Fighting Game Tournament Pool Collapses After Loser Keeps Playing Under Friend's Name [Updated]

Canada Cup's cheater himself, caught on stream

While fighting game events allow everyone an opportunity to compete thanks to their traditional, open-bracket format, they have one explicit rule: you only get one shot at winning.

A competitor boldly broke this rule at this weekend's Canada Cup in Toronto, Ontario when he decided his first chance wasn't enough and participated under an assumed name in a different pool. His actions set off a chain reaction that affected the entire competition and left one player fuming after wasting $US1,000 ($1,301) on making the trip to compete.

Jose Aldape, who once competed as "Quackbot" but now goes by the name "PC Marvel God," is known within the fighting game community as a strong Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 competitor thanks to his third-place finish at Evo 2017.

Unfortunately, those skills have yet to transfer to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite in a significant way. Aldape's progress through Canada Cup, the latest Battle for the Stones qualifying event, came to an end after just three games on Saturday morning, giving him the rest of the weekend to dwell on the disappointing 1-2 record that saw him eliminated from the tournament.

But then something bizarre happened. Players at the venue noticed a familiar face as one of the later Infinite pools neared its conclusion, and realised Aldape had somehow reinserted himself into competition, playing under the name "Holy Order Troll".

According to fellow Marvel player Armando "Angelic" Mejia, who was the first to share details on Twitter for those not attending Canada Cup, Aldape was found out after beating Erik "Smooth Viper" Arroyo on stream (and pointing a smug finger gun at the camera for good measure).

Capcom representatives and tournament organisers were quickly called over to handle the situation.

A huge portion of the pool had already been completed at this point. Eliver "KillerKai" Ling, who made his first trip to Canada from Southern California to compete, was already qualified in winners, waiting on groups to wrap up so his first top 16 match could begin.

With no official word from both Capcom and the Canada Cup organisers, it again fell on Mejia to relay information, announcing on Twitter that they were getting ready to replay the pool. As he had been matched up against Aldape earlier in the bracket, this meant Ling's accomplishment was erased.

With the impostor removed from competition, Ling played through his matches again and ended up being sent to the losers side of top 16 instead, where he dropped his next match and was eliminated from the tournament.

He was less than happy with the results, sarcastically calling the situation "swell" after losing to a player he had previously defeated. Aldape's cheating had cost him a good shot at winning the tournament.

"Capcom and Canada Cup staff were faced with a tough situation and I think they tried their best to come up with a good resolution, but I was disappointed in how they handled it and their lack of foresight," Ling shared the next day.

"It's frustrating to drop close to $US1,000 ($1,301) last minute to come out here and have all this happen. Needless to say, my experience at this event was a disappointing one. I won't be returning to any Canada Cup events."

With no word from official sources, the fighting game community was left confused as to what exactly happened. Why was Aldape playing under a completely different name? Did he register twice? Or was someone else involved?

As the night progressed, it became clear that someone had intentionally provided Aldape with a second chance in the Canada Cup brackets. "Holy Order Troll" was revealed to be the tag of Lina Crawford, a competitor with deep roots in the fighting game community.

But where Aldape was repentant on social media, Crawford seemed incredulous that folks had issues with her giving her spot in the bracket to a player who had already been eliminated, saying "All this is is making Canada Cup and people look bad for what seemed like an innocent offer. People do it all the time. Chill."

Compete reached out to Aldape and Crawford for further information as the accusations came to light, and both provided details similar to the former's public statement.

"As I was playing casuals, Lina approached me and asked if I could take her spot in the tournament, because her stick wasn't working and she would drop out otherwise," Aldape said. "I was cool with it for fun, so I reluctantly agreed after she asked me several times.

"I originally thought I would lose quickly and thought of it as a big joke. Had I known that it would cause this much trouble for so many people, I would have refused. I sincerely apologise for all the problems I caused and all the time I wasted."

The Soul Stone's powers of resurrection are only supposed to work in-game.

A number of issues contributed to Crawford's decision, she explained to Compete, most notably the stress of her arcade stick (an "extinct" American model) breaking and running brackets over the weekend. "Honestly, neither of us were sure it was illegal, but looking back, it was definitely bad," she admitted. "I know it is wrong, I own up, and it will never happen again."

Sneaky moves like giving someone your spot in the bracket were easier to hide or ignore when the scene was small, but the added spotlight of developer support means competitive integrity must be maintained at all costs.

This incident, while relatively small, sowed chaos at Canada Cup and ruined the integrity of the entire Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite event, overshadowing much of the day's competition.

Adalpe is prepared to accept any punishment he receives, saying he still feels "terrible" for being a "complete idiot." Neither Canada Cup nor Capcom have provided official responses, and requests for comment have also gone unanswered.

Update - November 3, 1:12PM: Aldape and Crawford have been handed lifetime bans from Canada Cup events for their actions over the weekend, the organisation announced today. Capcom has remained silent on if they will dole out additional punishments.


Comments

    Both should be banned for at least a year, no one in the FGC would ever think that giving someone else your slot, especially after the person taking the slot had already been eliminated, would ever be okay.

    She should have just forfeited, and he should have said no to the offer, they both are equally guilty of doing something they had to know was wrong, i highly doubt that both of them wouldn't think that this was an issue at the time, especially when this was a Tournament with a cash prize and was Capcom Pro Tour Sponsored, which are known for stricter rules.

    Pat - In any other game aside from Melee this would be considered CHEATING, but fuck it I guess because it's Marvel Infinite right?

      Is that because it's a newer game, and accepted rules haven't been ironed out as yet? (I'm not really familiar with competitive gaming at all, let alone fighting games in particular)

        Its cheating. If re-entries or replacements were a thing, there would be an official process they need to follow, and not simply sit in someone elses seat.

        Otherwise, every loser would just re-enter until they won, which would be chaos.

          Yeah, I was more curious about Neo's comment at the end about it being Marvel Infinite so it must not be cheating... I figured he was hinting that because it was a new game the rules might have changed or something.

    Im curious how it was able to happen.
    Don't get me wrong, both players deserve punishments to be sure, but I'm assuming a violation of rules has occurred and that a number of precautions were subverted or manipulated.

      Article pretty much spells it out... one person had a spot on the prelim brackets and decided to let the other person take that place because of issues with their controllers.

      To be fair most of these would be looked after by staff just calling names off a list for the matches so unless you were *really* paying attention at these prelim matches you wouldn't have known its the same person doing the match up again..

        I wasn't clear perhaps, I'm not asking what happened, but how it was able to happen with a comment on organisation.

        Either way I would hope an event hosting the Capcom pro tour would have a little more in place than what you describe.
        Its the difference between an esport and some amateur EB store event.

          If you've never had someone do this before, why would you put precautions like carding people in? Before now, there was never a need

    They should get at least some punishment tho a year seems a bit excessive from what another poster suggested at least in this case. Especially when it seems like the officials weren't doing the right thing either until they noticed there was a problem until so late in the tournament.

    Give them 6 months ban instead, put them on notice they'll recieve worse if they break another rule in the 6 months afterwards.

    Then just say flat out from this point onwards it would be a years ban since everyone will be on notice now that this isn't ok to do.

    So like any one can play? Like no ID checks or anything?

      Yes and no... the competitors names have been registered to make sure that someone isn't registering twice.

      Except realistically with such a huge pool of players on prelim matches all the folks looking after it are basically just calling out names so if a person decides to give their spot during the prelim pools to someone who already played was where it fell through...

    ""Honestly, neither of us were sure it was illegal, but looking back, it was definitely bad,"

    Are you for real here? It's a sponsored competition with a cash prize pool.... not a small get together at a mates place for a few bucks.

      But was it against the rules? Unsportsmanlike is not the same as not allowed by the rules of the competition.

    “...after losing to a player he had previously defeated.“

    Seems like there should be an easier solution than just starting from scratch? Why repeat legitimate matches between the same legitimate competitors?

Join the discussion!