I would like to weigh in on the current topic because I want to help keep things calm and focused on constructive criticism and try to avoid dramatic accusations and tempers flaring. A lot of people worked very hard on this tournament and I want them to feel good about it and supported by the community. Tournaments are so important for the life of games like ours, even if you don't play in them!
I think I can actually claim a bit of expertise on this issue because conflicts of interest are huge in my field. I am a mental health counselor who works with teenagers and adults. A conflict of interest in my field must be avoided to maintain the integrity of the field. I can't have, for example, my client being worried to tell me that they were drinking on the job recently because I hired them to paint my house, for example. So, I can't hire my client to paint my house because of the potential conflict of interest.
Sometimes, though, conflicts of interest are unavoidable. For example, in my office I am the only one who sees teenagers. What if one of my adult clients wants me to see their teenager? I can't just transfer the adult because my coworkers case load is full, but the teen still needs treatment. So I see the teen and the adult and work very carefully to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Not because I think it will be a problem, but because my clients will worry about the conflict. My teenage client might, for example, be convinced that I will tell their parent everything even though I know I won't. That confidence is why you are very careful even though you may know you are honest.
This is why the whole Joe thing blew up. TRS knew they were honest (I also think they were honest) but it likely never would have blown up like it did if it weren't for the potential for conflict of interest.
TRS could have done a few things differently to increase confidence in their lack of conflict of interest, for example:
- ALL TRS players are disqualified from entering the tournament, not just the few staff managing it
- TRS "hires" a new member to manage disputes
- TRS tournament staff are forbidden to have contact with TRS players for duration of tournament
All of these were options, and to my knowledge none of them were implemented. I was very surprised TRS players were allowed in the tournament at all. I don't think TRS was being dirty, bad, or anything. I think TRS and CVH handled the TraitorJoe situation as best as they could. But they did not exercise best practices with conflict of interest and we are now seeing the negative impact these things have.
I hope this helps TRS do better in the future and take potential conflicts of interest more seriously. Again, no one takes precautions about conflict of interest seriously because they believe they are dishonest. TRS is full of honest people. You do it because you don't want to rely on people to trust you. Most won't! ☹️
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