People can buy an unlimited number votes for the Summit of Power; does this raise new ethical concerns going forward for events?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 15, 2018 at 8:27 p.m. PDT

The Summit of Power for Dragon Ball FighterZ is in its final voting phase to see who will be among the top 16 players for this invitational tournament, though their methods are now raising some questions about similar ventures in the future.

During the final round of voting, people can buy a potentially unlimited number of votes for purchasing merchandise from their store or donating directly to the organizers to increase the prize pool and unlock more event stretch goals like a photo shoot and combo contest.

It's becoming apparent though that a select few people/ players seem to be buying or organizing group purchases of upwards of thousands of dollars worth of votes and using them all in the closing seconds to push themselves or friends into the few remaining spots for the event.

FOX|dekillsage jumped from fourth place with 4197 votes to first place with 9035 votes almost instantaneously to steal away the first confirmed voter spot in Summit of Power from Battle for the Stones' champion UYU|Cloud 805, who was previously winning with just under 7000 votes.

Dekillsage's friend and Echo Fox teammate, FOX|SonicFox, helped him secure the spot by gathering up 4775 votes with assistance from their Discord friends to "snipe" the spot within the final 30 seconds.

Summit of Power is a private invitational tournament, so they can enact any rules in which they so choose, but should we take this as a potential warning to avoid future events becoming a popularity contest or show of which players or teams can throw around the most money?


Cloud 805's live reaction to the voting results (some language NSFW)

The Summit of Power is not connected to a larger tournament circuit or directly sponsored event like the Capcom Pro Tour, but where do we draw the line in the sand of how voting processes and money should be handled for other events?

Players with sponsors and more resources will inevitably make it to more tournaments/ events and probably have more eyes on them than the "smaller" players out there; it doesn't mean popularity contests where money or shares are involved do not raise ethical concerns.

There is no real collusion or organizational bias going on here, but it could open the door to a future event becoming monopolized by a few teams or groups because they were willing to spend more money than others.

The fighting game community has largely stayed with the tradition of large, open tournaments for events while other competitive scenes have moved towards smaller and more controlled events with the influx of developing eSports teams and leagues. Events like ELEAGUE and Gfinity have been experimenting though over the past few years by combining the fighting game scene with smaller televised events and even teams of players.

This can also be seen as a larger community effort as well, however. Lord Knight and Cloud 805 were confirmed as the next two invited players for the summit today with the former jumping over 10,000 votes in the last minute from an undertaking of more than 60 people according to Cole "Flux" Tocci on Twitter.

Progression of votes during the second phase of voting for Summit of Power created by Magic Moste

Beyond the Summit is not breaking any rules, unspoken or otherwise, and they have every right to handle their tournament in the way they feel is best for their organization, event, players and audience.

The ability to buy votes and in-turn buy-ins can bring together/ rally the community around players, but it also raises new questions about ethics and spending power that will need to be ironed out by the fighting game community and event organizers going forward.

Image Sources: Mean Girls, Magic Moste

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