ex-Wildcard lose Atlanta Closed Qualifier invite spot
The ESL Challenger Atlanta open qualifiers are set to kick off later tonight, and both Wildcard and ex-Wildcard will have to take place if they want a shot at heading down to Georgia for the December LAN. Wildcard, the organization and former roster, had been directly invited to the closed qualifier for the event until this morning when their spot was confirmed to be handed over to Evil Geniuses based on their position in the ESL World Rankings.
ESL announced the change this morning, with Evil Geniuses now earning the spot after a review of Wildcard's license to enter the competition. Citing a "majority roster change," the tournament organizer elected to replace the squad due to "a loss of points in the ESL World Ranking."
Per ESL's rulebook, a license holder's place in a tournament may be under review if the squad changes three or more players from the starting lineup. Wildcard, the organization, is the license holder, and they recently changed the majority of their roster they informed ESL in advance of their intentions to sign the core of Forsaken.
An ESL admin told Dust2.us that as part of this review tournament management had to make a decision on whether to award the spot to Wildcard's new roster, ex-Wildcard, or to follow the ESL World Rankings. Ultimately, ESL TM had the decision to choose to follow the WR due to Wildcard's new roster not meeting the requirements while ex-Wildcard did not hold any license to play in the Closed Qualifier.
As such, this means the decision came to down to the World Rankings, where EG were the next highest-rated team on the list on November 7th when the decision was made, thus taking the invite. Regardless of the manner by which this decision was made, many have voiced consternation over said decision as the ex-Wildcard team has now lost a spot they earned via their hard work due to factors outside of their control.