As the North American branch of the official MK11 Pro Kompetition unfolded last weekend; there was an unexpected interruption to the broadcast event that resulted in the disqualification of player Titaniumtigerzz. Read on for details:
Kotaku brought the story to light, unpacking an abrupt transition in the live HBO Max feed that interrupted a January 16th match between Titaniumtigerzz and Krispifungus.
Befuddled and bemused commentators described the sudden halt in play as a "situation". Whilst seemingly receiving information via headset, announcer Miguel “Darth Arma” Perez noted at the time, "I don't know what we can publicly say". He later ambiguously referenced the rules, encouraging everyone to be "respectful".
Even players were left unclear of what transpired as Krispifungus was defaulted into the next round. Titaniumtigerzz told Kotaku he was later informed in the intervening time by a tournament moderator that the cause for disqualification was a custom variation name: "WhyDidNRSDoThis".
The unknowingly prophetic, tongue-in-cheek variation was assigned to Sheeva: a downloadable Aftermath addition who has drawn criticism from competitive players for an unblockable teleport stomp called the Dragon Drop.
Skilled players can counter the special attack with specific well-timed moves, or a forward dash, but excessive use of the Dragon Drop is considered by many an easy way for Sheeva players to gain a competitive edge.
Despite the noted gameplay issues; MK11 Pro Kompetition organizers have drawn criticism from the playerbase for the handling of Titaniumtigerzz' offending reference. Along with receiving no immediate clear direction after being allowed to initiate play, he was also given no opportunity to alter the name.
The scenario is an inevitable outcome of the recent addition of custom variations to competitive play -- a featured added last November with Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. The Pro Kompetition has no specific rules preventing this type of knowing meta-textual reference. The decision to disqualify instead falls under the catchall of a code of conduct.
NetherRealm Studios and WB Games have not yet responded to Kotaku at the time of this publication. Mortal Kombat Online has not reached out for comment.
Titaniumtigerzz will play on, telling Kotaku he will not be deterred by the outcome as a competitive player: "I might hate how they do things but at the end of the day it’s their game and I don’t have any other options."
Have your say in the comments below and find more stories to discuss by joining the kommunity in the Mortal Kombat 11 forum. Go deeper into the competitive scene in the Fight Klub forum -- the home of MK Online's live & interactive league now in public beta!