Pain X (now called Team Test 123) has been disqualified from the Chongqing Major after finishing first place in the South American Qualifier.
Valve made a blog post saying that they are disqualifying them and giving their spot to the runner-up, Thunder Predator. They were disqualified because they moved back and forth from US to South America, just to participate in the SA qualifier for DPC tournaments. Apparently, they played in the SA qualifier even though they were asked not to by Valve.
Explanation by Valve
Valve explained that neither them nor the fans can consider them an SA team. This is pretty obvious because they are funded by a South American organization and moreover, 4 of the 5 players in the team are from the NA region.
“The reasons for guaranteed spots for each region is because we want to help nurture competitive growth in different regions, as well as have regional representation for fans around the world. We think it’s important for fans to be able to see their regions grow, and their teams compete in global events. A team temporarily traveling to and from a region just to compete in the qualifiers clearly does not provide any meaningful benefit to the region, and harms growth overall. When you are an actual team that lives in a region, you end up practicing with other teams, nurturing the region and growing local fans there. We explained this to Pain X three months ago, and as such, after investigating, we are removing them from the South American qualifiers.” – Valve
The whole concept of regional qualifiers is so that teams from different regions get a fair chance to participate in the DPC events. If a team travels from their region to another just to play in a qualifier which is easier compared to their home region’s qualifier, it is a clear violation of the rules.
Valve mentioned that teams which bend the rules to gain a competitive advantage over other teams are at a risk of being disqualified outright.
All this occurred after NiP’s captain Peter “ppd” Dager made a tweet, calling out Pain X, which made a lot of people believe that Valve made their decision just because of ppd’s tweet. Because of this, many players and fans from the SA region started calling ppd their hero and thanked him for helping their region.
CCnC and Lelis from Pain X made posts on Twitlonger explaining their situation and apologizing to their fans. Hopefully this will be the final case of teams trying to bend the rules by playing in qualifiers of another region.