Over the weekend, China proved too much for North America to handle in the latest Gold series of competitive Hearthstone. While the Chinese squad repeatedly outsmarted its North American opponents at numerous turns, it was the final win of the day that brought fair-play to question.
China’s “Lvge” played Dirty Rat on his second turn against Team Dignitas’ Keaton “Chakki” Gill. The move defies logic because it carries tremendous risk.
Dirty Rat summons a random minion from the opponent’s hand. Lvge could have easily pulled any one of several cards that Chakki could have been wielding such as Tomb Pillager or Gadgetzan Auctioneer. That would have put Chakki in an incredibly advantageous position. However, the North American player wasn’t wielding any such card.
Considering that it was only turn-two, the only way a professional Hearthstone player would play Dirty Rat is if they were winging it or had a fair idea of the opponent’s hand. Apparently, it was the latter.
According to multiple North American players, the Chinese casters and teammates were screaming at Lvge to play Dirty Rat as soon as he picked it up at the end of his first turn. Due to the unavailability of a soundproof box or white noise in the background, it’s with certainty that the Chinese player took the cue.
Tempo Storm founder and player Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk was furious with what had taken place. Taking to Twitter, he confirmed that observers were streaming the matches live without any delay. Even more worrying was the revelation that the Chinese players were being repeatedly asked to stop disturbing the live games but to no avail.
Both times the Chinese team had a nutty turn 2 dirty rat his team screams it a few feet away from him. Get kindly asked to quiet down…
— reynad (@TempoReynad) January 22, 2017
An open statement from Chakki reiterates that he could also hear the casters yelling and though complaints were lodged, no action was taken by the management.
“It feels hopeless to call an admin when you know nothing will be done about these situations,” he said. “The game was pretty much lost for me at that point. Anything short of a gameloss/regame was pointless as the game was tournament point for the Chinese.”
His frustration is clearly visible in the video (above) as soon as Lvge made the move.
The Dirty Rat play in the final game wasn’t the only time when Chinese players listened to outside interference. The Chinese squad screamed every time when one of its players got a Dirty Rat out of the deck.
Despite the controversial finish, China had pretty much won the tournament at that point. Over the weekend, “OmegaZero” and “Lovelychook” had already secured two victories in a best-of-three series, leaving Lvge to deal with Chakki.
The North American Hearthstone community, however, is raging right now. The Chinese management has been called out to defend itself.