After a long time of searching, and then a significant amount of time convincing... I have managed to acquire recordings on the infamous Tribes 2 World Championship quarter final between Australia & USA West. Yes... the infamous 'flag touches' match.
Big matchup between USA West & Australia in the quarter finals of the Tribes 2 World Championship.
I'm having a bit of a stab in the dark on the date, it'll be in the general ball park... maybe a few days either side.
This match is well remembered within the Oceanic tribal community as the day they were robbed of tribal glory!
At the end of the normal rounds Australia had finished 2nd in Group B and USA West had finished 3rd in the same group. In the first round of the knockout stage USA West faced the 5th placed team in Group A (the Mixed team of Denmark & Israel) while Australia played the 4th placed team in Group A (New Zealand).
That was the first odd part of the knockout stage - With both the top ranked teams getting a pass to the semi finals, surely Australia should play the 5th ranked team in Group A and USA West should've played the 4th ranked team?
Anyway, things went on and both Australia & USA West progressed to the quarter finals. They had met once previously in the tournament with Team Australia winning the first map convincingly (I have a few recordings of this map from different perspectives) and then USA West refusing the play the remaining maps, thus forfeiting the rest of allowing maximum points for Australia.
This time, they were certainly not going to be quitting early.
Each map would be played twice, once on each teams respective server choice, to attempt to eliminate ping advantages.
Both maps were first played on USA West's server choice, and then those two same maps were played on Australia's server choice.
Now for the drama... Team Australia were under the impression that in the event of a tie the game would go to a tiebreak map, as posted on the rules shown on the T2WC website.
These rules are still visible through the web archive here:
http://web.archive.org/web/200112241852 ... ules.shtml
Rule 20B in the "T2WC Matches" section states:
Matches between the two teams will be best of three. If The First two Maps end in a tie, the winner of the third map will be declared the winner of the match. If all three maps end in a Tie, or Team A wins 1 map and Team B wins 1 map and the Third Map is a TIE, the last map is to be replayed repeatedly until a cap is scored. The team that makes the first cap will be declared the winner. (This Rule only applies to Round 2 of the Tournament)
At the end of map 4, each team had capped out / shut out the other team 8-0 on their own servers. According to the rules, this meant the match would go to a tiebreak map. However, at the conclusion of this map the captains were called to IRC and told that flag caps were coming into the equation and that the rules on the T2WC site were wrong.
Hawk would later claim that USA West were informed of this by Suds (a T2WC admin) over their ingame comms during map 1. I have no evidence of this, however looking at some of the in game chat logs it appeared that Vermouth from USA West was aware of the flag touch rule.
Whilst USA West were the beneficiaries of this, the blame appears to lie entirely with MegaBoris & Suds as Beren gave his take on it:
"Case of Captains and Admins getting together to decide on rules. MB wasn't there... Decided version was uploaded to server for all to see. Match happened, yanks didn't like rules so bitched to MB who changed result of match with Suds backing him up cos he is a tard saying that the rules on the server were wrong. When it was what was agreed on for the semi-final. 2 vs 1 vote, them against me. basically totally screwed so MB could have a US team in the final...."
Source: https://bittah.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t ... al#p231943
Looking at in game comms there were a number of players from both teams who were expressing their hope that the rules weren't being changed to include flag touches.
Just before Carveth's recording ends at the end of map 4, the TWC Admin in the game (T-Bone-) states that the game would not be decided by touches... obviously not a view shared by the tournament organisers.
Also of note, while USA West were apparently aware of the flag touch rule, pre map 4 game comms (removed from the recordings) showed they were still specifically aiming to get a cap on Map 4 rather than rely on touches.
So in the end, USA West progressed due to a rule only they were aware of.
The total flag touch tally was:
AU = 66
USW = 72
Personally I think that a better solution would’ve been to have tie breakers like this decided by who capped out fastest.
In this case USA capped out Mino 13:13, AU capped out Mino 17:01 (therefore USA West would’ve won map 1).
USA capped out BR in 20:00, AU capped out BR in 15:19 (therefore AU would’ve won map 2).
The tiebreaker map would’ve then been played with a tie again decided by who capped out fastest.
Team Australia would later receive a public apology from the T2WC organisers as can still be seen on the archived homepage a few entries down:
http://web.archive.org/web/200304121730 ... om:80/twc/
They were promised T2WC t-shirts as some form of compensation (as pictured on the site... not exactly the most amazingly designed shirt ever) which were never received.
Even USA West's captain Vermouth had to constantly harass the organisers to receive their prizes after they went on to win the competition, eventually getting a handful of shirts for their team - I doubt any of the others prizes which were promised were ever received.