Professional Heroes of the Storm players talking amongst one another about strategy, heroes and their opponents is commonplace as many of them are close friends. There is also nothing wrong with that, according to the rules of the Heroes Global Championship (HGC).
What multiple sources have told InvenGlobal Sunday night is that players were violating both an un-written and a written one in the HGC rule book where a gray area causes confusion.
According to provision 7.2 of the HGC ruleset, page 25, it states that:
“Players must compete to the best of their ability at all times. Any form of cheating by any Team Member will not be tolerated. All Team Members are prohibited from influencing or manipulating a Europe League game or match so that the outcome is determined by anything other than its merits. Blizzard may install software on computers used in Europe League events that is specially designed to detect cheating. Examples of cheating would include:
• Collusion, match fixing or any other action to intentionally alter, or attempt to alter, the results of any game or match;
• Attempts to interfere with another player’s connection to the game service through Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) or any other means; and
• Tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Europe League”
As far as what defines “collusion” in this sense, it’s subjective and can be argued by different parties, but in the eyes of some, what occurred over the last few days was a big deal.
Over the weekend, the Crucible tournament took place where a shot at the professional HGC league was at-stake for 2019. Top teams in the Open Division, the amateur league, were pitted against the lowest standing teams in HGC. A best-of-seven series would decide who would be able to participate in the pro league come the beginning of the new year.
Per sources, a player on the Holy Bananas, an Open Division team, was colluding with the Monkey Menagerie team, a professional squad in Europe, to feed one another private information to give them an edge against the opposition.
According to the shared information by multiple anonymous sources, Monkey Menagerie’s Alexander “remmerballer” Remmerswaal was working with Holy Bananas’ Mehdi "Earth” Lakhiari to gather private intel on their opponents for the Crucible, ePunks and Roll20 Esports.
Generally, teams compete in scrimmages against common opponents before the tournament begins to get warmed up, practice new strategies, refine their skills and formulate a plan-of-attack. What happens in those scrims, stays in those scrims. It’s a code of ethics that this information stays within the teams participating.
From the information gathered, remmerballer and Earth were swapping information with each other’s teams without the opponent’s knowledge. The entire Monkey Menagerie team was aware of this while only Earth was participating for the Holy Bananas, per sources.
Earth, when reached out to, confirmed the accusations.
"Remmer asked me about leaking draft but I thought he was joking like always. [Then] after I answer 'yes lol' to joke also. The next day he was spamming me so I just decide to give him a random scrim when [ePunks] played their standard comp that they showed in Open Division."
Earth went on to say that the draft that everyone was suspecting he got information from remmers for, was in-fact, not the information they used when going against Roll20.
He went on to acknowledge how sorry he was for what he did and how his team did not have any knowledge of what transpired behind the scenes.
Holy Bananas’ Łukasz “GURU” Jakóbiak wanted to set the record straight in a private message with InvenGlobal on Twitter that Earth acted alone.
According to GURU, Earth was sharing information with Remmer without telling the rest of the team. Roll20 Esports became suspicious after a strategy they have never played before was banned against them in Game 2 of their seven-game series. Roll20 had only ever begun using this new strategy in scrimmage matches preparing for the tournament, so, when they saw this banned against them, something began to smell fishy.
Monkey Menagerie's Alexander "AlexTheProG" Grumstrup reached out to shed some light on the situation from his team's point of view.
"I was aware this was going on but I was completely against it. I don't have any further comment at this time."
As far as whether a "crime" like this is a big deal, AlexTheProG said that "scrim-leaking" is a big deal within the community and does not happen often at all, making the current situation severe.
When asked about this accusation privately by another professional player via Twitter direct messages, remmerballer confirmed the information sharing as well as the team being aware of it.
The conversation was sparked when other professional players began tweeting out that they were aware of the situation as well. Team Liquid’s Liam “Arcaner” Simpson and Roll20’s Christoph “Cris” Gowitzke participated before Cris removed his tweet as he didn’t want to point fingers when he didn’t have the full story.
remmerballer was reached out to for comment, no reply as of yet.
*This story will be updated as additional information is provided.
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