On the field, this ClanBase NationsCup has been a veritable success. It’s shown us the best Enemy Territory has to offer; upsets, excitement, nail biting finishes and superb gameplay - but it’s also thrown up the murkier side of competitive gaming.

It’s shown a continuing malignant dissipation between those competing and those that run the competition. Disaffected by the map selection, irritated by the inadequate in-game match referring and marred by controversial team removals. Could this the latest controversy to engulf ClanBase be the final nail in the coffin?

At present, no fewer than twelve nations have been issued a card of some type in this NationsCup season. Ranging from the USA / Canada smurfing incident, to the benign Germans failing to have at least one player in the required match channel one hour prior to start time. ClanBase have, retrospectively, enforced their rules with vigour. To date, three nations have been removed from the competition, with the latest, Croatia, potentially sparking a raft of further expulsions.

This sorry affair started with a long standing, often derided global ClanBase rule. The rules states that no more than three players from any one clan may play for a nation at the same time. CB considers players that’ve appeared in a teams roster during a set date as being in a clan. But that’s not all, ClanBase have and do make exceptions. Should a team contact the supervisor prior to the tournament start they can, in special circumstances, exempt a team from this rule. Croatia did not do this.

But this is where this sorry scenario gets more confused. The Croats claim to have made an unintentional mistake. Claim they played with best intention, and had already made provisions to ensure they didn’t overfill their quota and excluded players from the starting six. Were this the case, one would feel compelled to support Croatia.

Unfortunately for the Croats, in this scandal, they’re by no means virtuous, with Slovenian captain jakazc contradicting this. Following the Germany match, it’s claimed he contacted the ClanBase NationsCup Supervisor and informed him of the rule irregularity, and that should the same lineup play against Slovenia, he’d cause problems. He then later told the Croatian team prior to their match with Slovenia that they were in breach of the rules. Again this was ignored.

It was only after jakazc pointed out the failings of this years ClanBase NationsCup Supervisor to the ClanBase Chiefs and requested he step down that we saw any action. Croatia was quickly and quietly expelled from the competition, with little thought as to the possible ramifications.

We shouldn’t blame jakazc for this. He didn’t create the rules, he didn’t ignore them nor did he unevenly apply them.

This asks a different question. Did the ClanBase NationsCup Supervisor knowingly allow Croatia to ineligibly play their match with Slovenia, in the vain hope that nobody would notice? Or did he just not care?

It’s time for ClanBase to rethink their attitude towards Enemy Territory. They’ve a stranglehold over the competitive infrastructure and a good, if waning, reputation. It is critical for the good of the competitive scene that ClanBase isn’t dragged further into the mud. The budding next generation is there eager and ready, and although they won’t be perfect, and will probably make mistakes, the outlook is good. Initial signs are that they’re likely to be more conversant and in-tune with the wants of the community. They’re already there looking out for the scene, but the stranglehold of the old guard is too strong for them to currently enact change - having recently crippled any prospect of having a 3v3 OpenCup. Is it time for these ineffective, un-conversant and gaff prone supervisors to step down and make way for the next generation?

In the meantime ClanBase should regain their common sense, reinstate Croatia, and avoid this latest ticking time bomb before it’s too late.