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San Jose ARG Cheating Scandal

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So some unfortunate news from Day 2 of the San Jose ARG yesterday. Not just the fact that 29 of the Top 32 decks were all Mecha Frieza, but cheating was caught live on stream and a MASSIVE Judge mistake followed because of it.

I don't remember the player's names, but the clip can easily be found on Twitch.

It was a Top 8 match, so it was streamed and being watched by a Judge. Player A uses Zen-Oh, The Plain God to Fiber Jar Player B's field. Player B, in error, scoops up his energy as well. Zen-Oh only takes the cards on the battlefield. This being an irreparable game state, an automatic loss should have been given to Player B. Not only does that NOT happen, the Judge in question intervenes, tells Player B to put his energy back and continue the game... and that isn't even the end of it. Then Player A plays March of the Great Apes, but waits for his opponent to respond with a counter BEFORE tapping the energy to play the card (and not committing to using Mecha Frieza's ability), then Player B plays Bloodlust, Player A uses Bad Ring Laser, THEN taps the energy for March of the Great Apes. Like... what in the actual hell?

This isn't some dinky 10 man local. This is in Top 8 of the last Regional of the season, which purportedly had 500 entrants. Personally I can't believe this was all allowed to happen, and is disheartening for players who have not attended a Regional, or who have and are deciding whether or not to go again. The Judge test is a joke (they haven't started interviewing for the Level 2 Judge Exam yet), and allegedly (this is a rumor, completely unsubstantiated fyi) this is not the first time this Judge has allowed exactly the same thing to happen in the Zen-Oh situation.

We all know this is a card game, but people put a lot of time and A LOT of money into it, especially when you consider the people that travel to events and pay for airfare/hotel, etc. Something like this is really bad to see, and for such a young game can really hurt it competitively.

What say you, Top Tier? What can be done to stop situations like this from happening again? Sound off below.

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I had heard about this but havent seen the video.  How bad was the scooping his energy mistake?  What I mean is: did he pick up his energy and started shuffling, but THEN had to correct the board state?  Or was he in the process of scooping them up and catch himself before putting them into the deck and shuffling?  I feel like this is an important piece of information when deciding whether the judge was in the right or wrong.  If the guy started to pick up his energy and then caught himself, I's say that would be fine.  But if was already shuffling those cards in then that is another story. 

Another thing to consider is the game was streamed, so they have concrete knowledge of exactly what cards were in the players energy.  Therefore, this is not an "irreparable game state" as the judge could go through the deck and pick out the cards that were in the energy and allow the game to continue.  In this case I think it would be fine, as the Judge (and not the player) is going through the deck, so the player does not gain any knowledge related to the unknown zone of the deck. 

But then people will argue that the player made a big mistake and that that warrants a game loss.  Well, does it?  If the game state can be repaired due to the information from the stream, does the player still deserve the loss or just a warning?

IMO, we all make mistakes.  If this mistake could be corrected without affecting gameplay, then correct it and let the game be played.  If it is truly an irreparable game state then the mistake does deserve an auto loss.


The mistake regarding March of the Great Apes seems to be on everyone involved.  The player that played march is a weasel.  The other player needs to be more aware and make sure his opponent appropriately pays for his actions; it sucks, but you always have to be on the watch for people cheating.  The judge needs to be replaced and banned from judging as this mistake shows lack of general awareness and basic gameplay knowledge.

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