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-Istaril

Worlds 2013 Melee Finals [Controversy?]

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Now this is an unusual post for me - I'm generally the one posting the "don't jump to conclusions" replies to reactionary ones like this. I do want to preface this with saying that I know and have played all but one of the players involved, and this isn't meant to be a personal attack on character, but a criticism about an action. I want nothing more than to be proven wrong. Why bring it up at all? It was heavily discussed on the twitch feed and in the skype group, and if the allegations are true, I feel like the parties involved should have a fair chance to speak up if they so chose. I think that hopefully coming from me rather than one of the usual complainers, it might not lapse into the usual internet debate/atrocity.

 

Yesterday's Melee finals were a pretty heated game. It's game 5 of a long day, and everyone makes mistakes. To name a few the onlookers caught but the players didn't; Ryan's HoD: Longship Iron Victory was knelt out by Balerion, John B. triggered Preston Greenfield to move him into shadows pre-plot AND to be cancelled later by TBAK, he cast a -3 Incinerate off his Allies, 2 of which were non-targ, and drew 2 cards for a Jhogo challenge win after capping with Counting Favors. None of these cause me even the slightest bit of concern - this kind of thing happens, and I have *absolutely* no reason to think any of it is anything but slips, errors, and a long day. I mean, John B. himself caught one; had he used Wildling Bard he would almost certainly have achieved a win on the before-last turn.

 

That said, on the last turn of the final John B. specifically targeted Kyle V. and Chad J. to wipe their boards with double Hatchling's Feast followed by a Thundering Cavalry. Aside from a token attempt to burn Asha Greyjoy, he left Ryan's board untouched. This is odd for two very important reasons; the first is that Chad was essentially out of the game, and yet John B. still chose to -3 a Dragonstone Convert rather than target Ryan. The second is that John had a real chance at winning that turn, but wasted efforts targeting a player going after him rather than one going before him. Chad’s title supported nobody, he wasn’t going to get a chance to play.

 

To those of us who were watching on the twitch feed or chatting about it later in the skype group, it looked suspiciously like John B. throwing the game in favour of his meta-mate, Ryan. Why? To quote John B. himself from an interview he did post-worlds last year (Source: Summer is Coming Episode 9.2) "Honestly, melee means nothing to me. I would definitely help... [players I like] ...win if it meant something to them."

 

Now maybe it's just a mistake. Maybe it's John B. being generous and putting others first (if he hadn't made this mistake, he'd have won - so neither Chad nor Kyle really suffered any great loss from the actions). Maybe it's just another nail in Melee's coffin (to my chagrin).

 

PS: For those interested in watching the match, you can find it here around 10hrs 8 minutes in.

Edited by -Istaril

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I would like to personally beg the community to let this topic and general conversation on this subject die. No good will come of it, melee is melee, let's all move on and have fun for the rest of the weekend.

Edited by dcdennis

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I would like to personally beg the community to let this topic and general conversation on this subject die. No good will come of it, melee is melee, let's all move on and have fun for the rest of the weekend.

 

You know something's wrong when Dennis is the one angling for less drama! My choice to bring it up was actually in the hopes of avoiding a (I felt inevitable) more vitriolic thread, given the discourse on the feed/skype groups yesterday. If the vitriol isn't inevitable, then by all means, let's avoid it!

 

Even if any of it was intentional, the only person negatively affected is John himself - and I want to reinforce that. Nobody got screwed over.

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~Seems Dennis doesn't like controversy unless DC is the center of it. :P

 

Regardless, as a friend of mine said (and I'm paraphrasing), this just shows that it's not the people that play melee, but the format itself, that is the problem.

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If this proves to be true, after many that played melee said this was the best and most fun melee they have played. I will be so dissappointed. I can see your angle Istaril since the winner said that he has never placed in a melee tournament (paraphrasing here, it was on a covenant interview with the winner) and that this meant alot. I really hope that you are wrong.

Edited by BuzzsawMF

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I was expecting a more exciting ending like someone flipping the table in rage or a gentleman's slap in the face with a glove. But agree with Dennis, drama free weekend is deserved for those who made the trip.

Safe travels back and good luck to those playing.

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so future worlds can be draft and joust for the combined...

 

I thought this was fine as long as there was no demonstrated pre-arranged deal. i.e. Bruno did this for exactly the reason he said in the quote you provided.

 

 

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Ok, So I just watched the the feed of the final game (I left work before it ran and played GoT league at the local store XD) and I do not think there was any collusion. The double hatchlings feast hit the right targets in my opinion. GJ could have saved one or potentially multiple characters as greyjoy is known for and he did save Asha. He burned down Baratheon and some may say he was not much of a threat but any melee player should know that Baratheon is capable of immense power jumps, since the Bara player just dropped core Bob, this would have been a win for him if his turn came around. 

I really do not see any collusion there and Bruno even attempted to stop his challenge in the end. 

 

GJ won fair and square.

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Ok, So I just watched the the feed of the final game (I left work before it ran and played GoT league at the local store XD) and I do not think there was any collusion. The double hatchlings feast hit the right targets in my opinion. GJ could have saved one or potentially multiple characters as greyjoy is known for and he did save Asha. He burned down Baratheon and some may say he was not much of a threat but any melee player should know that Baratheon is capable of immense power jumps, since the Bara player just dropped core Bob, this would have been a win for him if his turn came around. 

I really do not see any collusion there and Bruno even attempted to stop his challenge in the end. 

 

GJ won fair and square.

I could point out a number of problems with your analysis, buzzsaw, however the point is that what Bruno did should be considered completely fine by any standards (when considering the rules as they should be), because it is melee, and that's what melee is all about.

 

+1 papalorax - Draft and Joust for overall. Let melee have a separate title.

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From what I saw it looked like the Moqorro save came in as a surprise. Possible playmistake on that he was actually able to save from discard effect.

Even if he had burned Vic the GJ player would have gotten to 14 power that turn by the end of his own turn depending on did he get to keep drowned priest or not. Now if Jon had made any attacks the GJ player would have used his crown reagent and forced the challenge to go towards him (only possible target since Jon was supporting the other player) and either win it with defence renown or blackwind one of the attacking characters and place Tarle on the line and also claim the final power when things would have moved to deadly. So even in that scenario the GJ player is sitting at 14 power and most of his characters standing ready for dominance.

Well you can never be 100% certain with things like these.

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dcdennis: the voice of reason? Somewhere, an angel just got his wings.

 

Not worth saying more because, like all melee games I have ever watched (and I do mean all), the actions as described are consistent with a lot of different motivations - all of which could be considered part of the social turmoil that is competitive melee.

Edited by ktom

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TL:DR - If Bruno hadn't said he would collude/kingmake in that draft pack unveil video with Team Covenant, I'd agree with "melee is melee, no drama here." Still, even given the facts, there is no drama here.

 

What is with all the dismissiveness of "melee is melee", though? Melee is one of the tent poles of this game and one of the few major things that distinguishes it from MtG (and a slew of other 1 v 1 CCGs). The format should be as legitimate as possible and abuses of the format shouldn't be dismissed, but scrutinized as Istaril is doing.

 

 

Now this is an unusual post for me...

 

So here are my questions when collusion comes up (and yes, it is established through the Team Covenant video that Bruno had indirectly admitted his intent to collude/kingmake if the possibility arose. Whether or not you feel that is acceptable, it is an indirect form of collusion).

 

1) Did the players actions have any potential benefit for the player executing the action?

2) Did the player at any point admit or consider and identify a superior course of action and then choose to execute an inferior course of action with regards to ending with the best possible position for them in the game?

3) Were there prior complaints to the judge of potential collusion?

4) Was there evidence of prior intent to collude?

 

Ok, So I just watched the the feed of the final game (I left work before it ran and played GoT league at the local store XD) and I do not think there was any collusion. The double hatchlings feast hit the right targets in my opinion. GJ could have saved one or potentially multiple characters as greyjoy is known for and he did save Asha. He burned down Baratheon and some may say he was not much of a threat but any melee player should know that Baratheon is capable of immense power jumps, since the Bara player just dropped core Bob, this would have been a win for him if his turn came around. 

I really do not see any collusion there and Bruno even attempted to stop his challenge in the end. 

 

GJ won fair and square.

 

Based on what Buzzsaw is saying, I'm going to assume the below are the answers:

 

1) Yes - He cemented his position for second and increased his final placement.

2) No - I'm assuming he didn't say anything and just took the action after some deliberation.

3) No - Just a guess.

4) Yes - Draft pack unboxing video.

 

Now 4 is only relevant if 1 is a no, 2 is a yes, or 3 is a yes. This is because if 1 is a no, then there is no reason for their action beyond the intent to collude. If 2 is a yes, then they obviously saw a superior course of action and chose to collude. If 3 is a yes, then there is already reason for the judge to assume an intent to collude and this should be scrutinized. If my assumed answers for 1, 2, and 3 are correct, then what Bruno did was fine. There is no way for a judge to distinguish his intent to collude from a genuine misplay and, as such, he could not be found complicit in an attempt to collude (even with his admission of intent to collude/kingmake). There is just not enough evidence to say that the action was not a misplay. Disqualification is too severe a punishment if the reason for disqualification could have been a misplay that appeared to be intent to collude and not actual collusion

 

Basically, it's very simple to collude without breaking any of these rules.

 

1) Make sure every one of your moves benefits you in some way

2) Never vocalize your potential courses of action

3) Do not get a judge's attention as a possible colluder

4) Do not vocalize any intent to collude (do the opposite, say you would never collude)

 

If everyone would just do these things they could kingmake their friends to their hearts content and these threads would have a simple "didn't say he wanted to collude, don't make drama." Instead we have Bruno admitting in a recorded video his intent to collude/kingmake if given the opportunity. If that video alone hadn't been there, then this narrative would've been more like "Tired John Bruno misses potential winning play and doesn't win. Jerk calls him out on boards." That video is really the only thing giving this argument any legs.

 

Now one thing to note here is question 1 as I've typed it is up for debate. I'm personally for it being "Did the play made increase their probability of winning the game?", but right now I feel that cementing second is as acceptable as going for first in the general community and do not have a fact based argument to disagree with it.

 

Also, I've only met Bruno once and generally like his attitude and the way he holds himself. I am just at odds with the fact that he is one of the most visible and best players in the world and is taking stances that have no positive impact on the overall game. Either he does not realize the significance of his role and the gravity/significance of anything he says or he does and doesn't care about the potential negative impacts. I believe the former and it is the main reason I hold him (and players like him) to an incredibly high standard.

 

The best players in the world are the stewards of the game and everything they say matters.

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I'd say "kingmaking" is choosing the winner when you know it can't be you (you might be wrong). It might not involve the other players. Even the winner might not be on the deal.

 

Collusion always involves other players (by definition).

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Are we actually arguing against kingmaking actions during (even before) games? If you are against that, why are you playing the "Game of Thrones" game in the first place? :P I'm just assuming people who hate intrigue hate the books (and the show, for that matter).

 

I always saw melee as some sort of lottery anyway. It shouldn't be player seriously as far as competition is concerned.

Edited by Marginal0

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Somewhat off-topic:

 

Is there a difference between "king-making" and "collusion"? If so, what is it?

 

The primary difference is that king-making can be one-sided.

 

I can intend to king-make my friend without him ever being aware of it.

 

True collusion will generally require two complicit parties as collusion is defined as "a secret agreement", which implies a single person can not collude by themselves.

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I think the real issue with Kingmaking is friends.  From here on out...get rid of ALL your friends.  They ruin thrones melee.

 

Strange, usually when I'm sitting with a friend I try to backstab him the most in a melee game... might be a Finnish meta thing.

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Yeah I think Bruno and others at my table would attest that had I not marched Erick's Tywin, then killed his cersei and littlefinger in R2, erick would have walked away with our table quite easily. He had 8 or 9 power after R1. But there's just something about evoking Erick's rage that I can't quite get enough of. It's the same feeling I imagine God gets when he gives sight to the blind :)

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