SadStory: booted from 'E. Asia' subregion, Taiwan Counter-Strike team must play under 'Greater China'

The tournament will allow SadStory to play, but they will be designated under the 'Greater China' subregion for all future events


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Earlier this week, on Nov. 7, it was reported that a Taiwanese team of Esports competitors who had qualified for a regional Counter Strike: global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament were disqualified because of a “regional belonging issue.”

The excuse was that the Taiwanese team, SadStory, had failed to register in the “Greater China” region, and had instead registered and qualified for the East Asian Region.

Several days after the sudden disqualification, SadStory has been allowed to rejoin the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2019 Asia Minor’s qualifiers tournament, reports HKFP. However, they will be forced to participate in the “Greater China” region.

As previously reported, CrazyFace, a member of SadStory said in a Facebook post that the team considered entering the China region in the past, but chose otherwise as they hold Taiwanese passports.

Despite the fact that the team had already defeated a Japanese team 16:1, tournament organizers abruptly determined that they were not competing in the appropriate region and decided to disqualify them.

The event organizers said they define nationality according to the United Nations’ list of countries. It is unclear why the national distinction became a problem this year.

HKFP reports that Michael Blicharz, a representative of the tournament organizer ESL VP Pro Gaming, said the issue was related to technical concerns. Blicharz claimed the Asia sub-regions were decided upon “to ensure there was no technical lag.”

Blicharz said the organizers realized their mistake too late, resulting in a “default loss” for SadStory. However he also expressed his apologies to the team, and in order to make up for the oversight the tournament has expanded the tournament in the “Greater China” region to allow for SadStory to compete.

HKFP quotes Blicharz:

“We regret the assignment issue and have decided to expand the number of slots for the Closed Qualifier in the Greater China Region… to give SadStory a direct slot to make sure they have a new opportunity to qualify for the event.”

Team leader CrazyFace on his Facebook page said that he was just happy for the opportunity to play again.