So I thought I’d share my thoughts on the unbanning of Quinn Kotecki. With these thoughts I am also going to lay out some of the evidence/things I’ve found out regarding this individual, and why this all amounts to why he should remain banned. For those unaware, Quinn was a competitive player in Force of Will, Pokemon, MTG, and more. He went to FOW Worlds and topped many GP’s often placing top 8 in the many games and events he attends.
For anyone unfamiliar with the situation, I will go over the details of how this all started (and include screenshots when applicable).
FORCE OF WILL:
Quinn was a competitive player in Force of Will. He attended Worlds and was even made into a promo card that FOW previously used as prizing for Worlds Winners.
This all started with Force of Will in June of 2017 at the Toronto GP. The incident occurred with the late Alex Blandin. He played against Quinn and initially suspected that Quinn had drawn a card from the graveyard against him. At a later point Quinn had tapped the wrong will to play counter cards. Alex said he wasn’t paying too much attention to some of this (not making the assumption that Quinn might be cheating initially). It was then noticed Quinn may have placed a card on top of his deck as well. At this point Alex became more suspicious.
After this game Alex shared his suspicion leading into top 8. This lead to him and someone else observing gameplay of him where they caught him definitively cheating. One specific play was where Ryan (Quinn’s new opponent) went to play Wind Secluded Refuge. In response Quinn played Rune of Sol to search for Ancient Knowledge (This card lets you draw 2 essentially).
After finishing his search for Ancient Knowledge they noticed he put a card on top of his deck. Both Alex and his friend saw Quinn put the card on top of his deck, and then shuffle the other cards without moving it. Alex’s friend confirms to Alex that the card that was placed on top was a Seal of Wind and Light (A cancel that would counter the Wind Secluded Refuge). They did end up calling a judge over, but since the judge hadn’t witnessed the event, he couldn’t do anything at that time. Since Ryan ended up winning the game anyways it wasn’t as relevant, but the two witnesses confirmed beyond any doubt he had cheated.
After that event is when Alex and Quinn both had walked out to the parking lot. Alex saw Quinn and called him a cheater, flipping him off. In response Quinn picked him up and body slammed him. He received a ban that would have lasted until June of this year initially solely for the body slam incident (unrelated to the cheating).
FINAL FANTASY TCG:
Following this, he started playing Final Fantasy TCG. In September of the same year (2017) there were reports of him cheating in the Nationals tournament. I looked into this, and while reports of this are near impossible to find for various reasons, I was able to confirm a couple things.
Firstly, this was his first time playing FFTCG. I only heard this from one person, but it lines up with at least some of what he was accused of (but not all).
The things he was accused of include:
Playing cards that weren’t written on his decklist
Drawing too many cards
Making illegal plays
Misuse of card zones
Some of these could possibly be excused for being new to the game. The 2 that stand out for me are the cards not being written on a decklist (he was a FOW Worlds competitor, this should be an easy one), and drawing too many cards. This could be a mistake as well, but it seems to follow a pattern. It is worth noting that this was reported by multiple opponents, and he got one game loss for an illegal play (which sounds like a normal mistake for a new person to the game). He was not banned, however it looks like he moved on from this game at some point.
Next he started up with Pokemon TCG. In this game he placed in the top 8 many times at major events, including getting top 4 and 2 spots. In June of 2018 there was a huge set of circumstances that, for all intents and purposes, proved he cheated multiple times.
This was during a tournament that had two separate incidents. You can read the full details in the pictures. In summary, the first incident was during Round 8 of the tournament. His opponent said he was absolutely positive Quinn was ‘palming’ cards into his hand whenever he played Elixer (a card drawing tool) among other cards. If I followed the events correctly, Quinn received a warning after this match.
The second incident was the following Round. This time his opponent caught him as he was ‘palming’ a card and called a judge over. His opponent said he had “Never seen a more blatant attempt that was so clear, intent to cheat is irrefutable.”
The judge came over and confirmed Quinn had an extra card in hand. However since the judge was not there when it happened, Quinn claimed he must have accidentally drew it at the beginning of the game (or some other scenario). He therefore was not DQ’ed, but rather received a QPL, even though this was the second instance of this exact thing happening.
These were both reported independently of each other. They did not (as far as I can tell) result in a ban due to judges not being present at the time of incident (similar to the other games).
At some point he left Pokemon.
MAGIC THE GATHERING:
Last game he was in (and most recently) was Magic the Gathering. He was also competitive in this, topping events etc. This instance happened during a large tournament in September of 2018. During this, he was caught and called out by MTG Pro Player, Oliver Tomajko.
He recounted the incident in the provided image, which I will also summarize here:
It started during the game while Oliver was playing a combo. During the combo he saw Quinn look at his sideboard, then grab a card out of it. He didn’t say anything at that point because he wasn’t fully paying attention, but noticed his hand size was more then he remembered. He recounts some more specific plays that happened that seemed unlikely considering the deck Quinn was running. It then lead to Quinn passing turn, with definitively 0 cards in hand. Oliver did some plays, and when he looked up, Quinn was back to 1 card in hand. At this point he called a judge over. The judge verifies that Quinn is up 1 card (though Oliver knows there is something he is forgetting that is important).
During this process Quinn asks the judge if he can just concede the game and move on (which Oliver said was strange since, if Quinn is in the right, he would win next turn). Oliver realized later that night that the thing he hadn’t realized was there was a set of cards in the graveyard that, considering plays that were made, show he drew an extra card in addition to grabbing a card from the graveyard.
From what I understand (and I will update this post when I find out) at a later date Quinn was caught cheating again at a MTG tournament. This time it was witnessed and he received a ban from MTG until later this year.
All this brings us to today, and why this is all applicable. As mentioned Quinn was banned until later this year solely the body slam incident. As I mentioned, I feel the 2 year ban was already low for that.
We already have an example of a player verbally assaulting people, and getting a lifetime ban. I personally feel physical assault is worse (in addition to the cheating).
During his 2 year ban, he has gone on to cheat in 3 other major card games (that we know of), and in each instance has never apologized or owned up to what he did.
This brings us to now, where we find out that Quinn has been unbanned early! He can officially start attending any FOW event he wants, from locals to GP’s, to Worlds. I find this very troubling.
I would already make the case that his original ban should be extended. He is a habitual liar/cheater with no remorse, and is something this game just doesn’t need. FOW is in a great place right now, growing drastically, selling out, and bringing communities that have died back together. To bring in a controversial person like Quinn, who is guaranteed to cheat at some point, is just not what the game needs. So at minimum, I think his ban should be extended due to the continued cheating, and what I think was too light of a ban to begin with.
Now compound that with his ban being lifted early, I think this just doesn’t look good for the game, or anyone. If FOW decides to keep him unbanned and you are planning on attending a FOW event, please keep an eye out for him, and don’t be afraid to call judges! They are there to help, and as we’ve seen here, it just takes a split second for a judge to see a play gone wrong to remedy the whole situation.
Force of Will has said they unbanned him early due to his official ‘Ban Notice’ saying he would be unbanned in 2019 (with no specific date). So although the original intention was for 2 years, the notice gave the impression he could be unbanned in January. So they decided to unban in January rather than the posted date.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Let us know your thoughts on the situation as well.
So there have been some updates since publishing that I will put here. This will include if any changes happen to his status, as well as new discoveries.
Firstly, an instance of cheating I was not aware of. This was in the Pittsburgh GP for FOW. Quinn was playing against Aaron Miles. The short of it is Quinn played Cheshire Cat, drew 2 cards, but didn’t put one back on top. Aaron caught him and called a judge. Quinn said he put a card back on the deck, to which Aaron said Quinn should be able to tell the judge what card he put on top, and the judge could check. Quinn switched his tone and said he might have put it at the bottom instead, and then offered to ‘Put a second card on top of the deck’ anyways, and play continued.
This was all caught on video, starting at the 5:25
The second update is, as of right now, Robert Hebert has said Quinn will not be unbanned early, and will continue until the pre-determined date. He said all the relevant TO have been informed of this. This is contrary to what the company says so I’ll keep an eye on this
Third update, I just talked to a MTG player by the name of Josh Thompson, after reading through replies on Twitter. I contacted him where he relayed this story below, which is a copy paste from something he relayed to the community awhile back (I’ll continue after the image)
I have since personally reached out and confirmed with 2 separate stores that he is, in fact, banned from playing at both of them. One of them also confirmed he is DCI banned (not sure if this is different than his original ban in MTG that we mentioned).
Fourth Update, I updated the FFTCG section to get rid of the DQ from the event, as it seems that was mis-reported.