Hearthstone professional Linh 'Seiko' Nguyen is facing serious criticism from the community after he admitted to playing Dota Autochess on his phone while in a match for the Grandmasters Europe Season 2 2019.
A new competition this year from Blizzard, Hearthstone Grandmasters includes 48 of the world’s top players who are chosen based on lifetime earnings, 2018 HCT Competitive Points, and other criteria.
Seiko is on the Grandmasters' roster representing Germany - but during a match on September 14 against Swedish pro Elias 'Bozzzton' Sibelius, he became distracted by playing another game on his phone.
What had Seiko so distracted?
During the match against Bozzzton, Seiko seemed extremely out of it and made some absent minded mistakes that cost him the match, 2-1.
Hearthstone player BabyBear wondered "How are we supposed to take GM seriously when even the players in it don't?" when they saw Seiko's clip.
"Honestly, you can see Seiko is doing something else during his match and it's so frustrating to watch," they wrote on Twitter.
How are we supposed to take GM seriously when even the players in it don't?? Honestly, you can see Seiko is doing something else during his match and it's so frustrating to watch. Fuck this.https://t.co/owJCZvxlqR
— BabyBear (@BabyBearHS) September 14, 2019
Seiko failed to respond the way he should have to his opponents cards or give himself enough health and shield to survive the next turn, even though he could have with the cards in his hand.
The casters for the match, Nathan ‘Admirable’ Zamora and Simon 'Sottle' Welch were some of the first to let Seiko know he messed up.
"Seiko, free advice for you my friend, pay attention to the goddamn game you're playing when there are hundreds and thousands of other professional players who would love to be in your position right now," Sottle said about the incident. "How about that? ... Yeah, you can go ahead and concede now."
"If you were wondering what the hell Seiko was doing during his match when he misplayed horribly and also was looking somewhere else than his screen most of the time... He was playing another game on another screen," Hearthstone player Pasca explained.
If you were wondering what the hell @HS_Seiko was doing during his match when he misplayed horribly and also was looking somewhere else than his screen most of the time... He was playing another game on another screen. (tweet promptly deleted) #Hearthstone #grandmasters https://t.co/mm92sLFdU5 pic.twitter.com/KoNDLAf8RF
— NPH Pasca (@hs_Pasca) September 14, 2019
What did Seiko have to say?
Seiko himself admitted that he had been playing in a Dota Autochess qualifier on his phone at while also trying to play in his Hearthstone Grandmasters match.
"I'm sorry everyone, I never expected that this would be something that could escalate like this." the pro wrote in a Twitlonger. "I’ve been playing autochess for quite a while now, practiced a ton for a really long time only for this qualifier and felt really good about my chances to win."
"I really thought I had enough practice, that I could handle playing both games without paying too much attention to autochess," he continued. "Unfortunately it took too much attention though, which didn’t end up well in HS."
— Linh Nguyen (@HS_Seiko) September 15, 2019
The pro also said he would be dropping out of the Autochess qualifier to focus entirely on Hearthstone going forward.
It remains to be seen what repercussions Seiko could face from Blizzard, who probably aren't too fond of him playing a competitor's game instead of theirs.