Alleged NRG Minor Shenanigans

November 2, 2016 - Esports

We recently talked about the way Fnatic ensured their Major spot with their third Legend-status player, Freddy “KRiMZ” Johansson, coming back to the roster from GODSENT. Now, according to Duncan “Thorin” Shields, a somewhat similar case of player juggling could take place in the Minor system, which is used to fill out the last 8 Major spots, where the first 8 are taken from the rosters which made the Playoffs in the previous Major.

NRG eSports, an American organization, known to compete in NA tournaments most of the time, has a curious case of roster rabies. You see, Europeans infected the roster so much that the team doesn’t meet Valve rules for Minor eligibility in a region, which say that in order to complete in a regional Minor (the American one, for example), three out of five players on the roster have to be from that region. What’s the problem? Simple. NRG eSports have Fatih “gob b” Dayik (German), Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninic (Serbian), Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz (German), Jacob “FugLy” Medina, and Peter “ptr” Gurney on their team. That’s 3 Europeans and 2 Americans.

If NRG eSports didn’t make any changes to the roster, they would have to compete in the European Minor according to Valve’s rules. The org isn’t known as very good even in the Americas. They wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell in Europe. So, what are they to do? Their only real option is to find a decent North American player to replace one of their Europeans, get to the offline qualifier, where teams which passed the Minor threshold are pooled together to fight for a spot in the Major, and then put their roster back.

If it was allowed to go down that way and NRG eSports or any other team in a similar situation managed to actually qualify for the Major, that would mean that one of the teams, which were supposed to represent Region A, in truth had more players from Region B than they did from A.  That would set an extremely bad precedent. Seeking an easier time to make it into the Offline portion of the qualification process, orgs could pay huge amounts of money to get great players from that region play for them in the Minor of some region which is thought to be weak, qualify, and then revert their roster. That is NOT the reason why that rule exists. Doing stuff like that would technically be okay, but the spirit of the rule would be trampled all over.

Hopefully, with Thorin using his influence to shine a light on the problem, Valve will take immediate steps to put a stop to this problem. If the notion of Valve time proves to be apt once again, let’s just hope that they can fix this problem, as well as the one with legend players, in time for the Major after the next one, which will be hosted by ELEAGUE. eSports is a quickly growing industry. Many eyeballs are on what’s happening. Dodgy practices should be made changed before they can harm the image of eSports.