The Competitive 40k Circuits Need an Extradition Agreement

Some of you might be aware of the turbulence hitting the competitive 40k world after a top player was caught cheating at a GT recently. While I have no interest in attacking the individual or second guessing the punishment they received, I believe this incident has brought up a few things that TOs should be discussing.

Have an established code of conduct before the event

The worst thing in the world is to have a player caught cheating and then have to determine the punishment on the fly. Inevitably some will see any punishment as too harsh, or, if the player is well known, too light. As someone who works in education I am quite fond of rubrics for a tool assessment when dealing with qualitative works. In the same manner, having a rubric for discipline (that is published ahead of time) can ease public anger as you have a predetermined objective standard. I would also urge you to distinguish between flagrant and minor fouls. Just as in American football not all infringements are treated equally, so too should there be a system for differentiating between illegal actions. And I think this should extend to cover violations both at the event but also for those revealed afterwards. You will never please everyone when you deal with a someone caught cheating, especially if that individual is well known, but the objective standard can be a good way to establish a fair playing ground and absolve you of charges of favoritism or belligerence.

Local Circuits should synchronize discipline

As 40k grows in size I think it is time for the local circuits (such as the Northeast Circuit, Texas Circuit, etc) that are forming to share data on player discipline. This is what I mean by having an “Extradition Agreement”. Even if they may not inflict the same consequences for each infraction I believe the TO’s of these circuits should synchronize their structures of discipline so that when a player breaches one he or she breaches them all. I think this will go a long way in preventing players, who develop a regional reputation, from entering other events where people are unsure of calling them out. Having a centralized database of penalties will help organizers identify potential troublemakers and flag them if they show up at events. I believe the competitive scene is mature enough at this stage to find some sort of combined system that will work. Just as every tournament doesn’t use ITC points we shouldn’t expect every event to be part of the shared discipline code. But, by creating the ground work for this coordination we can prevent, or at least severely punish, would be cheaters.

I have seen a few responses in thread dealing with this matter with players saying “Oh I had a similar experience but I didn’t know for sure so I didn’t say anything.” For much of the hobby there remains an admirable sense of fair play where we give players the benefit of the doubt over mistakes and some dice rolls. However, if we want this environment to continue we have to establish rigorous but fair punishments for those that break these rules. Thus, the onus falls not only on TOs to deal with reports of cheating but also on players to communicate with judges about rules infractions. As with all things there is a balance here that you will have to judge based on the competence and experience of you opponent. But the only way to start implementing serious consequences is to create a paper trail that shows continued acts of malfeasance.

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5 Responses to “The Competitive 40k Circuits Need an Extradition Agreement”

  1. Rob Butcher April 16, 2021 6:10 am #

    For the other 216 countries in the world, tell us the nature of the cheating. This is the third article i’ve seen today.

    Tell us how official the tournament was – GW haven’t organised anything since March 24th 2020. So are they involved/informed of the sanctions?

    Tell us if points are for the itc – itself an unofficial tournament system.

    In football, any infringements are dealt with by the county/national/international Football Association. In the past week, Czech and Scottish footballers have been banned for racism/viloence from playing for their club and country in international matches. All are subject to appeals and ultimately the Court for Arbitration in Sport.

    40K isn’t a sport, it’s a hobby. The only official governing body write the rules and organise a few tournaments at their headquarters. Others have inserted themselves as fans to run things locally but should be following GW’s lead. Has anyone asked the Events Team at Warhammer World what they do in a similar situation ? They are the only official referees in the world and trained by GW themselves.

    The more unofficial rules inserted, the greater the rsik of a losswhen lawyers become involved.

    • Michael Corr April 16, 2021 6:33 am #

      From your comments, it appears that you detest the ITC because it is unofficial and only appear to like “official” tournaments run by GW at warhammer world.

      Why then, do you take so much time and effort to constantly comment on a site that is mostly about the ITC and other “unofficial” tournaments? I’m genuinely curious. You never seem to add any substance to the discussion in your comments, so why spend so much time and effort adding them?

    • Charles Entertainment Cheese April 16, 2021 7:35 am #

      Are you a GW shareholder? Like do you own stock in the company? Do you think that the existence of ITC is like hurting your portfolio or something? That would explain alot.

      Also, it would appear from your comment that you are basically fine with cheating at “official” 40k events run by GW, since its a hobby not a sport. I will keep that in mind!

  2. Michael Corr April 16, 2021 6:35 am #

    I think one problem with reporting cheating is that it is so hard to prove unless you are filming the game for a stream. I’ve had plenty of situations where my opponent was bending or breaking the rules, but no real way to prove it when a judge gets involved.

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