Frederick´s personal statement on the post T9A-ETC 2018 events as a chairman and player:
Dear players and captains,
the last 7 days have been an exhausting exercise for plenty of people involved in the ETC 2018 and it looks like we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg atm.
We went from accusation to accusation, from vote to vote and from uninformed story to uninformed story and all the way back within a short period of time. Arguments between players, captains, refs and finally harsh words on chairboard as well lead to a lot of frustration – even ended up in calls for no confidence and votes to overturn the chairman´s decison.
First i´d like to say, that personally i think the call for a vote to overturn the decision of the chairman (that followed the decision and recommendation of the refs on this matter) to not ban Konrad for at least one year equals a vote of no confidence in chairmen. The chairmen have been given a mandate and all act and behave with the best they can to make ETC a success. They had to take a decision in a really delicate situation and did not take this one lightly. Chairman had a lot of personal chat with plenty of guys involved in the situation, with refs, with the respective persons, the teams around them and in the end based the decision on knowledge i´d say was far ahead of the current level of most captains who participate during the running vote.
I personally demanded to turn this vote on overturning the decision into a general no-confidence vote, but so far it has not been handeled.
There is a strong demand of the captains community to know what chairman voted on what matter. I want to give you full insight on what i did and why i voted for certain options:
1. Vote to determine the winner oft he ETC 2018. I have been the one who voted Poland to be winner, while Spain takes second place. My reasoning for this is pretty simple and has two main reasons:
a. the Rules-Pack imo is something that needs to be applied without any exceptions. Judges have to make sure players can at any point in time rely on the text written in the pack.
b. I´m one of the few persons who work on the T9A tournament-pack and was heaviely involved in the process of creating the rules-pack for ETC as well. We all know meanwhile that even after 2 years of official T9A-rulespack, the C&P of the victory-condition-part into the ETC-pack (as addition tot he part the judges created), the lectoring of all T9A chairmen and finally the vote of captains on this pack (which was unanimous on this part, while other parts were adjusted on request), nobody so far spotted the doubled-up part of the tie-breaker (at least nobody reported it). Now comes the strange but true part. I never intended to put uncapped battlepoints into this document and honestly neither ever considered it as a tie-breaker, nor have i been aware it has been used as a tie-breaker at ETC the last years. For me it always was BP > VP > Coinflip. So the question came up to me after the event what was intended to be in the pack and the honest answer kinda shocked quiet a few people. I apologize that as a chairman i have not been up to date to this certain kind of tie-breaker from the past.
My vote could have not been different due to the fact that i clearly want to put honesty into it. I knew about the intentions, i value the rules-pack as high as the actual rules of the game and even when considering the typo, the closes change to fix it, would have been to remove the unnecessary step from it. So three strict facts that disallowed me for anything else, no matter how much i would sympathize with Spain being the winner.
(either way i have been fully aware that this ETC clearly created two big losers and that the most shame of all: Poland feeling cheated by the decision on the tie-breaker and Spain – no matter how hard they celebrate the victory – will always have that bad taste in their mouth, that in the end their victory was not created at the tables, but due to post-event decision … this all makes me really upset and is a disgrace for both teams in the end)
2. Vote on the „punishment“ for Konrad´s behaviour towards Erik and Camilla. I have been on the camp that voted „no ban“ for Konrad and instead wanted to apply a strict warning for next year with the option for more harsh immediate punishment. This topic has been a hot and really controversial one. Chairmen decided to first give the judges a chance to give a recommendation on this topic and this ended up with „no ban“ for Konrad. This made the really difficult task a bit easier in the end to figure out how to vote. Still there was the facts that Konrad at the Sunday of ETC already announced that he will quit playing T9A (as a part of T9A staff i can not stress enough how much of a massive loss this is for the game as a whole!) and that the process of personal apologies was ongoing.
The MAIN reason for me voting „no ban“ after all was, that imo it ist he fault of all the T9A-chairman that we even ended up in a situation like this, where we have not been able to support the judges in such a delicate situation, that we did not properly handeled the whole situation with Team Poland and took the burden of this on our shoulders, that we had all but one T9A chair playing at all and have not been able to foresee the emotional boiling and potential of such situation at all. We simply failed miserably and i as a part of that team apologize wholeheartedly to every captain out there, that i have not given this enough careful treatment and attention. All this has neither been Judges, nor Konrad´s fault in the end. We simply left all involved parties alone in a situation that could not have been more heated and emotional and kinda forced escalation. We as chairmen imo have the task to protect players, captains, judges, spectators and all other persons involved from getting into such situations at all. For sure on the end Konrad was the one who overstepped, but hell, personally i feel super responsible that he got into this situation and i´m super happy that i have not been captain of team poland in this situation … might be it it would have been ended worse even … nobody knows.
On top of all this it was really distracting that from day to day the situation got more colourful discriptions up tot he point i would have bet to hear the next day that Konrad attacked Erik with a knife … So in the end and after taking everything i heard (i did not see the situation at all) i decided to go with the referees recommendation, since most likely they have been the ones that have seen it directly and thus are the ones that have been able to judge the situation best. I´m still confident i did the right thing and did my part to stick in case of any doubt with the least punishing option.
3. Vote to decide to fire/ban the T9A-judges team due to the decision that have been taken post event. Internal vote on chairs only. I voted, that i fully trust the judges team as it is and would give them my mandate again any day. We simply left them alone in an unacceptably difficult situation and i´m ashamed that i have not been able to carry them along the way to ease their burden. They all did an exceptionally good job and all my available words of thankfulness i would like to direct at them (i have more of these in german than i have in english, but the german words would not help here at all ;)). Even in the situation where judges decided to fully exclude the chairmen from their decision i fully back here, since we came to them that late, that we could not have changed that chain of unfortunate events at all. In the end all guys involved tried their best to make a professional decision that pleases everyone and was based on fairness. After all: the involved persons are all volunteers (refs as well as chairs) and whoever thinks it is them to blame with full force for what happened in this extraordinary situation that only occurs when 10 stars align every aeon, i ask to take a few minutes to think about what he personally did for free to make ETC to what it is today.
So far regarding my votes and transparence on what i decided as a chairman on these post ETC events.
I want to take the chance as well to come back to the no-confidence-vote: personally i find it utterly cowardly to initiate such vote without showing face. Anonymous captains-demand in this matter is for me unacceptable. Reading all the requests on transparency on chairmen-vote i´m kinda baffled how such vote can be initiated anonymously. When it comes to the request of transparency i read a lot about it being important to decide on who to vote as a chairman for next year. I agree with this sentiment in general, BUT want to put some personal comment on me being a chairman:
I ´m doing this volunteer-work only due tot he fact some friends from the community constantly came to me and asked me to apply as a chairman for ETC, because they have been convinced i will do a good job there. I in no way do it for fame (even less for fortune ;)) or similar. My only intention is to be at the ETC´s service with my knowledge around event-organisation (and due to the plans around development of the ETC in the next years as well with my knowledge around non-profit-organisation from my all day job) for the sake of the players and especially my friends among them. It is a burden i have taken up upon next to my job, wife, house, several other hobbies, my own tournaments and especially the very exhausting task of being T9A staff atm. I did not do it because i go bored and needed attention. Everyone who might think so is plain wrong. This is the reason why i´m as well not at all attached to being a chairman and will give up my „seat“ immediately if anyone would ask me to do so (and ideally would fill the gap i leave!). I honestly tought about resigning on Sunday evening after ETC already, but felt like i´d be a coward if i would not walk this extra mile with my fellow chairmen.
I want to add, that i did not expect things like the post-ETC-trouble coming at all (maybe due to it being my first year involved in ETC like this or me just bein naive …) and felt like i contributed my part to the event already and still think i did a good job given the circumstances. Just as a short example: i set up the ETC-website, set up the new ETC-forum (all without being an IT-guy at all), i brought all mats and 2D terrain to Zagreb to make sure we have a proper gaming surface for competetive events, i accompanied and „organized“ the judges pre-event, … and much more, but this is no way intended to be a laudatio to myself …
Why did i put some words regarding what i did and why i have confidence i did a good job? Reading on the forums from guys i´d personally call „friends“ after several years in the international hobby that they call my things like „weak“,„incompetent“, „gutless“ and „a coward“ personally hit me hard as a truck and immediately made me think „why the hell do i do this to me??“. This damn game is worth nothing when relations and friendships get ruined by it and under the given circumstances i´d not be at ETC´s service for 2019 either way. It is only my friends who got me their by talking me into an application. A lot of things have to happen to make me do this mistake again, especially when the captains have no confidence in what i do (and worse: send me messages as a warning that their teams might not visit my own events anymore as well).
I´m a tough person and can take a lot of punches. I also have a lot of pride and this ist he only thing that kept me on the „chair“ for the last 7 days. The only thing atm that makes me think of doing one more year of chairman-work ist he shame that i failed to be there when i was needed the most … just to proof that i can do better. Given that i plan to play next year myself again i unfortunately kill this spark myself.
What i want to say to end all this wall of text full of auto-correct typos: It is not only my personal problem, that i qualify as a chairman maybe, but disqualify myself with being a player at the same time. Other chairman have exactly the same situation and they all do their best, although they might have completely different intention to be a chairman than i have. In the end it is now up to the captains to decide if they are able to find chairman that can do a good job pre-event and are on site as chairs only or if they have to deal with the situation, that not many guys that make good „chairs“ pre-event apply when they know they cannot play themselves (taking into consideration that being a non-playing coach/captain drags a lot of time and attention as well).
It is in the end a volunteer-project and volunteers do not grow on trees, especially when the conditions are -mildly said- suboptimal in times.
Last thing that came to my mind: what i find the most disgusting part of the post-ETC events so far is the blackmailing some teams did by saying „we will not attend next year if….“ and the very special captains that initiate witch-hunts and take it as a kind of game to push through all kinds of punishments for whoever is not them (especially when they are either known as being fair usually or worse – representing the very other end in reputation. One side is a shock and the other is cringe-worthy.
Cheers and kudos to everyone who made it up to here – be happy that i got sick of writing, because i have 10000 more thought in my head i´d love to put here as well ;)
P.S.: i want to direct a special THANK YOU to Isik. I think without him the event would only be half of what i currently is. You did an amazing and outstanding job, especially pre-event, mate!