When gifted athletes try their hand at multiple sports, it’s usually not at the same time. What Linh ‘Seiko’ Nguyen did over the weekend, then, might be a first. The Hearthstone Grandmaster from Germany was caught attempting to qualify for a $1,000,000 Auto Chess tournament while playing in a Hearthstone tournament.
It’s a challenging feat even to attempt, sure, but a pretty unsporting one, and the implicit disrespect for both games’ competitive scenes has upset many fans – especially since he didn’t exactly stick the landing. As PCGamer reports, Twitch viewers first grew suspicious upon seeing the 26-year-old esports pro repeatedly stare away from his computer monitor and down at his laptop.
For all anyone knew he might’ve been checking his Twitch comments or browsing the web for pancake recipes, but the man was clearly unfocused. Seiko was finally rumbled after making a number of uncharacteristic misplays, eventually going on to lose the match. As a result, some spectators have accused Seiko of failing to take the Hearthstone scene seriously.
Twitter erupted as the Hearthstone community had its say. Everyone from Twitch viewers to members of rival teams shared their takes on Seiko’s actions – actions that split the court of public opinion. On one hand was the vitriol…
If you like autochess so much, as you speak only of that in your post, then drop your GM position. You are paid for your HS games, you should not receive any money for a game you don’t care about. Thousands of persons including me would dream to have what you don’t respect.
— Keu Mar – les Chroniques Maladiques (@KeumarLushman) September 15, 2019
@HS_Seiko's actions were patently disrespectful to viewers–why should anyone want to watch a competitive match when one of the players is not focused on the game? It's frustrating, disappointing, and not what people want to see when they tune in to HS Esports.
— ArthurDenison (@ArthurDenison) September 15, 2019
And yet, there’s nothing in Blizzard’s rules that explicitly forbids competitors playing multiple games simultaneously.
No rules were broken here. Should a player be allowed to play another game on camera on broadcast, obviously not, but it’s on Blizzard to prevent this. A player is simply responding to incentives from the system. Without a cam there is no story, just another misplay.
— T1 BoarControl (@BoarControl) September 15, 2019
Yesterday, Seiko responded using TwitLonger, writing: “I’m sorry everyone. I never expected that this would be something that could escalate like this. I’ve been playing Auto Chess for quite a while now, practised a ton for a really long time only for this qualifier, and felt really good about my chances to win.”
Seiko capped it off with an apology: “I learned that I can’t handle both games at the same time, and even though it hurts, as someone who likes competing, I will have to drop from the qualifier to not lose my main focus… I apologise to disappoint everyone. I’m currently still in the qualifier (R32), but unfortunately the league stage with 16 people will be played next weekend.”