Mind Games and CIS Rejects managers comment on the situation with disqualification and EEU slot at the Major
Managers Gleb "cenra" Antokhin (CIS Rejects) and Daniel "GaRRaT" Muhametzyanov (Mind Games) shared their opinions on the situation with visa issues and Mind Games disqualification from ESL One Stockholm Dota Major 2022.
According to Antokhin, the roster of Roman "RAMZES" Kushnarev could replace MG at the tournament, but ESL delayed the decision until the last minute and didn't respond to requests.
First of all, this is my personal opinion, which I publish on my Telegram. I personally negotiated with ESL and defended the interests of my team. Secondly, we don't deserve to be at the Major. What I say now about some kind of unfairness is crossed out by the fact that we shouldn't have been in the Major. I didn't try to push my team to the Major instead of Mind Games, taking advantage of the situation and that they don't have visas. And the third point is that I don't and can't have any complaints in general about the players, the organization, the management of Mind Games, and so on. On the contrary, I only regret that the long-awaited Major with spectators was deprived of the team from the CIS.
April 28: we're applying for visas. In the waiting room, I saw HR, and PuckChamp, and realized that everyone was on the verge of leaving. Spirit and BetBoom, as far as I know, applied on the 26th. All of the teams applied in advance, even though there were only three slots because everybody was worried about visas. It's a normal process to deal with all the paperwork in advance. Plus, in late March, Valve contacted the teams and notified them that visa issues should be solved in advance.
May 2: we deservedly lost and didn't qualify for the Major. But as soon as I found out that some of the Mind Games don't have passports and visas, I wrote an email to ESL saying that we're willing to replace the team in case they can't attend the tournament.On May 4, the ESL admin answered me and wrote that the organizers were interested in it. They asked for information on our visas and to fill out the paperwork. The red tape began, and I provided a lot of information. The process was moving. I was assured that everything would be clear on the evening of May 6, whether we were going or MG. The ESL admin asked to wait but then stopped to answer. Just ignoring and silence.I decided to write to other people in ESL's Discord and found one of the organizers, who assured me that there would be 100% information on the evening of May 8. Apparently, this is due to the fact that since May 9 is a weekend in Russia, it will be impossible to get anything. I think: "Well, May 9-10 is ok cause we'll have time to plan everything and get to Stockholm if MG wouldn't deal with documents and visas". But on the 8th ESL admin told me again that the deadline had been moved to May 10. <...>
May 10: I'm told again, "Oh, we're giving the Mind Games team more time, until 4 p.m. on May 11". And that's 21 hours before the start of the Major itself, which doesn't make much sense. You have less than 24 hours until the tournament, and you don't know what team you're bringing in. I'm asking, "Are you sure it's the last deadline? Because the last departure to Stockholm from Moscow is at 11.50 p.m.". I was assured that 100% they won't move anything else. They offered to bring some guys from my team, which are not in Moscow, to the capital and cover these costs for accommodation and tickets. But in case we don't go to the tournament, we fly home at their expense. Sounds good, yes. But what's the point of going in advance if you can just plan it all out?
The outcome: the 11th, 4 p.m.. MieRo, who lives in Barnaul, has already missed the only morning flight to Moscow since the last deadline was announced on May 10. In the morning he takes a cab, goes from Barnaul to Novosibirsk [230 km] in order to catch the only flight to Moscow which will take him 3,000 kilometres and then fly together with the team to Stockholm. RodjER is also on his way to the airport in Sochi, waiting for information from me, as I was promised at 4 p.m. At 4.15 p.m., boarding for the flight to Moscow in Novosibirsk is coming to an end. My offlaner is standing by for boarding. It's 4:10 p.m., and he is already being rushed. I'm writing and calling ESL. Silence.
I think: "Well, what is it? Either he gets on the plane now, and we fly to Stockholm, or we are told at the moment of his flight that we arent going and he will fly back 3,000 kilometers". Not much fun. At 4:10 p.m., the admin answers me: "Well, players should fly. If anything happens, they will come back".
Antokhin noted that ESL shifted the deadline for response four times and kept the team in the dark. He was dissatisfied with the professionalism of the TO staff.
ESL moved the deadline four times, constantly fed us with promises, and kept us waiting. Moreover, we had some of the players at the bootcamp all this time living and eating there, all at their own expense. Another thing: we don't have an organization. Much of the stuff is paid from personal funds. There are sponsors, but many things don't pay off <...> I realized that this is either disrespect or negligence from ESL. Most likely just unprofessionalism. I decided that this was no longer good and told the players to go home. But what prompted me to make this decision was contacting the manager of Mind Games.
I apologize if I say some things from personal correspondence, but it's just a crucial factor. The manager told me that they would get visas at 12 p.m. on May 11, and everything will be clear by this time. Then he says that they'll get around 2-3 p.m. Then it turns out that they need more time. I understand him. Most likely, the manager was assured that everything would be ok. In fact, it was good that he answered me. Accordingly, what we have is what we have. We're not going to the Major because we don't deserve it and because of the negligence of ESL. <...>
I don't understand why ESL can't set a clear deadline if teams in our region have dealt with the visa issues in advance. In my mind, at a time like this, the Major is a really fantastic event for our region, especially with spectators. We were given a chance to participate in this qualification, and we were assigned to prepare visas in advance. But that's how it turned out. <...> I'm sad that SlayeR and Bignum couldn't make it to the tournament due to the situation in Ukraine and that the guys couldn't get visas. But for some reason, ESL fed us promises and kept us, roughly speaking, on a short leash. And we didn't understand what was going on all week. <...>
For the first time in the history of Dota 2 an event, when less than a day before the tournament, the organizer can't decide what to do. I understand and share their position that they've tried to bring a team to the tournament because it deserves to be there. But still, there should have been some deadline for solving the issues.
Mind Games manager Daniel "GaRRaT" Mukhametzyanov explained the situation from their point of view in an interview to Sports.ru. They did everything possible to get to the Major. The biggest issue is that the team simply had no time to prepare. The announcement of the EEU DPC Playoffs was too sudden.
On April 26 they released fn and 7jesu and had to find new players in a hurry. With all these replacements Mind Games thought it is unrealistic to get to the Major. They started to check the documents only when their chances significantly increased. Presumably, after Outsiders disqualification. Despite Dinozarvrik not having a passport, the management quickly dealt with that problem. The deciding factor was last moment visa denial in the Swedish consulate.
We did everything possible and impossible to get to the Major. All the guys were crazy happy to travel there. <...> Yes, we knew about CIS Rejects 5-6 days before the tournament. But first, we were confident that we’d get the visas. And second, we all wanted to get there.
<...> We prepared everything we could. We were ready to fly any moment as soon as we got visas. We even had a helicopter to fly to the border, where we could take the car. <...> In the end, it was us who were Rejected, not the CIS.
On May 13, Mind Games was disqualified from ESL One Stockholm Dota Major 2022 since the team didn't solve its visa issues and had to forfeit. MG disqualification leaves Group B teams fighting only for seeding as there was only one elimination slot.