Gravitas out, EG in for KODE5 Global Finals

BY Andrew Miesner / April 15, 2009

Gravitas Gaming to miss Kode5 Global Finals

Unfortunate news was revealed today that Gravitas Gaming will not be attending the Kode5 Global Finals in Moscow, Russia.  The organization won the USA Finals and earned a trip to the event back in March.

Earlier this week it became apparent that Kode5 was looking for a replacement team at the very last minute as other top finalists like x3o and compLexity were contacted as possible stand-ins.  The alleged reason was that Gravitas had not provided the necessary paperwork by the deadlines needed for VISA acquisition and travel arrangements.

Today we received notice from Kode5 that the decision was final and the following press release was given to us:

(UNDISCLOSED LOCATION) – April 15, 2009 – Due to missed application deadlines by KODE5 USA Champion Gravitas Gaming, KODE5 has been forced to find a replacement team to represent the US at the KODE5 Global Final in Moscow. After surveying the other finalists from the KODE5 USA Regional Finals that took place on March 14th, Team Evil Geniuses will now be the official KODE5 USA representative at the Moscow event.

It was a tough decision to make, but the failure to submit player information from the team in question forced our hand,” said Thomas Kuhlenbach, KODE5 Revolutionary-at-Arms. “Gravitas was given more than enough time to submit their player information to apply for several required documents after the conclusion of the USA Qualifier, but failed to do so. We were given strict deadlines to when this information was to be submitted, which meant that we had to make a quick decision to look for another team to replace them before the imposed deadline passed. Otherwise, USA would end up not having a representative at the KODE5 Global Final. In the end, it was decided to send one of the other candidates who were able to offer their information in a timely manner. It is regrettable that Gravitas will not be in attendance, but wish Team EG the best of luck in Moscow.”


Here is part of Gravitas Gaming’s statement from their website:

In Dallas, Texas Gravitas memorably won the KODE5 qualifier for the United States in a convincing fashion, defeating X3O in the finals. Since that time we have been in discussion with the KODE5 staff to arrange our flights, hotel and visa’s to Russia, as KODE5 pays for the winning team to attend the Grand Finals. For visa’s, Russia has a requirement that a letter of invitation be sent to be issued a visa, so we were required by KODE5 to submit our passport information to receive these letters. A deadline was set by KODE5 that we submit all of our passport information by April 5th. Unfortunatly one of our players had missplaced his passport and needed to get a new passport sent. He ran into many road blocks, including needing to get a birth certificate among other things, that caused a delay in him receiving his passport.

In light of these circumstances KODE5 administrators extended our deadline to April 15th at 12:00 PM CET. We had decided that going through the process that our player was going to be unable to obtain a passport within the required time, as the US Embassy does not rush passports more than 15 days away from a flight. We could guarantee he would receive it the next day – April 16th. We spoke to KODE5 and informed them that this was going to be the case, but they said it was unnaceptable for him to submit his passport information to them that far after the deadline (less than 12 hours). Still with a desire to go, we offered them a number of solutions that we assumed they would take, as KODE5 would have an interest in trying to work with us in sending the qualified team to their event.


When asked about compLexity’s involvement, Jason Lake said:

We were contacted by Kode5 a couple days ago about the possibility of attending the Global Finals.  We checked with our players to make sure they could move their final exams, etc, and let Kode5 know we were able to attend.  Then there was some confusion because Gravitas informed us they would, in fact, be attending.  We reached out to the Kode5 officials for an update but they were AFK.  Eventually we were contacted and shocked when they told us we had 50 minutes to get over all the player passport information.  This obviously presented a problem because Sunman is on a plane home from Denmark.  We were ready and willing to attend and would have liked the opportunity but it didn’t work out this time.


UPDATE – We also got a statement from x3o’s Manager Nick Fitz:

X3O was contacted by the KODE5 administration about attending their event as the USA representatives. At this time we are unable to meet their required time constraints and stipulations that would allow us to attend. While I have nothing but respect for the event administration, I do believe that they are making it unnecessarily difficult for potential replacement teams to attend. I wish them the best of luck in finding a replacement, and look forward to attending future KODE5 events.