Controversy has erupted over some dubious choices made by the General Manager of the Championship Gaming Series Singapore team, Mr Chris Soh, in the selection of players for the team.
Team TitaNs and Lavelynee, the Counter-Strike: Source and Dead or Alive 4 Female champions respectively, were passed over for selection, with runners-up team XtC (CSS) and Cindy (DoA4) being selected instead.
While selection of players and teams for CGS teams is not solely based upon tournament results, two factors have made the decisions controversial.
Firstly, the skill level difference between the winners and second-finishers is said to be huge. For example, Team TitaNs encountered and defeated XtC twice, due to the double elimination format, by scores of 10-4 and 10-5. Meanwhile, Lavelynne defeated Cindy by a margin of 10-2 in the DoA4 female finals.
Even players that are currently on the team have expressed dissent and bewilderment on the selection of players, based on the perceived skill level difference.
“My own team doesn’t deserve to be drafted if its just based on skills alone,” wrote XtC team manager Michael “XtReMiSt” Phee in a post on the CGS forums. “Till now we are much puzzled as to why we were chosen instead [of TitaNs].”
Wilson “tetra” Chia, the DoA4 Male representative, wrote about the skill level of the female finalists: “[Cindy didn’t] know how to do Holds. [Lavelynne] did Holds. Guess that gives [you] a rough idea.”
Secondly, Mr Soh is also the President of the Singapore Gamers’ Association (SGGA). SGGA is currently one of the main sponsors of team XtC, while Cindy is an employee of SGGA.
What sets this apart from similar cases of apparent conflicts of interest in CGS history is that Mr Soh allegedly suggested that players give SGGA a portion of their salaries and winnings if they wanted to get drafted.
“[Mr Soh] did say he expected us to contribute to his funds when we were at the event,” said one gamer who participated in the tournament.
However, talking to reporter Oo Gin Lee from The Straits Times, Mr Soh denied any conflicts of interest. Explaining the selections, he said, “The best players are not necessarily chosen for CGS. We look for a combination of skills, sportsmanship and how well the players can carry themselves on TV.”
Apart from a front page mention on the Home section of The Straits Times, the incident was also reported by major esports news outlets such as GGL and SK Gaming, making the circumstances surrounding the qualifiers a talking point around the world.
The CGS has since launched investigations into the matter, with several tournament participants receiving calls from Tonya, the Director of Player Relations for CGS. According to one of the participants contacted, CGS will release its findings “soon”.
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The Straits Times
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