As a professional Magic player and editor-in-chief of this site, I’d like to address the recent disqualification of Tomoharu Saito from Grand Prix Florence. I, as well as the rest of us here at Channelfireball, am very disappointed in this turn of events. Cheating undermines the integrity of the game and is one of the most harmful actions possible to both the tournament experience and public perception of the game. While we here at Channelfireball in no way support cheating of any kind, we have received a statement from Tomoharu regarding the events in question. These events, regardless of the circumstances behind them, reflect poorly on both Tomoharu and professional Magic in general, not to mention this very website.
Here is the translated statement that Tomoharu sent us:
Regarding my Disqualification at Grand Prix Florence
Here is the link from the official coverage.
As some of you know already, I was recently disqualified from Grand Prix Florence.
First of all, let me apologize to those who have always supported me. This disqualification is the realization of the worst possible consequences and is inexcusable.
The stated reason for the ruling was that “After confirming that there was not very much time left in the round, it appeared that this player intentionally stalled.” I do not deny the comments and observations of other players claiming they observed the same thing; all I can say is that at the time I truly did not believe that I was stalling.
Disqualified players write a report to the DCI concerning what happened and what they were thinking during the circumstances leading to the disqualification. I wrote a report and submitted it to the DCI in Florence and now await the results of their investigation.
After considering the above statement and the events in question, we feel that we must unfortunately part ways with Tomoharu, and we will no longer be running his content on the website. This isn’t a decision we make lightly, but it is in everyone’s best interests. I will please ask that the discussion stay civil, though I understand that this is a very touchy subject; trust me, no one here at Channelfireball is happy about this situation.
Click here to read Saito’s statement in the original Japanese.