Recently, a recording of a game at the 2014 World Team Championship (WTC) was posted featuring [name redacted] (Team USA Stars) and William Cruickshanks (Team Scotland). This video was brought to the attention of the WTC Committee because it showed multiple instances of [name redacted] demonstrating sloppy play egregious enough to entertain the notion that he was deliberately cheating.
The Committee takes the issue of cheating very seriously and began an investigation into the allegations by reviewing the video evidence, weighing [name redacted]’s public statement, and discussing the game with [name redacted]’s opponent, his team captain, and the USA WTC selection committee. The Committee then took time to deliberate on the situation and decide on our response.
The WTC is the pinnacle of the Warmachine game. Part of the organisation’s charter is to maintain the highest levels of play possible in the game. Consequently, we demand that players do not cheat, play the cleanest game possible, and behave as consummate sportsmen. That said, it is very difficult to prove a player is cheating because cheating requires the intent to deceive, which is clouded by the inherent inaccuracies involved when playing a tabletop miniatures game.
Upon reviewing the evidence, the Committee feels reasonably sure that [name redacted] was cheating in this particular game and that his game play was very sloppy and completely unacceptable. The Committee has already ruled that another of [name redacted]’s games was considered forfeit due to use of an illegal list. Taken together, these incidents suggest that [name redacted]’s game play is inconsistent with the standards we expect from WTC participants.
As a consequence, we rule that [name redacted] is disqualified from the 2014 WTC, and that he is ineligible to compete at the 2015 WTC. This means all his games are marked as losses and he forfeits any right to the Championship title.
A statement on filming games
The WTC Committee also wishes to make a statement about filming games at this time. Filming in and of itself is not a bad thing for the game. It improves the accessibility of the game enormously and brings much joy to many gamers who can appreciate the games, learn from them, and discuss them with their friends. Therefore, we stand by filming as an important development in the game.
That said, no player should be afraid of his or her games being filmed. The WTC demands the highest level of sportsmanship in the game and wishes to foster a sense of international community through transparency. A player being filmed should understand this reality and should make every effort to play the cleanest game possible. Our response in this matter would have been the same whether we saw [name redacted]’s behaviour live or on a recording.
Similarly and equally, viewers of filmed games have the responsibility of being good sportsmen about the game being viewed and respond with their comments in kind. The WTC does not advocate or tolerate internet bullying and condemns the treatment of any player in this manner.
Instead, appropriate responses to suspected cheating should be handled by the referees on site at the event. It is each player’s and bystander’s responsibility to inform a referee of any suspected problems so that it may be handled in an official and fair way. The same goes for suspected problems seen online. The only appropriate response is to notify the governing parties and let them handle the issue. Public condemnation and ridicule of players is unproductive and is as bad as cheating.
Our sincerest hope is that the Warmachine community has learned something from this unfortunate episode and thereby has become stronger from it.