In a match that appeared to be played almost too well to be true, it turns out, after further investigation by the Hearthstone Esports Team, it was.
After five back-and-forth games, Chinese Taipei defeated Singapore in the Hearthstone Global Games only to be disqualified from the event for cheating soon after.
Blizzard released the following statement hours ago regarding their findings:
“The Chinese Taipei Hearthstone Global Games (HGG) team has been disqualified from the Hearthstone Global Games competition.
Following the Chinese Taipei vs. Singapore match, the Chinese Taipei team uploaded a video of their gameplay. Upon review of the video, and after reviewing in-person statements from the players, the Hearthstone Esports team has determined that members of the Chinese Taipei team used the delayed tournament broadcast to aid them in a decision during the game. This behavior is prohibited in our tournament rules under section 7.11a. Specifically, players are prohibited from “[s]tream sniping, or any general attempt by a player to spectate his or her own match or get information from another person spectating the match.”
Based on the timing of this disqualification, the Singapore HGG team will advance in place of the Chinese Taipei team to the playoff stage of the Hearthstone Global Games at BlizzCon.”
The Chinese Taipei team consisting of “reall”, “Roger”, “Shaxy” and the 2017 Hearthstone World Champion Chen Wei “Tom60229” Lin violated a policy that is essentially monitored via an honor code. Any team can, in theory, watch the delayed broadcast to gain an edge over the opposition but rarely, if ever, do teams/players get caught violating such policy.
What tipped off the Hearthstone team on the shady behavior was when the Taiwanese team uploaded their video of the gameplay. The video was shared online, revealing their recorded audio. In the taped conversation, “reall” asked a teammate how he knew Singapore didn’t have a specific card (Mind Control Tech) they wanted to play around. “Shaxy” replied that he saw it was discarded via Tracking. When “Roger” asked how he knew, “Shaxy” wasn’t shy, stating he saw it through the dynamic vision tool the Hearthstone broadcast team uses to show the opposing hand for the viewers watching on the stream.
The Hearthstone team acted quickly to disqualify them from the event and the Singapore team consisting of “Crumpled”, “katsucurry”, “Khaius” and “Sequinox” will advance in place of Chinese Taipei to the live event at BlizzCon next month with $12,000 guaranteed in prizes for coming in last.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.