The Archon Team League Championship’s blend of innovative action and accessible atmosphere turned sour on Saturday night after an equipment failure delayed crucial tournament matches.
Jason “Amaz” Chan gathered participants in the living room of the Archon team house and informed a frustrated field that an Internet failure would delay the tournament’s final seeding match to tomorrow. Nihilum and Value Town sat deadlocked in the loser’s final of the seeding bracket when the incident occurred, with little apparent cause for the network failure.
“The Internet went down in the entire house for about 12 minutes, and then it happened again, so we’re stopping the games for today because the Internet is super unstable,” Chan told the Daily Dot. “We’re going to continue tomorrow (and) start from the same time, it’s just going to be a longer day.”
Seeding matches bear considerable weight in the eventual distribution of prize money ($250 thousand, a tie for the largest prize pool in Hearthstone history). Teams’ placement in the seeding bracket then translates into an easier or harder road in the finals bracket, affording a greater advantage to higher finishing teams.
Chan’s decision drew ire from some participants, most notably Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy, whose team, Nihilum, battled back from a deficit against Tempo Storm in the previous match to earn the showdown with Value Town.
“The only rule in the (Archon Team League Championship) that players signed is that if you (disconnect) with obvious lethal [damage] on the board, then you win the game, otherwise it’s a rematch,” said Chan. “Unless the players agree to a consensus that something different will happen, then we’ll go with that. But they could not agree so it’s a rematch.”
The incident is an unfortunate interruption to an otherwise sterling and highly-spectated tournament. The Archon Team League Championship’s unique format has featured multiple impressive comebacks and nail-biting moments over the weekend before tonight’s events. Viewership also consistently flirted with six figures, hovering around more than 90 thousand over two days of action.
Still, fans will likely flock to the broadcast tomorrow when the taut seeding series concludes. Cloud9 will begin tomorrow’s championship bracket in the grand final with Tempo Storm starting in the quarterfinals.
UPDATE: Archon Team League Championship administrators have identified a localized Internet outage as the source of the disconnection. Competition will resume at 12 PM Central standard time with Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy and Jeffrey “Trump” Shih.