Overwatch Contenders admins are facing a lot of controversy after they forced a team to play a match down a player and wouldn’t let the team wait to allow him to rejoin.
On July 14, Noble took on Ardour in losers round 2 of the monthly tournament series. With the contest going the distance on a fifth decisive map, Noble DPS Alex ‘Seeker’ Taylor disconnected due to a power outage.
Although teams are allowed 10 minutes for a player to return, the admins apparently denied Noble more time, forcing the match to continue with the team down a player.
Match chat screenshots posted by Seeker on Twitter even show Ardour tank player Leo ‘SZNS’ Gzebb requesting that their time bank be utilized in order to wait in a show of tremendous sportsmanship.
— seeker (@seeker_ow) July 15, 2021
However, the admins denied the request and forced the match to continue. Eventually, when the map was nearly completed, SZNS quit the game, resulting in another pause which allowed Seeker time to come back.
Noble tank Rick ‘GiG’ Salazar claimed that the admin was on a “powertrip.”
“Denied and did not give the time that is in Ardour’s bank and their right to use, spectator went on a power trip and egoed everyone,” he wrote.
Denied and did not give the time that is in Ardour’s bank and their right to use, spectator went on a power trip and egoed everyone
— GiG (@GiG_OW) July 15, 2021
News of the Contenders controversy spread throughout the Overwatch community with notable streamers commenting on the situation, each attacking the admins for how they handled the issue.
“Forcing a team to play out a 5v6 in a highly competitive setting instead of waiting is the most unprofessional s**t i have ever seen,” remarked Fran.
forcing a team to play out a 5v6 in a highly competitive setting instead of waiting is the most unprofessional shit i have ever seen
— FRAN (@FRANA_OW) July 15, 2021
“Not giving teams ample time to fix technical difficulties in matches when both teams are agreeing to wait is actually absurd,” commented Flats, one of the most popular tanks on Twitch.
Many fans were critical as it’s highly unlikely such an outcome would have occurred in the Overwatch League, which has seen its fair share of outrageously long pauses.
Didn’t fuel have like an hour long intermission over technical difficulties in a professional arena?
Not giving teams ample time to fix technical difficulties in matches when both teams are agreeing to wait is actually absurd. https://t.co/LKKdFa37s3
— Flats (@Flats_OW) July 15, 2021
While almost a day passed before any updates, Blizzard soon issued a response on the Path to Pro Twitter account.
“While the rulebook was followed, we recognize that it negatively impacted the results of the map, and apologize to plays and all Contenders fans. We will work on the rules to create better escalation paths for situations such as this one.”
An update on the North America Tournament pic.twitter.com/xz6xfCd5hZ
— Overwatch Path to Pro (@owpathtopro) July 15, 2021
Following the apology, no further action has yet been taken. Hopefully, a conclusion is reached that makes both sides happy as even though Ardour emerged with the W, as SZNS said, both teams feel bad about the result.