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Pro TFT player and streamer Escha details how Riot’s Oceanic Qualifier was “a joke of a tourney”

No competitive event with any integrity can be allowed to occur like this.

Top Australian TFT player Escha, who recently signed to play for esports organization Avant Gaming, posted a long list of grievances last night that he has about the way in which the Oceanic World Championship Qualifiers were run.

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In his tweet, Escha harshly called out Riot’s mismanagement of the event, saying it was a “joke of a tourney.”

Among his main critiques, Escha claimed that just over half of the players who qualified actually showed up to the online event. Instead of replacing those missing players with the backup qualfiers, Riot’s tournament organizer reportedly decided to allow the lobbies to play official games with as few as five people.

This meant that some players had an easier route to qualifying due to having a guaranteed top five placing in some lobbies. And because TFT doesn’t have a custom game feature yet, the lobbies that couldn’t fill all eight player slots reportedly had random, non-tournament registered people fill the remaining slots.

Escha said this “affected gameplay” because those players took “items [Escha] needed in order to place higher” and “in one of the games someone might have actually sniped the lobby and griefed.”

Further adding to the mess of a tournament, Escha claimed the single person assigned to run the qualifiers had no experience with TFT and also didn’t background check any of the players to ensure that they were in fact from the region or that they ranked high enough to even compete. This, in turn, allegedly allowed for non-Oceanic located players to compete in the matches and steal away valuable points from local players.

Some of the players reportedly realized how much of a disaster the tournament was and left midway through the games. At one point, there were just three people left in a lobby after some of the players quit.

TFT qualifiers for the World Championship are being held across the world right now. A total of 16 players from eight server regions will compete in the TFT World Championship later this year with a $200,000 prize pool.

The World Championship was supposed to prove the game’s ability to be a true competitive title and was going to be the first global tournament run by Riot. Instead, popular players and streamers from multiple regions are calling Riot out for its poor tournament organization.

DeliciousMilk, one of North America’s best players who’s qualified for the World Championship, tweeted that he had no idea “why no one is complaining about the OCE qualifiers.”

Josepau1o, GooGieMonA, Keane, and Omni ended up being the four players from the OCE event who earned a spot at the next round of the qualifiers. They’ll be combined with the North American competition to play in the OCENA (Oceanic + North American) round of qualifiers that will finally determine which players will be attending the inaugural TFT World Championship.

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Samuel O'Dwyer
Aussie freelance writer with a focus on League of Legends, Overwatch and TFT. Twitter is @yaakiisoba.