The qualifiers for the Boston Major generated some controversy last week, when several European region teams competed and won the Americas' open qualifier rounds.
Several squads that are based out of European regions, including Prodota Gaming, Elements Pro Gaming, Kaipi, Power Rangers and Team Empire competed in the Americas open qualifier. The two teams that qualified from the Americas, Prodota and Elements, are both considered European squads, hailing from Russia and the CIS region.
Despite the qualifiers being designated to four regions (Americas, Europe, China and Southeast Asia), no rule exists on the FACEIT admin page to prevent teams from competing in qualifiers outside their region, or competing in multiple open qualifiers for separate regions.
When reached for comment, Prodota Gaming CEO Maxym Dyakonyuk pointed to the issue of stacked qualifiers. The Americas get two spots in regionals for open qualifiers, and two invites to Boston for first and second place in regionals, but have fewer teams to challenge than the European region, which has 10 regional participants to Americas' eight.
"As you can see in EU for the last two years, we had very stacked open qualifier with over 20+ relatively strong teams and over 800 participating teams for each open qualifier," said Dyakonyuk. "That's why we made this choice to play NA and I think it was worth it; however, we played bad in [regional] qualifier, but at least we tried. I think current qualifier system needs to be changed or adjusted somehow to team quantity, and we also make this point by doing this."
Though Prodota failed to seize a playoff spot within the regional and won't be attending Boston, it still allowed the team to get into a regional qualifier. Dyakonyuk says that Prodota won't be trying the same strategy again for the next major, however.
"Some tier 3-4 teams might do it in the future," Dyakonyuk told ESPN. "But teams like [Prodota] and better won't do it anymore because, as you can see, both EU teams didn't reach playoffs anyway, so it makes no difference in the end."
The issue becomes even more severe, though, when teams use other regions as a second, or even third, chance to make it into the regional playoffs. Several squads, like Kaipi and Team Empire, joined the Americas open qualifiers after failing to qualify in the European region.
Many pro players and personalities took to Twitter to voice their concern over teams jumping between qualifiers to get through to regionals.
No rules in place, people just doing whatever they can to qualify. Should have solid rules for next time, but for now its fair game
— Tal Aizik (@Fly_dota2) October 25, 2016
I'd be disappointed if all everyone talks about during the American Qualifiers is EU playing there and which is better.
— Dakota (@KotLguy) October 25, 2016
Time to make American Open qualifiers great again
— Capitalist (@DotACapitalist) October 25, 2016
:thinking: hmmmm might as well hold 2 more open qualifiers for NADOTA so we can maybe get in 2 american teams.
— Alan Andersen (@RyuuDota) October 25, 2016
ESPN.com reached out to Valve for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.