The recent Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament in Taipei, which functioned as a qualifier for the Valve-sponsored IEM Katowice major and the MLG offline qualifier in Columbus later this year, was entertaining for a number of factions. The two Australian teams were favourites, which isn't a sentence you write often these days, both of whom ended up losing to a team from Mongolia.
But that wasn't the only surprising turn of events; Tyloo, one of the more prominent Chinese teams, caused some waves by getting disqualified moments before the tournament began. And their reasoning after the fact is just as amusing.
ESL confirmed just before IEM Taipei began that the team was disqualified because one of the players had been hit with a VAC ban and was therefore ineligible to play any Valve-affiliated events. From now (or at least at when it was discovered) until the end of time, in case you're wondering.
Tyloo and the affected player have since issued a statement to HLTV.org, saying that while they knew the player had previously received a VAC ban they weren't aware that it might be a problem for competing in official tournaments.
The excuse is about as good as it gets too. According to Quanqing "qz" Wu, the ban, issued in 2013 shortly after the MSI Beat It! finals, happened because his friend was playing on his account.
Although, since the account got VAC banned almost 3 years ago, I can't remember the exact details. I will say something about it from memory. In 2013, CS:GO was not popular in China like now, we can't use CNY and alipay to buy it. At that time, some accounts were shared; I played on another guy's account.
Let's put aside for the fact that Tyloo has been one of the oldest esports organisations in China. In 2011 their Dota 1 team took gold at the World Cyber Games finals, in front of a home crowd. Their Dota 2 team was invited to the first International, although they received nothing for finishing 9th-12th at the time. Their CS 1.6 team won gold for China in Counter-Strike Online at WCG China in 2012, and their 1.6 team also won 35,000 RMB for winning the eSports Champions League final that same year.
But let's continue.
Unfortunately, I used that account to play the MSI matches. That day, I suddenly found out that others logged onto that account at the qualifier, and the password had been changed. So I used another account to continue playing the match. When I finished my match, I tried to contact my friend to find the password, but he ignored me. I thought that maybe some other guys were using the account to play on it, so I kept using the second one. After the Grand final I found out the first account got VAC banned. I was really woried about it, wondering how I got VAC'd and how could I save my skins! I tried to trade, but the VAC ban locked the items so I asked my friend to help me, but he never answered. A few days later, when I opened the VAC'd account's inventory, I found all the skins gone, unless Valve somehow got those skins. How could the other guys get these skins?
Tyloo hasn't kicked Wu in the meantime. They're accepting his explanation and the episode is helping shine a light on Valve and just how much work they do to investigate account bans that prevent them from playing at Valve-sponsored tournaments.
But seriously? My friend cheated on my account? That excuse has been doing the rounds for over a decade. But if it helps get a little more clarity into how Valve operates, as well as providing a lesson to organisations from countries that haven't had as much international exposure in CSGO, then perhaps something of value can eventuate from the whole episode.