A controversy stroke the 10th edition jubilee as Algeria submitted their registration Monday. Algerian delegation, lead by Bestmen, made quite an entrance to the contest, but not to everyone’s delight as it turned out. Not long after the Algerian registration came in, Lithuanian juror Werloc spoke loudly against their participation. Among other things, he proposed one contest ban for Bestmen, and effectively Algeria, what would be an unprecedented event in TISC history. As far as the official records go, only one nation has ever been barred from entering the contest. West African nation of Niger initially registered for 2016 Open, but was excluded shortly thereafter as there was an alleged reason to believe that their entry was not genuine.
Bestmen has been a controversial figure in the TISC community. Representing Algeria, he made his debut at the 2015 Open, where Algeria finished in a disappointing 39th place. Their best ever result came at their second contest, the 2016 Annual, where Algeria placed 5th. In the following contests Algeria achieved colorful results, which were often shadowed by the controversy surrounding Bestmen himself. In his statement, Werloc called on Bestmen’s own statements from the past, including the ones that say his “votes are rigged” and that his decisions are “purely random”. He also mentioned Bestmen’s alleged harassment of hosts which happened during the previous few editions, including the 2016 Open which was hosted by Lithuania. Werloc concluded by saying that an apology from Bestmen would have made the difference in this instance, something what Algerian delegation did not present in their registration letter.
OlympicIRL, the TISC president, answered Werloc’s concerns by admitting that Bestmen’s behaviour in the previous few contests has been “very poor”, but he still believes that Bestmen “truly does have a love for the contest”. However, he admitted that “we cannot see a repeat of the disrespect he has been showing to hosts and other participants in recent editions”. OlympicIRL referred to Bestmen himself by saying: “I do think it would be sad to have TISC without you in it, but not for your negative comments, because of the other things you bring. It is amusing when you are being bitter about votes and your gifs are certainly a TISC tradition. On the other hand it is not one bit amusing when you are attacking the hosts and accusing people of cheating.”. OlympicIRL concluded his statement by saying that he takes Bestmen’s registration “as a commitment that you will behave in the correct spirit this time and abide by the rules”.
According to the official entry list however, Algeria’s registration is yet to be officially confirmed by the organizing committee (TAISCOC). TISC-News has a reason to believe that a cause for this is the controversy surrounding Bestmen, as Portugal, who put in their registration after Algeria, has already been officially confirmed as an entrant.
Bestmen and the Algerian delegation have not yet given a statement on the subject.