One of the biggest controversies in Hearthstone’s young history has overshadowed the opening day of one of the game’s biggest online tournaments, with accusations of cheating leading to a player being swiftly dropped from his team.
Jason “Amaz” Chan’s team Archon has dropped Raphael “Hosty” Tsantili from the roster following accusations that Tsantili was ‘stream sniping’ during his matches in Archon’s Pinnacle 2 tournament yesterday.
During his match against Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy, a glass picture frame behind Tsantili appeared to show a reflection of the tournament stream from his monitor. Though the stream was on a 10-minute delay, the match, which Tsantili lost 1-3, did feature three games that went longer than ten minutes. That meant it was possible that Tsantili could have gleaned some information from the stream. Tsantili was also present in the stream’s chat, but he denied doing so in order to gain any advantage.
Late last night, Archon released Hosty from the team. “We in no way condone anything that would compromise the integrity of the game,” the team said on Twitter. Chan himself later added that the incident was not the only factor in the decision, citing “multiple incidents” prior to the Pinnacle event.
“Stream sniping” was actually not prohibited in the rule set for the Pinnacle tournament, though many do consider it a form of cheating. In fact, according to a rules and information document sent to players and seen by the Daily Dot, the tournament did not prohibit any behavior or define anything as “cheating”.
Tsantili did not deny he was viewing the stream at the time of the tournament, but claimed that it was not done maliciously.
“How can anybody think I was stream sniping,” Tsantili said on Reddit, “I was idling the channel. Not only did I not watch/listen to the stream, the tournament is run on a huge delay which prevents this from even being a possibility. If I had any ill intent to try and stream snipe, (which isn’t possible) I would have just logged out of my account, it’s not complicated.”
Tsantili found himself in trouble earlier this month when he attempted to travel from his native Canada to the Archon team house in Texas. After tweeting that he was moving to the house, Tsantili later claimed that he was just visiting on a vacation, after he was prevented from entering the United States at the border. The rejection will likely cause him problems with immigration whenever he tries to travel outside of Canada.
Alongside Chan and world champion James “Firebat” Kostesich, Tsantili was one of the original three members of Archon. The team has since added “DeerNadia”, Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert and Brent “Backspace” Kaskel, leaving Archon with a roster of five players following Tsantili’s departure.
Photo via DreamHack/Flickr