Posts Tagged ‘Cheating’

2013-2014 Magic Rookie of the Year Suspended



Wizards of the Coast Director Helene Bergeot announced on Thursday that Jared Bottecher, 2013-2014 Magic the Gathering Rookie of the Year, “may have engaged in in activities that violate Wizards of the Coast’s Code of Conduct and Magic’s tournament floor rules.”


As a result of the ensuing DCI investigation, those accusations were confirmed and Mr. Bottecher was suspended for a period of four years and his Rookie of the Year title revoked. Video and photo evidence can be found here as well as Mr. Bottecher’s reaction to his suspension, courtesy of David Levitt at [Boston]


The Rookie of the Year title will pass to Raymond Perez Jr., who earned 33 Pro Points during that tournament season, qualifying him for Worlds 2014.


This comes during a time of apparent “scandal” – now being referred to as #shufflegate – in which two other high-profile player suspensions occurred, that of Trevor Humphries and Alex Bertoncini (see “Player at SCG Worcester Suspected of Cheating“).


What do you think of #shufflegate and the recent high profile player suspensions? Are these sentences appropriate? Does the overwhelming community outcry create a sense of a witch hunt? Let us know what you think in the comments below!







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Player at SCG Worcester Open Series Suspected of Cheating

10/30/14, 6:06 PM – UPDATE: Trevor Humphries is suspended for a period of four years. In addition, Alex Bertoncini is likewise suspended for a period of three years.


Last weekend, retailer and event organizer Star City Games of Virginia hosted their well-known tournament series, the SCG Open, in Worcester, MA. Earlier today, a post on surfaced in which the eventually winner, Trevor Humphries, is allegedly caught on camera stacking his opponent’s deck by sliding cards to the top of his opponent’s deck while shuffling.


Unfortunately, we can’t embed a video, but you can watch the match in question by clicking here. Specifically, watch Mr. Humphries shuffling his opponent’s deck during the second game.


Here is a .gif of the alleged issue in close detail, courtesy of redditer J_Golbez.


Furthermore, additional evidence has supposedly surfaced in which Mr. Humphries may have employed the shuffling tactics in question during the SCG Invitation earlier this year. You can see for yourself by clicking here.


Jared Sylvan, Level 4 Judge and Organized Play Manager for Star City Games, posted this to

“We have reviewed the footage of Mr. Humphries and concluded that there is enough evidence that we have submitted an investigation to the Judge Program. We have contacted Mr. Humphries to notify him of this and to request a statement for inclusion in the investigation.

This also activates our Prize Hold policy for players under investigation meaning that Mr. Humphries’ prizes will be held, pending the completion of this investigation. If the investigation results in a suspension, his prizes will be donated to charity.

Jared Sylva Organized Play Manager”


What do you think? Did Mr. Humphries deloy a cheat during his high profile match? Is Star City Game’s response adequate? You be the judge and let us know in the comments below.


We’ll update this story as it develops. Stay tuned!


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Posted in Blog, Card Games, Events, Featured Post, Magic: The Gathering, Popular Posts | 11 Comments »

Wizards of the Coast Releases Statement Regarding Grand Prix Paris

Everyone is aware by now that at this year’s Grand Prix Paris, won by Javier Dominguez playing a Blue/Black/Green Legacy deck, came under review due to numerous issues that occurred during the event (see “UPDATE: Grand Prix Paris Standings Under Review“). Even though there was a disqualification after the last round of the swiss that put popular Brazilian professional Magic player Paulo Vitor Damo de Rosa into the top eight, perhaps the most notorious “cheat” is the “Brainstorm heard round the world,” in which eventual champion Mr. Dominguez only returned one card to the top of his deck after casting a Brainstorm during his turn – all on camera!




Last Friday, on the eve of Pro Tour Born of the Gods, Wizards of the Coast released this statement regarding Grand Prix Paris 2014:


“Two situations arose at Grand Prix Paris that have raised some questions on social media. While we don’t discuss ongoing investigations, or the underlying causes leading to a Disqualification, here is some explanation of the policies behind these two situations.


Head Judge Riccardo Tessitori conducted an investigation of Gerardo Jurado Gibert during round 13 of Grand Prix Paris after a suspicious Game Rule Violation. After listening to all involved parties (Jurado Gibert, his opponent and the Floor Judge), he did not feel that he had sufficient information to assess a Disqualification at that time and, in the interests of keeping the tournament moving, allowed the player to continue playing. As more information came to light during further interviews, and consultation with other senior judges present, Head Judge Tessitori was convinced that the actions taken during the Game Rule Violation were intentional and issued the appropriate Unsporting Conduct – Cheating infraction. As Tessitori stated: “The fact that two rounds had passed and the fact that the player made Top 8 shouldn’t be good reasons to keep in the tournament a player who I was now sure had cheated.” Following the appropriate course of action in such a situation, since Jurado Gibert had already finished his match, the result for round 15 stood and Jurado Gibert was therefore disqualified after round 15 and before the Quarter Finals. As defined in policy, since the cut to top 8 had not yet been made, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, who ended up 9th in the standings prior to Gibert’s removal from the tournament, advanced to the Top 8.


During an on-camera match in the quarterfinals, Javier Dominguez played Brainstorm and only returned one card to the top of his library when resolving it. After investigating the issue and discussing it with the player, Head Judge Tessitori and the Investigations Committee have concluded that the error was accidental. The infraction has been noted in Dominguez’ penalty history. Since the error was not noticed during the game and Cheating has been ruled out in this situation, the Grand Prix result will stand as is.”


So, Mr. Dominguez will retain his title. What do you think? Watch the video below and let us know in the comments below.





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UPDATE: Grand Prix Paris Standings Under Review



In a vague posting on, Wizards of the Coast announced that the final standings from last weekend’s Grand Prix Paris are currently under review, with an update from Wizards of the Coast to follow when available.


Results from Grand Prix Paris are under re-examination. Update to follow.


Twitter is currently abuzz with the news, circulating  the following video that allegedly shows eventually Grand Prix Paris champion Javier Dominguez cheating on camera by supposedly keeping an extra card after casting a Brainstorm. It is currently unclear who originally brought this video to light.



We’ll keep you posted as more details become available.


UPDATE 2/18/14 at 4:48 PM:

Currently, nothing new has emerged as yet from Wizards of the Coast. In the mean time, outrage on Twitter has continued using the hashtag #gpparischeat. In addition, a new Facebook account has emerged as well called “All GP Paris 2014 against stolen,” (poorly translated from Spanish).


We’ll continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.


UPDATE 2/18/14 at 10:10 PM:

Apparently, Drew Levin, writer at Star City Games and Legacy enthusiast, wrote an apology regarding his very vocal condemnation of the situation in question that occurred this past weekend at Grand Prix Paris 2014. Here is Mr. Levin’s apology in it’s entirety:


Before you read this, know that I was not asked to write this by anyone. I spent much of today thinking about my actions, talked with a close friend, and came to the conclusion that this needed to be written.

I was wrong to make the following tweets:

It would have been enough to watch the video and think, “Wow, that looks bad.”
It would have been enough to watch the video and think, “Hey, people would probably find this interesting.”
It would have been enough to watch the video, share it, and not ascribe a narrative or guess at Javier Dominguez’s motivations.

It was too much to watch it, share it, and make not just one but two tweets ascribing the worst of intentions to an interaction that I was neither part of nor know the players involved in. It was classless and it embodied the worst part of the Internet’s power to communicate. It would have been easy to watch the same video and come away with the conclusion that Javier made a mistake.

I was similarly wrong to approach the situation with Alex Bertoncini in the way that I did. I should not have been nearly so public or personal with my actions, and I regret my immature and hasty decisions. I made many of them for the wrong reasons, and I apologized too little. I am sorry for encouraging — embodying, even — a strain of hastily judgmental public commentary on the actions of strangers.

I should have been more aware of my credibility to call out cheaters as someone who has participated in several DCI investigations that led to bannings of domestically-successful players. I should have been more aware of how much people take me at my word when I call someone a cheater. I did not measure my words nearly so thoroughly as is my responsibility, and I am sorry.

I’m sorry to Javier Dominguez, a man who barely two days ago won a Legacy Grand Prix, the highest-level tournament for a format that I love dearly. His accomplishment ought to be unmitigated by these accusations. Here is why:

Either Javier did or did not cheat. The DCI, an organization with far greater access to information and trained judges of character and Magic players’ intentions, will serve as the arbiter for that possibility. If Javier cheated, I have merely contributed to a degradation of public dialogue surrounding Magic players’ intentions during the meteoric rise of video as an implement of entertainment and access to gameplay. Even if this were the only outcome, I would owe the community a serious apology.

If Javier did not cheat, I have done something far worse. I have used my platform in the community to unilaterally castigate a stranger who is presently guilty of nothing more than winning a Grand Prix. If that is all that Javier remains guilty of in four months’ time, my actions are heinous. My words will be used to cast doubt on his accomplishments, and they should never have that power. No one’s words should have that power except for those written by the DCI.

If Javier Dominguez is banned for cheating, I will be glad that the DCI took steps to address the presence of cheating in sanctioned Magic.

Regardless of whether Javier Dominguez is banned for cheating, I have done him and the community wrong.

I apologize for my role in this. I will endeavor to do better by this community.”



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