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Blue gets a re-count?

First the American elections, then the Babbages CPL Quake 3 tournament

Since the Babbages CPL event ended in Dallas a couple of days ago there have been ominous rumbling noises emerging from the competitors and community. The big $100,000 Quake 3 tournament saw some surprising upsets and controversial results, most prominently the removal of Swedish number 2 seed Blue by number 73 seed Excaliber. Demos of the match seem to show that shots fired by Blue passed right through Excaliber without causing any damage on several occasions. Everything from a bug in the Q3Comp mod used by the event to accusations of cheating or inadvertant use of illegal console settings have been put forward as explanations, and the whole thing has got rather acrimonious at times.

After initial denials by CPL staff that anything was wrong with the match, Angel Munoz stated on the CPL messageboards yesterday that "the CPL Commissioner will announce a final ruling on the Blue vs Excaliber incident later tonight". Later he posted again to say that the decision had been delayed until today, although there has still been no official announcement from the organisation. Hopefully we should soon know whether the result of the game is to be overturned or not.

If the result is upheld it will certainly lead to continued accusations from European gamers especially that the match was not fair, while a decision to overturn the result could be even more awkward. After all, what happens to the results of the rest of the tournament in this case? Would the CPL simply remove Excaliber from the standings and move everyone else up a peg? This hardly makes up for the fact that Blue was forced into the losers bracket of the competition early in the event, leading to him ending up with a much lower ranking than had been predicted, and it may also cause complaints from other players who suffered indirectly as a result of the upset, or who themselves had problems playing against Excaliber.

Stay tuned, as we will be bringing you the full judgement as soon as it is known... Update

The official ruling is now in from the CPL, and it states that "the CPL officials are now aware that some aspects of the game modification may in fact have caused irregularities in latency in a match between Henrik "Blue" Bjoerk and Mark "Excaliber" Cowley". They aren't giving any details, but reports have suggested that Excaliber was using a setting which is banned by the CPL, and is known to cause exactly the kind of problems that effected the match when used on a LAN. Which begs the question why wasn't Excaliber's config checked to make sure it met the CPL's own regulations before the match was played?

Either way, "the CPL officials have ruled to grant Mr. Bjoerk an equivalent 9th to 12th place finish to ensure future proper seeding", which is scant compensation for being knocked into the loser's bracket in the second round of the competition. CPL Commissioner Mike Wardell added that "the CPL extends its apologies to the entire professional gaming community for the unfortunate incident surrounding the highest profile tournament of the year". Unfortunately under the circumstances that's about the best that anybody could have hoped for...

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