Singapore and Indonesia share gold in controversial SEA Games E-sports final

Singapore and Indonesia share gold in controversial SEA Games E-sports final

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s esports athletes won their first gold medal at the SEA Games since video games were added to the sports competition, but the victory was not without controversy.

Singapore team members consisted of Yeoh Chun Ting, Ingram Tan, Marcus Tan, Rodman Yap, Tidus Goh and Ayrton Soh. This is also the first edition of the SEA Games to feature Valorant.

The 32nd SEA game was held from 5 May to 17 May in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Initially, Indonesia forfeited the final to protest a decision made by tournament officials, which resulted in Singapore being awarded the gold.

However, following a review, the organisers awarded the two teams a joint gold.

During the gold medal match for the Mixed VALORANT (PC) event between Singapore and Indonesia on Wednesday (10 May), Indonesia accused the Singapore squad of exploiting a Cypher camera “bug” that gave them an unfair advantage by providing vision over their opponents.

The match was halted on a “technical pause” during the 15th round after the match lasted for at least 2 hours. Indonesia was down at 4-10 at that time. Previously, Indonesia was behind by one match with a score of 0-1.

The technical pause was requested by the representative of the Indonesian national team, Deputy Head Coach Richard Permana.

The Indonesia team suspected that Valorant Agent Cypher’s camera was illegally placed during several rounds.

According to Richard, the bug had been carried out by the Singaporean national team during several rounds, and it had unfairly disadvantaged the Indonesian national team.

Camera “bug”

Valorant is a first-person shooter game that features different hero characters known as Agents. Each Agent has unique abilities and ultimates.

One of these Agents is Cypher, and its abilities include placing a spycam at a targeted location and taking control of the camera’s view. While in control of the camera, he can shoot marking darts that reveal the locations of any players struck by the dart.

Indonesia announced on May 11 that they would forfeit the grand final.

The decision to forfeit was announced in an Instagram story by Juanita “Valezka” Tanjung, Indonesia’s brand ambassador in the SEA Games.

It is said that the team made the decision due to the SEA Games committee’s failure to consider the bug abuse as a serious offence and their refusal to take action against Singapore.

Valezka stated that forfeiting the game would allow Indonesia to maintain its national dignity, given the “unfavorable situation.”

Singapore players took to Twitter to refute allegation

Members of the Singapore squad took to Twitter to clarify that it was unfair to accuse them of cheating, as the team had followed the rules.

Tidus Goh, who uses the game name STYRON, stated that the team “obeyed every decision by the technical officers (TOs) to rollback or play on.”

“We waited, and we are still labeled as cheaters. What a way to take away every honor the medal carries,” he added.

STYRON’s teammate, Marcus ‘nephh’ Tan, echoed the same sentiment and dismissed the accusation, stating they were simply there to play a video game.

He also called on Indonesian fans to calm down and stop making threats, as the issue was a result of miscommunication from the tournament organizer.

Indonesian player Rafi “frostmind” Diandra claimed on Twitter that he had a conversation with the admins, who allegedly stated that the camera placements used by the Singaporean team were not allowed.

To support his claims, Diandra shared screenshots of the conversation.

SG player shared Indonesian team had “their whole council and committee protesting” while SG had only three female handlers

In another blog, STYRON recounted that despite the camera being commonly used and legal in certain VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT), Singapore team agreed to roll back to 9-4 when the Indonesia team filed the complaint.

However, another issue was raised about the camera used at 5-3, and he said that it was not the same as the bugged camera and could not be turned towards the spawn.

He said the conversations between the Indonesian team and the admins were not conveyed to the Singapore team and stressed that “the rulebook states that as long as the camera is viewable and able to be destroyed by both teams, it is legal”.

“Furthermore, according to the rulebook, the penalty depends if the bug had an impact on the round.”

At 8.50 am on Thursday (11 May), the Singapore team learned that the Indonesia team had decided to forfeit and waited from 9 am to 11 am for the medal ceremony before being told of another dispute.

STYRON pointed out that the Singapore team had only three female handlers, while the Indonesian team had their whole council and committee protesting.

“We played by the rules that were conveyed to us, none of us wanted an outcome like this. ”

SNOC accepts the organiser’s decision

According to CNA, A Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) spokesperson issued a statement on the matter, saying, “We are pleased to win Singapore’s first gold medal in e-sports, and would like to commend our Valorant team on a solid performance.”

“We accept the organiser’s decision on awarding joint gold medals to both Singapore and Indonesia, and offer our congratulations to our friends at Komite Olimpiade Indonesia (Indonesian Olympic Committee).”

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