Top Smash Players Fixed Match, Banned from MLG Finals

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Major League Gaming just posted a news blast which has Twitter blowing up with people trying to figure out what is going on. Here it is:

Major League Gaming was recently made aware of allegations of match fixing on the part of Pro Super Smash Bros. Brawl players Mew2King and ADHD at the recent MLG D.C. Pro Circuit Competition. The Official MLG Rules clearly state that no players may engage in “intentional Forfeiting or conspiring to manipulate Rankings or Brackets,” with one of the possible penalties for such a violation being a competition ban.

Following an official investigation of the above allegations by the MLG Conduct Committee, both players have been banned from competing at MLG Dallas. Further penalties and sanctions may be imposed at a later date.

This was pretty shocking to me since Mew2King is widely regarded as the best player to ever play Smash (any of them) and why he would throw a match is beyond me. But as you look into it, things get a bit more interesting.

ADHD originally had posted a blog on stating that he had paid M2K $300 to lose the Losers Bracket Finals in return for a split of the winnings (some are reporting that M2K didn’t want to play in the finals vs Rich Brown).  It looks like that blog has been removed and replaced with a longer one explaining his side of the story:

I’m not dedicating this post to proving or disproving what happened as I’m not in a position to do that.  A bunch of evidence has been posted all over the place and multiple times the sources have deleted their posts to protect the accused (and potentially, the community).  The more disturbing lining about this entire situation is that it seems like it is the norm for Smash tournaments.

The fact this even seemed like a good, reasonable idea is absurd to me. Here is another thread I found regarding the MGC Finals in Vegas, where, from what I could gather, 4 of the 8 players in the tournament had agreed to split any winnings but some confusion led to a huge dispute over who owed who.

Responses to all of the threads I’ve seen have revealed that everyone is aware of the rampant splitting at the top levels of tournaments. Some people dislike it, some consider it something that won’t change, and most of the top players seem OK with it. What is sad is that, for the most part, the Smash community is defending the players involved in this scenario. This is the thread discussing what went down (switch pages around if you want to read a lot).

The Issue With Splitting

When matches are split it results in much lower level performances and worse matches on the whole. It is unfair to the people spectating and a slap to the face of the league which has set up a stage for you to perform and sends you paychecks for those performances.  The Smash community practically begged for 2 years for Smash to be put back on the MLG circuit and this is apparently how things have been going down.

Every time I played on stream for MLG, in the back of my mind I felt that one of my responsibilities as a player was to entertain the people who were watching at the venue as well as online.  This is the reason MLG pays pro players stipends to get to events.  They want the top players to be there playing to increase exposure and viewer counts by presenting entertaining, top-level matches.  This isn’t just what MLG wants, it is what the community wants as well.

Regardless of what facts surface regarding the incident, the fact that the Smash community seems to find it OK that pro players are splitting prize money at tournaments is disgusting to me.  That community should be pissed at this scenario.  They should demanding change and explanations.  The players involved should be apologizing to MLG, the community, and their sponsors instead of disputing that splitting isn’t the same as throwing a match.

UPDATE: Get Your Tournament (A great blog for Fighting and Madden communities) wrote a commentary on the situation and community which I think sums up the thoughts of most people outside of the Smash community.

I was pissed at the Brawl community for letting the competitive fire be extinguished because of friendships and the almighty dollar. When would they grow up and try to be competitive without financial manipulation? You can still be friends even if one kicks the ass of another.

But hey, I was just as excited as anyone when MLG brought the game in for the 2010 season. They were giving Brawl a chance.

I hope the Brawl community loved their chance, because two players just blew it for everyone.

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