ESL India has converted the ‘Red Card’ handed to BL4ZE Esports yesterday on Jan 24 to a ‘Yellow Card’, following Agneya "Marzil" Koushik’s complaints against the organizers via social media. The in-game leader of the Indian CS:GO team, had publicly called out ESL India and NODWIN Gaming after BL4ZE Esports had been “banned from all NODWIN events for this season and (the) upcoming season” as a result of missing two ESL India Premiership Master level matches. Earlier today, ESL reached out to Marzil and revoked their decision against one of the instances that had taken place on Feb 13, unbanning the team and allowing them to continue competing in the current season.
Marzil calls out ESL India and NODWIN Gaming
After receiving a red card and a ban for two seasons, Marzil had called out the organizers of the ESL India Premiership 2020, both NODWIN Gaming and ESL India. Through a social media post, Marzil made several accusations about how they operate tournaments.
The player’s complaints against ESL India included the following points:
- ESL India allegedly did not allow players/teams to schedule matches and only released the schedule of the games 24-48 hours before it started. According to Marzil, this notice period is not enough for a team or a player to schedule everything properly.
- Marzil alleged that ESL India reschedules matches according to their own convenience and ignores player or team specific requests.
- He also stated that ESL India ghosted him and other members of his team when they tried to reach out to them for any help or information.
You can find a full list of Marzil’s complaints HERE.
Why was BL4ZE banned from ESL India Premiership?
BL4ZE was banned because the team missed two ESL India Premiership Master level matches, for which they had received a ‘Red Card’. Marzil elaborated on why they could not compete in those matches.
- Marzil had apparently missed the first match because he was busy with the player selection at the recently concluded ASUS ROG Tryouts. He claimed to have notified this to the ESL India staff but no action was taken.
- BL4ZE was disqualified for the second time after ESL India refused to delay their scheduled match while they were still busy completing a previous one in a separate tournament. Marzil tried to take part in the veto but the application bugged and when he tried to report this to ESL India, no one responded. Soon after BL4ZE was declared ‘disqualified’, about which Marzil was notified by a SoStronk Admin instead of someone from ESL India.
ESL India and NODWIN Gaming Respond
Following Marzil’s complaints, BL4ZE Esports’ red card was converted to a yellow card for missing just 1 match as their first instance which had occurred on 13th Feb was revoked. They also notified Marzil about the ‘no response issue’ which will be investigated separately by them.
In a statement to AFK Gaming, Marzil stated that NODWIN Gaming and ESL India needed to improve their communication with the players and teams.
“Let's start with ANY sort of communication with the players. There are not a lot of professional teams in esports in India that can commit to dropping everything for the sake of a single match on a given day. People have their own personal schedules and commitments that need to be respected for any esports scene to begin to grow. A dialogue with the captains or managers of teams and providing time slots for various matches will go a long way in making sure that there are no schedule conflicts. Tournaments such as ‘The Esports Club’ (TEC) have done a fantastic job on that front and NODWIN can learn something from them.”
Disclosure: NODWIN Gaming is an investor in and a client of AFK Gaming.