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Forum: Euroleague
2020-12-20 17:23:53 Ɓukasz Majksner (ursuspl)
RE: The decisions
# 7165
I did not plan to share my position in this case, as it does not concern me personally, but having realised how far the conflict escalated, I decided to write a few words.

I will try to be as objective as possible, acting neither as anyone's friend or any team's member.

First of all, popularising gomoku by any means is a good thing, and our goal as both organisers and players should be to make this game as popular and competitive as possible, trying to not put our personal conflicts above common sense and enjoyment of the game.

What I know about this case (if I am wrong, please correct me):
1. Sandra Jones was invited (!) to participate in Euroleague as a team member.
2. The EL rules were against that, as they strictly forbade playing under a fake name.
3. Sandra Jones, willing to join the competition, asked the Committee to exceptionally let her play under the name "Sandra Jones" which she had been using for many years in the gomoku community.
4. The Euroleague Committee decided to exceptionally allow Sandra Jones to play under her pseudonym, after approving the requested evidence of Sandra being a real person (as they claimed within the decision).
5. After the Committee's decision Sandra Jones joined the team "MIND INFINITY." led by Ashot Avetisyan.
6. Some players protested and asked the Euroleague Committee to revisit the case.
7. The Euroleague Committee postponed the start of the new EL season by one week.
8. The case has been continued and will reach its end tonight (most likely).

What I have to say:
1. The above mentioned decision of the Euroleague Committee was made just 2 days before the declared start of the new season. Team captains were not informed about it straight away, which means that at least some of them had no real chance to get to know about it and react properly (in particular, complain about it).
2. The above mentioned decision was based on Clause 15.1 of the Euroleague rules: "The Organizers of EL are allowed to change the EL Rules or make exceptions to the rules, if a situation requires this. This should only be used in exceptional circumstances". Unfortunately the Euroleague Committee did not ground it properly, i.e. did not explicitly say why Sandra Jones's case was exceptional and what exactly caused the organisers to allow her to play under her pseudonym. In my opinion such approach is a bit unprofessional and I am not suprised that it caused some angry reactions within the gomoku community, especially taking into account some of Sandra's questionable actions in the past.
3. Personally I do not see a problem with allowing Sandra to play, the problem is with the wrong procedure. If the decision was taken openly, with full transparency, I am sure its perception among other players would be different.

What I propose to do to resolve this issue:
1. Postpone the start of the new EL season by additional two weeks - it's not a big problem, taking into account the upcoming Christmas - New Year holidays when many people are busy with their family life anyway.
2. Write a new, more detailed decision explaining why Sandra is allowed to play under her pseudonym and publish it at least a week before the start of the new season.
3. Notify all team captains about the decision immediately after publishing it.
4. Update the Euroleague Rules (especially Clause 2.4) accordingly, i.e. provide strict conditions that will let you allow players to play under a pseudonym in the future.

BTW, to resolve Alicecooper - Sandra conflict, I suggest organizing an online match between them, where they will be obligated to turn on their webcams. It would be enough if the webcams showed their backs and displays. In this case any doubts both players have against each other can be easily dispelled (of course if both of them agree to play such a match).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!
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