Matt "Warden" Dickens, coach of compLexity Gaming, has been removed from ESEA's Rank S ladder and will not be able to re-qualify until November 1, 2016. Though ESEA did not give explicit reasons for the ruling, it comes several days after Warden was accused by members of the community of deliberately throwing games to boost his compLexity teammates' rankings on the ladder.
In ESEA's statement, product manager Brett Sheffield implied that Warden had been banned for poor in-game behavior, writing that "any members of Rank S who are intentionally ruining the games for others, or taking actions that hurt the integrity of games will be subject to removal from Rank S."
"All members in Rank S should set out to be examples to those in the community who are watching them play matches day in and day out," he said. "They should conduct themselves as leaders of the community, both on the forums and in the server."
Rank S is ESEA's most competitive ladder, where pro and semi-pro players compete individually to win cash prizes. At the end of each month, a $20,000 prize pool is split among the Top 10 players in each ESEA region.
Though ESEA does not describe any specific conduct violations by Warden, over the past few days allegations of his misconduct have arisen in the community.
On Friday, Reddit user Pewstream posted a VOD of Echo Fox coach Sean "seangares" Gares' Twitch stream that shows seangares playing with Warden on Rank S. compLexity players Rory "dephh" Jackson and Bradley "androidx23" Fodor are shown playing for the opposing team.
The video shows seangares and Warden losing their first game 16-3, with Warden posting a 4-0-16 KAD. Pewstream and other Redditors accused Warden of deliberately throwing the game to help boost dephh and androidx23 up the ladder and win the end-of-month Rank S prizes. The two players are both currently in the Top 10 in ESEA's Rank S NA standings; dephh is ranked second, while androidx23 is fourth.
ESEA does not mention seangares' stream or the Reddit accusations in its statement. theScore esports has reached out to the ESEA for comment, and will provide updates as details arise.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.