anonymo rematch controversy
NiP experiences packet loss during match against Anonymo
The match in question took place during the Upper Bracket Round 1 at the Flashpoint Season 3 tournament, which is an RMR qualifier, meaning teams can earn points that contribute to their qualification for the PGL Major Stockholm scheduled to take place later this year. During the first map of the series, NiP's players experienced high levels of packet loss and called a technical pause.
During the pause, Flashpoint officials, NiP players, and NiP staff worked together on solving the packet loss issues with no success. According to NiP, when they didn't find an immediate solution to the issues, Flashpoint staff repeatedly pressured NIP players to finish the match anyway. On Sunday, NiP further alleged that management from Anonymo also pressured them to continue the match or face disqualification. NiP ended up playing and losing 2-1.
"A couple of rounds into Overpass, we flagged that we were experiencing technical issues as all of our players had packet loss fluctuating up to 30-40%," NiP explained in a statement after Friday's match. "Anonymo was not experiencing the same problem. During the long technical pause you all suffered through, we had a lot of discussions back and forth with the Flashpoint admins and our ISP. The issue was a routing problem switching servers did not solve. The decision was made by the admins to force us to play regardless."
NiP concluded, "the ignorance, stubbornness, and lack of solutions coming from Flashpoint staff were simply not to standard with what is expected from a Major Qualifier event."
After an investigation into packet loss, Flashpoint orders rematch
NiP filed an official complaint with Flashpoint on Saturday. After further investigation into the facts, Flashpoint determined that the problem was tied to their own security settings, which crucially meant that NiP was not to blame for the issues. Flashpoint then released a statement on Sunday announcing that, in light of their error, they would be hosting a rematch between NiP and Anonymo.
"After careful consideration of the nature of the issue, the validity of the claim, and the importance of the match, the League Ops team has decided to accept NIP's request to replay the match which was communicated to both teams later on [Friday]," Flashpoint explained in their statement. "NIP offered Anonymo to choose between playing the full BO3 or only the last Map."
Anonymo refuses to compete in rematch on Sunday
Anonymo was not happy about the ruling. After reportedly petitioning Valve regarding the issue and having Valve refer back to the tournament organization, Anonymo refused to participate in the rematch on Sunday altogether. They released the following statement.
"We are currently getting pressured from both Ninjas in Pyjamas and the organisers of Flashpoint to replay the match that has taken place on [Friday]," wrote the organization. "At the first timeout we offered to reschedule it as soon as we heard about the technical problems of NiP - they did not choose to do that. . . We've played a match that got finished fair and square and lies in the past. It's definitely too late to pursue a replay of the match."
Anonymo mentioned a series of objections to Flashpoint's ruling, including:
- Alleging that NiP's internet problems were not apparent in the evidence
- Stating that NiP had plenty of time to check the server before starting
- Arguing that because Anonymo offered NiP a chance to reschedule during the match, requiring a rematch is unfair
- Claiming there is not enough time to prepare for a new match
- Alleging that NiP pressured the FACEIT esports platform at a business level to have the rematch
"We are very emotional about the situation - we know that something like that would not happen in any other sport and esport tournament," Anonymo concluded. " We wanted to do everything in the competitive spirit of fair play. NiP does not seem to care about that at all."
NiP fires back at Anonymo's statement
NiP COO Jonas Gundersen fired back at Anonymo's statement, saying, "Our players didn't push for a rematch here - we did. All they want is an acknowledgment that the playing conditions were unacceptable. They have been ready to play upper or lower bracket. We aren't pressuring anyone. The lies put forward in the Anonymo statement are disgraceful."
In a Tweet on Sunday, Flashpoint stated that the rematch will still take place, but they have not yet announced when.
CS:GO fans split over the controversy
Flashpoint's decision was highly controversial in the CS:GO community. Some fans on Twitter agreed with Flashpoint and NiP that the map must be replayed since the technical problems weren't NiP's fault, and were instead caused by Flashpoint. Another group argued that the match should not be replayed, since Anonymo shouldn't be punished for Flashpoint's mistake. Many also criticized the tone and statements from both teams throughout the controversy.
The largest group, however, questioned whether Flashpoint should be hosting RMR events in the first place, considering how disastrous this mistake was. Ultimately, the failure in Friday's match fell squarely on the tournament organizer, with neither NiP nor Anonymo instigating the issues. Regardless of how you feel about NiP's and Anonymo's conduct during this matter, the whole situation was a bad look for Flashpoint during their first-RMR Qualifer ever.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.