Fnatic makes official complaint about TI11 soundproofing issues cover image

Fnatic makes official complaint about TI11 soundproofing issues

Fnatic has officially made a complaint to Valve after soundproofing issues seemingly cost them their TI11 spot.

Fnatics Dota 2 team has made an official complaint about the sound issues present at The International 2011, as per a tweet by team COO and co-owner Patrik "cArn" Sättermon. Fnatic's complaint is in response to widespread reports that on Day One of the TI11 Main Stage competition, players were able to hear the casters, and even in-game sounds of their opponents, due to the venue’s audio being so loud.

This issue seemingly directly contributed to the elimination of Fnatic from the event. Fnatic faced Gaimin Gladiators in a single elimination game in the Lower Bracket of TI11 on Day One of the Main Event. According to interviews and by statements in interviews by Gaimin Gladiators players, plays and even calls assisted Gaimin in the game.

In light of this Fnatic has decided to file a report to Valve.

Fnatic punches back against TI11 competitive integrity issues

In his post, cArn explains in depth the reasoning behind the report: “We have filed a formal report after learning that the opponent in our elimination game at TI11 were able to hear the production of the match, and according to themselves leveraged from that information in their decision-making.”

“As a former player I am very frustrated that such integrity issues are still not prevented, especially on the absolute biggest stage of the sport.  Our intention is solely to raise awareness about something that can be as game breaking as dream crushing for the athletes." cArn was a Counter-Strike 1.6 pro with Fnatic for six years.

But Valve doesn’t have a great record on competitive integrity. Take for example the debacle of the WEU qualifiers, where there was an inconsistency of enforcement of lag issues, or the fact that DPC events rarely if ever have accurate and published rules, and the picture of competitive integrity in Dota 2 starts to get murky and dire.

What could happen?

In the event Valve does respond, there are a number of penalties they could apply. The most minor would be draft penalties, such as those against PSG.LGD this tournament. At the more serious end, GG may be forced to Forfeit the rest of their games, as teams involved in match-fixing or player tampering have in the past. Valve has not typically enforced fines or made teams replay or remake matches, and there is no precedent or rules for such a punishment, although they could in theory make an exception.

But punishing the players of Gaimin Gladiators feels like the worst response to this issue. Fnatic, doubtless, aren't interested in extracting a blood price from their opponents. Instead, as stated, the team’s intent is “solely to raise awareness.” Fnatic's complaint is aimed at improving the situation in future after a disappointing end of TI11.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely Valve will respond. But the myriad of production issues should provide a model of what’s important for teams at TI. It’s clear some elements were missed here in favor of speed of production and quality of life. There’s no delay between games thanks to hyper efficient on-site computer swaps. But it seems this ruthless efficiency has come at the cost of the competitive integrity of TI11.