On Tuesday, April 14th an issue in the NACL was brought to our attention regarding an illegal player on the roster for the Phantom. As accustomed, we gathered information and gave those involved an opportunity to present their side of the story before making a ruling.
The issue: Phantoms played games with player @G lR ii M x (from here on out 'Grim') on defense, who is not listed on their NACL roster.
Gathering of information
When asked about it, Grim responded that he had been on their team all season. The Phantoms captain @Groulxz responded that the website (NHLGamer.com) is bad and does not work. According to the captain, Grim paid his share of the entry fee to team member ‘Heroic Duck’ and reasoned that he should be allowed to play.
First, we took a look at the claim that he had been on the roster all season. By looking at the Phantoms roster, you can tell that was not the case. We also checked the team’s original sign-up post where they listed all of their members. Grim was not on this list. This is an important detail, because a week or so ago, the same issue came with player @Mxtayer who was not on the Phantoms roster. At that time, we did, however, find him on the original sign-up post showing the intent of having him on the roster, and we found an expired invitation for him to the team that was never accepted. We chalked it up to a user error due to unfamiliarity with the website, making sure he was added to the roster correctly and let it slide. In a similar situation in the ECL in Europe, the captain would have received a two-game suspension for this mistake.
Next, we checked within the team invite history to see if a team invite was ever sent to Grim's account. We also checked Grim's user history to see when he last logged onto his NHLGamer account, thinking maybe he received the invite but never accepted it. These were possibilities that needed to be checked.
Upon our research we saw the list of all players that were invited to the Phantoms roster - Grim was not one of the invited players. After checking Grim’s history, we discovered that - aside from the night of the violation - he hadn't logged on since March 2019. The user not logging on for over a year does not align with the claims of an issue with the website. Additionally, had Groulxz sent an invite to Grim (which was already proven false), it is his responsibility as a captain to follow up and remind all players to accept invites and make sure they are on the roster.
No signs to support the claim of the website malfunctioning could be found, hence we find the claim false in regards to this case. If something was genuinely wrong with the website invite system, it is the player's/captain's responsibility to inform NHLGamer staff so we can be of assistance and fix any issue as soon as possible.
Based on this evidence we are using rules 4.2, 6.1, 8.1 and 16.5 to assist with our ruling:
4.2 Rule Circumvention
Members are not allowed to circumvent the rules (including any attempts) to deceive NHLGamer Staff and its League Administration at any time.
6.1 Team Management Responsibilities
All managers are representatives of the entire team, as such they are responsible for ensuring their team always complies with league/tournament rules.
Teams are only allowed to use players listed on their official roster on the NHLGamer.com main page.
"Players" of a team are all members on the website roster, including the captain and assistant captains
The ruling is as follows:
- Both Phantoms vs Vertigo games will be overturned as wins for Vertigo, due to illegal use of player
- The first game of Phantoms vs 6th Sense will be ruled as a win for 6th Sense, due to illegal use of player
- The second game of Phantoms vs 6th Sense will be played as soon as possible on a mutually agreed date
- Player ‘Grim’ is ineligible to play this season as it is past the transfer deadline
- Phantoms captain ‘Groulxz’ receives a 2 game suspension for neglecting his duties as a captain on more than one occasion. The suspension will be served in the first game against the next opponent + the remaining game against 6th Sense.
- Failure to complete the season will result in a 12-month captaincy ban for Groulxz
- Failing to finish the season may impact all team members’ eligibility to participate in future seasons
We do not like issuing forfeits as we would always prefer to have everything settled on the ice. That being said the rules regarding roster eligibility were broken and we did not see any effort from the Phantoms captain to get the so-called 'site issue' resolved. We ask that the community respect and learn our rulebook to avoid future issues.
Being a captain is demanding and if you haven't been one before, you might not realize that it can be very taxing to build a team, communicate with the 6+ members, agree on game times with the opponents and so on. After all, this is often done in addition to our everyday life. We ask every community member to keep that in mind when your captain asks you for availability or other information; replying is easy - chasing 6+ people isn't always that. We also want to bring up the importance of sharing the workload between the captain and the two assistants. Delegating different tasks is the key to keep things running smoothly and keeping things fun. And even if you're not a captain - why not ask your captain if you could help out with something.
The article has been edited: Corrected how the serving of the suspension will be handled in point 5 of the rulings.