Clan Masters issues denied

Graphics powerhouse ATi has denied there were niggles with its Clan Masters PC Gaming event last month, despite Windows Middle East having received reports of questionable organisation, ill-performing PCs and player favouritism. However, the manager of one of the event’s venues, Q Club’s Amer Elayoubi, has admitted that some gamers were charged both a registration fee and an hourly PC usage fee.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  September 3, 2006

Graphics powerhouse ATi has denied there were niggles with its Clan Masters PC Gaming event last month, despite Windows Middle East having received reports of questionable organisation, ill-performing PCs and player favouritism. However, the manager of one of the event’s venues, Q Club’s Amer Elayoubi, has admitted that some gamers were charged both a registration fee and an hourly PC usage fee. Team A-List and team Tafjeer jointly conquered the Connect3D-sponsored event, which took place in the Lamcy Plaza area of Dubai (across Golden Hall and Q Club venues) on August 24 and August 25. According to ATi, the event saw 40 teams battle it out over the two days; a total of over 150 contestants. In Clan Masters' Counter-Strike 1.6 challenge, which took place at Golden Hall in Karama, Abu Dhabi’s experienced button bashers, team A-List, triumphed to bag the AED5000 cheque, with team ‘Unreal’ from Dubai running them a close second. The Command & Conquer: Generals portion of the Clan Masters event, which took place at Q Club in Karama, saw team ‘Tafjeer’ edge out team ‘Soo’ to bag the main AED3000 prize. However, attendees of Clan Masters have reported to Windows several problems with the competition. Firstly, they reported that some of the computers at Golden Hall experienced technical problems. However, ATi responded to this claim in a statement given to Windows today, with ATi Middle East’s managing director Rauf Baig saying, “There were no official complaints about systems going down during the competition. At every gaming event, there is the potential for systems to go down due to the heavy load they carry, but ample backups are in place so that the competition is not disrupted. Asif Iftikhar, one of the main organizers of the event, did not recall any major disruptions of this nature. Golden Hall has experience hosting LAN events, so they are well aware of potential problems and as such can minimize them by preparing well ahead of time.” Potentially more worrying however, attendees of the Q Club-hosted ‘Generals’ contest reported that teams of Arabic players were favoured - by being given extra opportunities to qualify - while players were also apparently charged an unusual hourly fee, in addition to the event’s AED25 registration fee. ATi’s Baig responded to the former ‘wasta’ claim, stating: “This is not the case. This event comprised some of the best players in the region, and as such no special treatment would have been given. A-List, for instance, which won in the Counterstrike category, have won international gaming events.” The manager of the Q Club venue, Amer Elayoubi, also vehemently denied this favouritism charge, telling Windows: “That is absolutely not true. We had Arab, Indian, Iranian and European teams. The losers always complain.” As for the hourly charge issue, Baig said this was not the case. However, when speaking to Windows, Elayoubi admitted the unusual fee had, in some cases, being charged, explaining it like this: “If the players wore a Q Club t-shirt, then it was free for them to play; there was no registration fee. The guys that didn’t wear the Q Club t-shirts, they paid, plus our hourly internet fee of AED5 per hour.” According to Baig, ATi is now looking to plan a Ramadan evening gaming event, as well as a Clan Masters event in Saudi Arabia. “We want to eventually get to the point where we do a regional tournament,” says Baig. “We recently got together with Gigabyte and we’ll be doing the local WCG (World Cyber Games) event.” Q Club’s Elayoubi meanwhile claims to be working to bring the Cyberathlete Professional League (a.k.a. ‘CPL’ – the world’s biggest PC computer gaming league) to the UAE.

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