Dota 2 team Test 123 have been disqualified from the Chongqing Major after winning the South American qualifier.
Test 123, formerly paiN X and also known as team 123, qualified alongside paiN Gaming but, shortly afterwards, Valve made a statement.
It said that Test 123 had been disqualified from the Major and runners-up Thunder Predator would instead take their spot in China.
It is the latest drama associated with the Chongqing Major qualifiers after the racism controversy involving TNC Predator and Kuku.
Valve's statement said: "We are disqualifying Pain X from the South American regional qualifiers, and giving their spot to the runner-up, Thunder Predator.
"Three months ago, we were contacted by Pain X inquiring about playing in the South American qualifiers. They asked if they could participate in them by traveling back and forth to the region to play in the qualifiers, rather than staying in the region. We explained to them that they couldn’t do that.
"We walked them through our reasoning, and what the purpose of regional qualifiers are, and why we thought that neither we nor fans would consider them an actual South American team.
For teams that try to bend the rules on this to gain a competitive advantage over other teams, you run the risk of being disqualified outright
"The reasons for guaranteed spots for each region is because we want to help nurture competitive growth in different regions, as well as have regional representation for fans around the world. We think it’s important for fans to be able to see their regions grow, and their teams compete in global events.
"A team temporarily traveling to and from a region just to compete in the qualifiers clearly does not provide any meaningful benefit to the region, and harms growth overall. When you are an actual team that lives in a region, you end up practicing with other teams, nurturing the region and growing local fans there. We explained this to Pain X three months ago, and as such, after investigating, we are removing them from the South American qualifiers.
"For teams that try to bend the rules on this to gain a competitive advantage over other teams, you run the risk of being disqualified outright. We will always reserve discretion to decide what is in the spirit of the regional goals and what is not. If a team wants to move to a new region completely, they are free to contact us and try to make their case on why they think they will be an actual team in that region going forward."
PPD tweets to voice concern
Valve's announcement came after NiP's ppd posted a TwitLonger objecting to the involvement of Test 123, led by mid CCnC.
It read: "I feel as if it's necessary to speak up and say something before we begin our qualifiers today. I'm all for promoting other regions of Dota but what is happening with the 2 mandated SA slots is unacceptable.
"I asked Valve last year if we (OpTic) could play SA TI qualifiers from Brazil last year and was told no. I asked again this year if NiP could train in EU and travel to Brazil (we have facilities there for our R6 squad) and play the DPC qualifiers. To this I was told "if you feel like you're cheating the system, you probably are, and that is unacceptable.
"This is exactly what is happening with CCNC's team and to some extent Pain Gaming. These teams are spending 1-2 weeks in Brazil for the major qualifier and then are returning back to their homes.
"If we are going to allocate spots to regions we are actively trying to promote DotA it needs to be enforced, Valve.
"If these players want to live and compete in SA (spend a majority of their time there and be inundated into the community) that is fine. But if they are going to fly in, rob a spot, and fly out we may as well combine NA and SA qualifiers again and give the spots to more competitive regions."