Matt Ludwick brings us another perspective on what occurred at Adepticon and Josh Death’s dropping from the event.
This past weekend saw one of the biggest and most traditional 40k tournaments come to a close with a brilliantly played game between Stephen Fore and Jim Vesal. Both gentlemen played 40k at a high level and competitive 40k was on display in a manner that enriches our hobby and reinforces that competitive play is a place to be celebrated and not feared. Unfortunately, this was not the story that was brought to light for a lot of people. Accusations and dispersion was cast on a players list and summarily the rumor mill began to spin into motion concerning the play of Joshua Death and his list and how he had cast a shadow on an overall great event. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. My name is Matt Ludwick, Co-Founder of The Enclave, Host of The Chainsword Diaries, TO of The Cleveland Chainsword Championship, Proud member of #CLE40k, Team mate of Joshua Death, and person who informed him of the illegal list entries. This is the story of how misconception became reality.
I, like every other tourney addicted home bound gamer, watched our glorious leaders Frankie and Geoff broadcasting the first round of Adepticon and was wondering if maybe those Plucky Thousand Sons could have everything fall their way and eek out a win against Stephen Pampreen and his mighty Ork Horde. When in the chat mention came up of my teammate, my rather sizable ears perked up and I clued in to what was being said. “Geoff, Can you talk about how Joshua Death is illegally using cult Keywords on Brood Brothers?” asked a fellow viewer in the chat. Geoff being the consummate pro, let it slide and focused on the game at hand. I on the other hand went to my teammates list to see what was up. I knew this wasn’t his normal preparation for a large event and Josh had put less than maximum practice into playing this faction combo. Sure enough, along with the other 3 legal entries that had the <Cult of the 4 armed emperor> Keyword His brood brothers entry had them as well. I don’t play GSC (Glory to the Dark Gods) and knew that something maybe up.
I messaged Josh towards the end of the round (as I was at work and had it on in the background) to let him know. Right around the middle of round 2 I get a text confirmation that Josh hadn’t reviewed the list he typed up before registration that morning and two words that I won’t repeat in front of the kiddos. Josh went dark for a little while and as I was waiting for another teammates’ results in BCP I saw Josh’s opponent with a 40-0 win and Josh’s name removed from the tourney.
At this point I’ll switch views on our story and reference communication I received from the Adepticon head Judge/TO Jason Lippert. As I can obviously understand the perceived Bias one could assume I have I’ll quote his communication about the issue in full below.
“With respect to Josh Death’s disqualification, on day one, shortly after the second round of the AdeptiCon Warhammer 40K Championship began, we [‘we’ meaning the AdeptiCon Judges/Staff] became aware that there was an allegation, somewhere on social media, that Josh Death’s list was illegal due to assigning a <Cult> to his three Brood Brother Infantry units. I was informed shortly after we became aware, at which time we reviewed published AdeptiCon policy regarding the discovery of illegal lists/models, taking into account my stated position that I refuse to be obligated to any action by someone not actually at my event. We also interviewed his first round opponent to see if we could determine whether the way in which the list was illegal had an impact on the game; according to the player, it did not.
Our discussion and investigation resulted in the following decision: If Josh qualified for the Top 16, he would be disqualified. That is the step at which we accept responsibility for list legality, so that is when we would enforce the sanction. In the meantime, if any of his opponents made a complaint, Josh would be immediately disqualified. This is in keeping with AdeptiCon policy.
A short time later (well before the end of the second round), Josh himself became aware that his list was illegal. He came to me personally to let me know exactly how his list was illegal, and offer both apologies and to withdraw immediately. I told him to hold his offer for the moment, and repeated the process described above, including interviewing his current opponent and re-interviewing his first round opponent. I made my top judge argue on behalf of Josh staying in the tournament. We decided that if Josh’s play had been perfect and the illegality had not impacted his games thus far, we would strike the illegal part from all of his lists (with me signing off on them), and he would continue.
During our investigation, one of his opponents pointed out that Josh had, in fact, misplayed a GSC rule. I do not feel it necessary to share exactly which one it was, as all that mattered for my decision was that his play had not been perfect. I will share that it had nothing to do with the misattribution of <Cult> to the Brood Brothers Infantry. I informed Josh that I accepted his offer to withdraw. His second round game was scored 40-0 in favor of his opponent, and he was dropped from the tournament. Josh comported himself with dignity and humility during this process, and went on to participate in the AdeptiCon Warhammer 40K Team Tournament without even a hint of any kind of misconduct.
Going forward, we will consider revising our policy to establish that we will acknowledge information that comes to us from outside sources and act on it as soon as we become aware of it (i.e. considering it the equivalent of a player complaint). We have not adopted this idea yet. If we do, it will be included in the 2020 rules packet, which is typically made available (in draft form) in November.
Jason Lippert, Head Judge/TO
AdeptiCon 40K Events”
As you can see, there were many many things that could be said of Joshua this weekend. But ill intent on a player I have come to call friend and brother is not something I can rightfully stand by and let happen. My name is Matt Ludwick, Joshua Death is my teammate. He made a mistake. He owned it. He lived up to the most stringent version of the ITC player conduct pact and self reported and removed himself so that a tournament could go on to have an untainted outcome. The tournament organizers handled it in a manner consistent with the ITC player conduct and Adepticon rules and the system worked. I’m proud of his actions, and I thank you for your time.
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