The Chinese Taipei Hearthstone Global Games team has been banned from this year's event after using the delayed tournament broadcast to influence their decision-making.
The announcement was made after a review of both gameplay video and statements provided to Blizzard by the players involved.
“Following the Chinese Taipei vs Singapore match, the Chinese Taipei team uploaded a video of their gameplay,” the statement begins.
“Upon review of the video, and after reviewing in-person statements from the players, the Hearthstone Esports team has determined that members of the Chinese Taipei team used the delayed tournament broadcast to aid them in a decision during the game.”
The statement goes on to explain that this was a specific breach of the tournament rules, under which players are prohibited from “stream sniping, or any general attempt by a player to spectate his or her own match or get information from another person spectating the match.”
Footage of the match - with Taiwanese commentary - is embedded for you below. The match in question between Sequinox and Tom60229 begins approximately one hour into the broadcast.
Tournaments are typically broadcast with a delay of 15 minutes, which means that any matches lasting longer than this are vulnerable to incidents of unfair intelligence gathering.
In this instance, the Chinese Taipei team were able to determine that Sequinox had discarded Mind Control Tech after playing Tracking significantly earlier on in the match. Thanks to Reddit for parsing the fine detail of what occurred.
The team's opponents in the match, Singapore, will now proceed in their place to the playoff stage of the Hearthstone Global Games, scheduled to take place at next month's BlizzCon fan-gathering in Anaheim, Los Angeles.