The North American Open Qualifier for the Blast Premier showdown last weekend saw several players complaining openly about server issues, technical difficulties, and bug exploits.
The drama started when Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Tyler “tweiss” Weiss posted a clip on Twitter. In the clip, he and his teammates were killed by an invisible opponent who only became visible when tweiss and his teammates were already dead.
y’all can keep this qualifier, I’ll just keep playing cashcup and shit LMFAO pic.twitter.com/riKKjFrQSH
— tweiss (@tweissCS) March 8, 2021
As the qualifier continued on, more issues became apparent. The servers were unreliable, leading to frame drops and players not being able to register certain events in-game. The problem was most noticeable when a player was jump-spotting. The servers were too slow to register the player jumping, meaning they could gather crucial information without risking anything.
The worst offender however was the anti-cheat program used by the site. While other platforms such as ESEA and Faceit use a client-side anti-cheat program, Challengermode has a server-side program. While this system can in theory prove to be very effective, players complained about the possibility of glitches with the program potentially preventing it from running at full capacity for the entirety of the tournament.
When certain strategies (jump-spotting) become unpunishable because of server issues it fundamentally changes the way the game has to be played which is unacceptable.
This qualifier seems like it was a complete farce and it honestly should be replayed. https://t.co/S4ayNKSiFP
— Mnmzzz – Jeff (@MnmzzzCS) March 8, 2021
The open qualifiers are hosted on third-party platform Challengermode, with the most recent being the first of three. Teams will be competing for a spot in a closed qualifier, where a ticket for the Blast Premier Showdown is on the line. The eventual winner of the closed qualifier will receive a $25,000 entrance fee and a paid bootcamp in Europe.
In an official statement, Challengermode acknowledged the issues with its servers and say that its team’s members have “identified this issue, and have made changes to prevent this from happening in the future”. Despite community outcry, results from the first qualifier will be honored.