Natus Vincere and Entropiq will face each other on Tuesday at 18:00 in the fifth-place decider of EPIC League CIS, the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year in the region. The new date was confirmed on Monday after both teams initially refused to play the match on Sunday, the tournament’s final day.
In a statement issued on Monday evening, Entropiq explained that both teams were only notified on Saturday at 10:30 that they would have to play the fifth-place decider. The original plan was to award equal prize money ($2,000) and RMR points (1150) to both teams, but this goes against the rules set in place by Valve for the RMR tournaments, which determine that there should be “distinct placement for teams across invite boundaries.”
“This notification was quite a surprise to both teams, as in an official announcement prior to the event, such a match was not scheduled at all,” the Czech organisation said. “Both Entropiq and Natus Vincere, with respect to their accomplished achievements during the tournament, were under the impression that the tournament was over for both teams.
“Both teams proceeded with respect to the original schedule, and that is why we were not prepared to participate in a match with such short notice.”
The Russian Esports Federation (RESF), which is holding EPIC League CIS with the support of Epic Esports Events, contacted Valve upon learning of the teams’ refusal to play the match. The game developer ruled that the series had to go ahead and that the teams would lose all RMR points accrued in the tournament if they remained intent on not playing the match. This eventually forced both teams to make a U-turn and agree to play the best-of-three encounter, which will see the winner secure 1200 RMR points, 100 more than the losing side.
But the late addition of a fifth-place decider wasn’t the only change to the original tournament schedule. HLTV.org knows that at least one of the two finalists didn’t know that the tournament decider would be played in a best-of-five format until a few days before that match, even though casters had allegedly been aware of this fact for weeks. HLTV.org was told that the final would not feature a best-of-three format only on the day of the match itself.
The organisers of EPIC League CIS have come under fire for production issues and a series of irregularities throughout the tournament. Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev was amongst the players who spoke out against the conditions under which teams had to play, revealing that the event lacked things such as anti-cheat, voice communication records and replays. Aleksandr “zorte” Zagodyrenko claimed that he discovered that the GOTV connected to the server in which his team was playing did not have any delay, which made it possible for anyone with the password to watch the action in real time.
These claims contributed to the cheating accusations that have been levied against Akuma, the surprise package of the RMR event. In a statement, RESF revealed that it decided to conduct an investigation into the matter following the “public discussion surrounding the matches played by Akuma”, who placed fourth in the tournament. The federation allegedly did not find any evidence compromising the administration of the tournament or the GOTV service, and its review of Akuma‘s hardware and software showed “no signs of foul play.”
“We collected all the necessary information to make a decision, notified Valve and ESIC of the situation, and are ready, if necessary, to conduct a retrial with their participation, providing the full amount of information we have collected,” RESF noted.
NAVI coach Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy will be on the ‘HLTV Confirmed’ podcast on Tuesday at 20:00 to discuss what happened in EPIC League CIS and the recent announcement of StarLadder as the host of the second CIS RMR tournament, among other topics.