The Uproar Over XFriends

Fans of the Xbox 360 Singapore Facebook page might have noticed a little ‘sit in’ protest taking place on it recently. More than 15 posts have been made on page activity threads, reading: “Be Fair to Rchusan, put him back in Xfriends”.

But just what is there to be fair about to this ‘Rchusan’, and what has happened to him in XFriends? The regional Xbox tournament for achievement whores is drawing to a close, with the Grand Finals being held at Singapore’s Licence2Play expo this coming weekend. The Top Gamer of the tournament will bring home US$10,000 (or S$12,194 based on current exchange rate) in cash as well as a gold-plated Xbox 360. Rchusan was a contender for the Top Gamer title just last week, having topped the achievement leaderboards for Resident Evil 6 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but has since been disqualified by the local Xbox 360 team.

According to Microsoft rep Sophia Lek, ‘Rchusan’, or Alfred Goh, was disqualified for using two gamertags – SGESPORTS X and Rchusan – to participate in the competition. This was against the tournament’s terms and conditions. “If he changed his gamertag, that is fine with us as it still means it is (1) gamertag, but Xbox LIVE enforcement has checked and they belong to 2 different accounts,” said Sophia over email. Alfred further nailed himself to the cross by submitting the same personal details for both accounts when prompted to do so as a winner.

In conversation with us, Sophia cited multiple complaints that had been filed against Alfred, alleging that he had boosted his scores by dual-boxing.

Alfred’s defense is that the terms and conditions of XFriends aren’t properly displayed if one signs up solely via Xbox Live. However Xbox 360 Singapore has clarified with us that gamers are actually directed to the T&Cs via a URL that links back to the main site. Alfred also explained that he used another account to be able to play through a bug for Medal of Honor: Warfighter that was triggered by having a Battlefield 3 save file on the same console, and not to dual-box. However this is a tough claim to prove, and one would certainly be more inclined to err on the side of caution and disqualify Alfred, especially since complaints had been filed about him.

When we spoke to Alfred, he was clearly dismayed by the turn of events. While he has come to understand that the missed rules are an oversight on his part, he feels it still doesn’t take away from the fact that he has spent countless of hours over the past three months grinding for the chance of being crowned Top Gamer.

And neither, it seems, does the community. Based on the cries for justice, it’s clear that many gamers feel that ‘Rchusan’, at least, should be reinstated for the XFriends grand finals at Licence2Play 2012. Their efforts are likely to go down in vain, however. Alfred violated the terms and conditions of XFriends by utilising two accounts and further submitting the same personal details for both when asked to. While he might say he was unaware of the terms, the fact remains that it’s a case of ignorantia juris non excusat – ignorance of the law is no excuse.

“The team’s decision still stands as it is on his disqualification,” Marketing Manager, Ian Tan, wrote in an email to us.

It’s always tempting to stick it to the man, but what if the man is right?