All we are saying is give ITC exploitation a chance?
Just when you thought Covid had killed Warhammer 40k competitive drama for the time being; it seems pandemic petri states like Florida anything is still possible. This particular Warhammer 40k Tournament drama situation, is one I had foreseen coming for a long time. Last weekend, the lovely Warhammer 40k players of Florida decided to try to run two one-day GTs. The idea is simple; farm ITC points not once but twice, over a weekend by doing self-styled 5 game “Ironman” events. All you have to do is find 28 players who are willing to play five games in one day.
On the surface, while a pretty insane test of tabletop endurance it is not that noteworthy. What makes this particular case interesting are the players involved, because any time you take a nebulous ranking system, and tie it to ego or profit motives you can get some bad behavior.
Here are the bullet points of what happened. Team Brohammer the Top ITC team of 2019, which includes a quite a few of the best Warhammer 40k players decided time was running out on getting sweet ITC points. More importantly, one member of Brohammer is so close to the number one spot in the ITC, any GT win could be the difference. Another wrinkle is this still 2nd ranked ITC player is part of Warhammer 40k hype house known as Art of War, who specialize in selling coaching services for the garage neck beard Morlocks of 40k society. Art of War also continues to try and Jake Paul Warhammer 40k through Twitch, Podcasts, and YouTube as well. Art of War already houses the 2018 and 2019 ITC champs, so making sure this Covid stained 2020 ITC season champ is also in the Vlog squad might be of paramount importance.
That leads us to the actual “Ironman” events, organized by Brohammer and supported by Art of War. Where day one got 30 (2 above GT status) players, of which 5 magically dropped out after game one. Then we had the odd situation where the #1 ITC player (member of Brohammer & Art of War) from 2019 is the ringer with a shit kicker list playing folks who might get in the way of making sure the current 2nd place ITC player (Brohammer & Art of War) wins the event. This potential collusion creampie as you can imagine has not sat well with tournament organizers; the ITC, and newest keeper of the rage flame current Top ITC player, who feels like Brohammer’s attempt at rigging the system is really in poor taste.
Now what I just described is pretty cynical, as one who looks down on the unregulated competitive Warhammer 40k scene, do you blame me? What amount of motive you want to place on Brohammer and/or Art of War is up to you, and since I was not at the event I can only speculate. The 2nd place ITC player did play real games against real tough opponents at this “GT”, so it wasn’t like the event was handed to him, in fact he had to beat the 3rd ranked player in the ITC to win the event. What my dramatization does say about this event and the players involved though is the danger of allowing profit/status motives get in the way of true competition. When your whole business model is based on having or being the “best” players; you run the risk of doing stupid stuff, ultimately hurt your brand, or at the very least make people question how you got to where you are in the first place.
This seems to be the trademark of Brohammer brief history; from mostly unfounded arranged tie games to, how at Las Vegas Open 2019 almost the entire team took identical lists using obscured rules interactions to get as close as possible to breaking the game. Brohammer likes to come right up to the edge. Like these one day GTs, which are permitted under the ITC rules, and how they were organized didn’t explicitly break anything. You can have an event with 100 players, call yourself a major then have 60 drop out after round one, and still be a considered a major. Exploiting such things though makes your wins and points look cheap and unearned, but I guess the idea is no one will remember how you got the gold medal once it is all said and done.
As long as the Art of War can claim their Cielo Drive home has the last three ITC champs inside, then it makes it that much easier to take money from semi-pros who get entrapped by pedestrian marketing schemes. So I hope you can see the possible conflicts developing. Art of War is also not the only group doing similar things, with Glasshammer being the equivalent British version. If these type ventures end up successful is still up in the air, but one thing is certain I don’t think either are the type of home the majority of players want to live in.
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