Recently, a huge number of esports tournaments and events went online. The Solo Fortnite Championship Series or the PUBG Continental Series are perfect examples of this fact. This format is completely different from live tournaments and needs to access other issues. Facts like the time difference between two different countries or the inequality between player’s gears need to be taken into account. If players do not have the same internet connexion, lag issues can appear. When they appear, a thoughtful process has to make a decision about the outcome of the game in question. For the Smash Ultimate Pound 2020, that decision was for Grayson “Grayson” Ramosis to be disqualified.
Image credits to Smash.gg
Grayson is a high-skilled and renowned Smash Ultimate player that is almost making the final top cuts. In this Pound 2020, he managed to get to Top 32 before facing Cosmos. The official result of this match is 2–0 for Grayson. As both players reported that they experienced lag during the game, a moderator investigated the issue. He asked both players for their LAN and Speedtest results.
- PING: 26 ms
- Download: 34.76 Mbps
- Upload: 10.82 Mbps
- PING: 2 ms
- Download: 93.53 Mbps
- Upload: 60.48 Mbps
On paper and after receiving this information, Grayson’s internet connexion should have been the problem. However, everything was fine before this specific match, and moderators have already made checks on the previous round. Grayson submitted his results to the moderator in charge via his laptop which relied on WI-FI when his Nintendo Switch was cable plugged. This shows that his results were far inferior to what he was really playing with. Grayson only remembered after the fact that the speed test he sent was not relevant to the situation.
After hearing about this issue, fans started to question Cosmos connexion. After all, he was live-streaming the game and using a music streaming platform. One of Cosmos’s roommates assessed the issue on Twitter showing that no matter what they do, their connexions should be more than enough to handle this tournament without lag.
In the end, esports fans and Grayson himself felt like he was unfairly disqualified. One fact that is backing this theory is that the admin that handle the problem started a private conversation with Grayson. He wanted to apologize and compensate for his unfair disqualification.
Convenience vs. Reliability
The Grayson case is just showcasing how difficult online tournaments can be. When brainstorming about the event, organizers need to implement policies about cheating, inequality, unfairness, and many others. On an online event, these problems are even more difficult to handle. Problems like this one will raise attention and moderators need to be careful with how they are handling their decision-making.
Written by Charles FUSTER