An otherwise uneventful first day of competition at the Halo World Championship was mired in controversy in the final hours when a very close showdown between eUnited and European champion Acend was decided by a competition ruling. “Unacceptable is not the word,” said Respectful of Acend. “I have never seen this in my life.“
An Acend player suffered major technical problems early in Game 5, reporting that his audio was not working and that he was experiencing multiple instances of in-game freezes. According to the official HCS ruling, the referee was only informed of the audio problem, which occurred because the player inadvertently disconnected his own headphones.
Since the problem was caused by the player, it was deemed unnecessary to restart the game and the players were asked to continue playing. As that Acend player suffered from both the audio problems and freezes, Acend stopped playing and subsequently lost the match when eUnited continued as instructed. According to the official statement, the PC malfunction was only raised with the referees after the conclusion of the match, despite Respectful’s own account claiming that both problems were raised immediately at the start.
“I’ve seen full replays after someone’s computer stopped working several times over the course of Halo Infinite. I honestly can’t believe it,” he exclaimed in a heated thread, posted moments after eUnited took the series win 3-2 and second place in Group D as a result. “This is our livelihood and it’s absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe what I’ve just witnessed, it’s the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It literally took the word of a manager who got flustered and said he didn’t even see the problems.“
Acend’s frustration with the outcome was echoed by several players who came to his defense, with FaZe Clan‘s Renegade claiming that the problems occur “too often” and that “it’s getting to the point where referees never finish games.“
Sentinels team captain Snakebite found the mixed messaging around the PC malfunction especially ridiculous. “HCS actually posted an official glitch … and then replaced the PC as if no one at the venue was going to see it,” he said. “From the looks of it, the admins didn’t even have a straight story/say anything different than what players had said and people had seen.“
Snip3down posted his own thread after the fact to offer the eUnited camp’s perspective, reporting that they had been told something similar at the time to what the final statement conveyed. “The referees said they were never made aware of the PC issues until after the game was over, otherwise the game would have been terminated,” he explained. “Two referees backed up this claim that it was after. I don’t think a stoppage is necessary if it was caused by the player, and we have been instructed for years to keep playing until we are told otherwise.“
The loss to eUnited meant Acend had to fight for the play-offs, rather than starting in the winners’ bracket. Their anger at the situation is understandable in that context, but the details of the situation leading up to the ruling remain a case of conflicting testimony from the players and HCS.