Competitive Player: Cerebral Palsy & MLG

Greetings to all,

I am writing to you today with the hopes the Halo 4 community and possibly even 343 studios themselves will back my cause… that cause being petitioning MLG (Major League Gaming) to allow me to play in a manner that allows me to play at a competitive level where as otherwise it is impossible due to my condition.

I have Cerebral Palsy, for those of you who do not know what it is I will provide some links for you…

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.”

What does this mean for me?

It means that my hands (Fingers / Wrists) and feet (Toes / Ankles) try to mimic one another. If I move my left index finger my right index finger will do the same movement if I do nothing to try and resist the movement from happening. With focus I can resist the secondary movement I don’t mean to happen from happening… but regardless of my effort I can never stop it completely. If I literally hold my one hand on a surface and move the other you will see the bones / tendons in the hand held down move despite me forcefully holding that hand down.

How is this important?

It’s important because to use any console controller with thumbsticks means that my thumbs are in control of moving / aiming / looking + whatever the button click controls… now factor that into what I explained above with my hands trying to mimic one another. If you’ve followed me thus far you will conclude that “Hey this guy cannot use a controller very well… certainly not at MLG competitive levels”… in which case you’d be 100% spot on. I do however have a solution to my problem…

XIM3

This is a device that allows me to plug my gaming keyboard & mouse into the Xbox 360 and use them instead of the controller. Why does this matter? Because my thumbs are no longer in control when using this setup… my condition no longer affects my ability to play at a competitive level to the extent using a regular controller does. My hands will never be able to master the use of a keyboard either… but for FPS type games I can manage. MLG currently has this device or any like it banned from their LIVE events, their thought is that K/M would give any player an advantage over their peers using a regular controller… and you know for most people it may actually give that advantage… my argument however is that I am not a regular person. I have a disability… a handicap that literally makes it so that I cannot compete at MLG levels using a controller. I am hopeful that through some persuasion I can attend MLG LIVE events with a proper team and compete… however as of right now I am having some difficulty in my efforts.

Here is a link to the thread I made on the MLG forums… (It is locked now)

(Note that the email I wrote to MLG can be found in the thread)

Upon reading you will find that I was informed to write an email… thus I did. You will also notice many members of the community backing my cause voicing their opinion that I should be allowed to play using the Xim3 device because of my condition.

It took them about a week to get back to me… and this is where I am hitting a wall. I clearly stated several times I wanted to attend future LIVE events, not Dallas coming up this weekend because it wouldn’t be enough time for me to plan the trip + I work mostly on weekends… I need to plan trips like this not just go. This is what I was sent…


“Hello Kevin, thank you for reaching out. As you know, the use of a keyboard and mouse is not allowed in MLG Halo tournaments. However, given the fact that the Dallas Event is a pre-release Halo 4 Exhibition, we will allow you to use a keyboard and mouse this weekend.

Please let me know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Dallas.”

John Nelson
Commissioner and VP, League Operations
Major League Gaming
www.majorleaguegaming.com


So according to this email I would be allowed to attend Dallas and compete only because it’s a pre-release event. I won’t however be allowed to compete in future LIVE events. My response was…


“I would like to point out that I’ve stated I cannot attend the Dallas event… my inquiry was in regards to future events not just the event coming up. I certainly hope your stance on M/K setups isn’t final as it appears to be. You’re saying that I’d only be allowed for this one event? Does that not seem silly? I’d go through the trouble of finding a MLG worthy team and have to be dropped for the next event?
There has to be something more you can do, someone else this can go to. From what I’ve seen the MLG community was behind me. Please don’t let this end as a simple “no”.”
I’ll do whatever it takes to help this go forward,
Kevin


I have not got a response as of yet to that email.

You are now all up to date… I will update this thread as my discussions with the MLG go forward. Will you support my cause? Do you think I am wrong? Be honest with me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, regardless of the results I only have one more thing to say…

I am a competitive gamer, always have been… always will be. No one can ever tell me otherwise or convince me to give up on what I love doing.

Best regards,

Kevin Douglas Lee

Dude. I totally respect you, and where you are coming from. If MLG wont accept you need an alternative way to play then screw em! You are Ten times better than any of those fools. Keep on carving your own path!

I totally support this! If there are avenues to making gaming more accessible and easier for disabled gamers then MLG NEEDS to adopt this. Just keep trying to build up as much support as possible and keep fighting because your just as much a gamer as the rest of us and you should be allowed to compete.

Damn, I can’t even troll you, your story is really touching. I hope you’ll find a way to play at the tourneys and show off your skill. Don’t give up on your desires and dreams, my fellow competitive player! Never!

I dont know why they would let you compete at Dallas, and then not the other ones. I can understand MLG wanting to go by the rules of competition, but certainly a obviously dedicated fan like yourself should be an exception.

MLG is being ridiculous. I totally support this. If you need a mouse and keyboard, you should be allowed to use it.

i support this! being how im disabled myself (mentally, not physically)

While I do feel for your situation, implementing keyboard and mouse would be a huge disadvantage to anyone not using them. Yes, I realize you are handicap, but there is a reason keyboard and mouse isn’t allowed. It gives you a lot more precision than a normal controller would. How is that fair to anyone else that isn’t allowed to use them? Also, how do they determine what level of handicap you have to be at to be able to use a k&m?

Personally I admire your attempts to play in MLG. I find MLG to be goofy, but that is just my opinion. If it makes you happy go for it. But at the same time, MLG is like any other professional sport in that only the best of the best can compete on a level playing field (steroids etc…not withstanding). That’s where the comparisons end of course. Unfortunately, not everyone is up for that level of competition whether it is because of a handicap or because we simply aren’t that skilled. I’m not saying you don’t have the skill or determination, but to bend the rules to allow you to play would simply be unfair.

Similar to the double amputee sprinter in the Olympics. They initially banned him because his legs gave him an unfair advantage. He was only allowed to compete because he was slower out of the blocks than an able bodied person. Thus the ruling was overturned.

Maybe you will be able to compete, but MLG creates their own rules and they have no one overlooking them.

Sorry for the long read…

TL;DR Feel bad for you, but bending the rules probably isn’t fair to everyone.

hey man i saw this at the mlg forums good luck again and if i ever see you at a event i will be sure to say hi

Id say no, due to the fact its hard to determine how disabled or handicapped youd have to be to get the K&M bonus.

What if someones fingers arent long enough? Should they get a special controller?
What if someone has ADD? Should they get some sort of bonus?
What if someone has bad eyesight?

Not trying to be mean, but its a professional league. You dont see a person who cant walk in the NFL with a wheelchair to compensate.

Sorry if thats worded harshly, just my 2 cents. Best of luck.

Thank you all for the support you’ve shown. I still have not got a return email from MLG so I feel they may be trying to ignore the situation. If it really boils down to it I may ask you all to write that one guy I wrote to in the post forcing him to perhaps take another look at the matter.

When I first approached MLG with my inquiry I was doing so just for myself… it wasn’t until the MLG community started backing me that I realized I was possibly speaking on behalf of others such as myself with the desire to compete but cannot with a standard controller. Who know we may have the chance here to change MLG in a meaningful way.

I do fully understand the arguments against my not being allowed to compete, I would like to point this out however…

People with short fingers there do exist smaller controllers

People with ADD have drugs they can take

Bad eyesight? Glasses

Cerebral Palsy… there is nothing. The Xim3 is the result of my searching for a method to play FPS console games on a level playing field with able bodied players.

Oh and I have played sports in real life quite well. I made the cut for Provincial fastball teams up in Canada and I could play anything else I wanted to… I just had to find my own ways of doing certain things and they never had an issue with my doing so.

I want to be able to attend MLG events because it’s what I will be doing for a career in the future. Once I graduate from Full Sail University with my degree in Game Design I want to someday focus in on creating E-Sport titles such as console FPS games. Having the chance to compete at such events even if I lose will only help me in networking with the people that play a big role in the E-Sports world.

Only reason why I can see them saying you can play in Dallas is because it will be more of an exhibition rather than a tournament. There aren’t any pro seeds and prize pool dropped to top 4 teams instead of top 8. Regardless, I can understand their dilemma with not allowing you to use the keyboard and mouse. I really do hope you have the same opportunity as everyone else to compete, but I don’t think it would work out in the end. Not for console based games at least. Good luck though.

Ok not to sound mean again, by why is it necessary to compete in an event to network? You can still attend the events even if you aren’t competing. Your reasoning sounds very hollow at best. I know you have good intentions and I think its great that you want to learn more about your craft, but I just don’t see it happening.

You may be able to play sports, but the sports you mention aren’t the highest level of competition. MLG is technically the highest level of competition. Just like any other high level sport, you have to be the best to play, physical disability or not.

> Ok not to sound mean again, by why is it necessary to compete in an event to network? You can still attend the events even if you aren’t competing. Your reasoning sounds very hollow at best. I know you have good intentions and I think its great that you want to learn more about your craft, but I just don’t see it happening.
>
> You may be able to play sports, but the sports you mention aren’t the highest level of competition. MLG is technically the highest level of competition. Just like any other high level sport, you have to be the best to play, physical disability or not.

Relax you won’t offend me or anything.

What fun is it to attend an event as a competitive player and not have the chance to play?

Not to mention being a student money can be tight. I’d rather have the chance to get sponsors to go.

Like you said I may never get the chance to go because who knows. I may not be good enough using my setup. I may not make the cut. This is all about wanting the opportunity. The chance. Why should I put so much effort into trying to find a team to compete if in the end MLG will turn me away?

I need to know if they will allow me or not for that reason. Last thing I want to do is join a team and for us to be screwed out of LIVE events because I cannot go.

Do you understand?

> Thank you all for the support you’ve shown. I still have not got a return email from MLG so I feel they may be trying to ignore the situation. If it really boils down to it I may ask you all to write that one guy I wrote to in the post forcing him to perhaps take another look at the matter.
>
> When I first approached MLG with my inquiry I was doing so just for myself… it wasn’t until the MLG community started backing me that I realized I was possibly speaking on behalf of others such as myself with the desire to compete but cannot with a standard controller. Who know we may have the chance here to change MLG in a meaningful way.
>
> I do fully understand the arguments against my not being allowed to compete, I would like to point this out however…
>
> People with short fingers there do exist smaller controllers
>
> People with ADD have drugs they can take
>
> Bad eyesight? Glasses
>
> Cerebral Palsy… there is nothing. The Xim3 is the result of my searching for a method to play FPS console games on a level playing field with able bodied players.
>
> Oh and I have played sports in real life quite well. I made the cut for Provincial fastball teams up in Canada and I could play anything else I wanted to… I just had to find my own ways of doing certain things and they never had an issue with my doing so.
>
> I want to be able to attend MLG events because it’s what I will be doing for a career in the future. Once I graduate from Full Sail University with my degree in Game Design I want to someday focus in on creating E-Sport titles such as console FPS games. Having the chance to compete at such events even if I lose will only help me in networking with the people that play a big role in the E-Sports world.

That is so great bro, I share you’re passion for e-sports and video-games and I hope if H4 gets picked up for the circuit they will allow you to continue to compete.

For those saying KB+M is some huge advantage in Halo its not. I have played H2 Vista with a controller and KB+M and there was not much difference in my performance. If he was a pro CS player it might be different but hes obviously just a competitor who has to play with KB+M to allow him to play in these competitions and I think that MLG should make an exception this one time.

I would advise the OP to go and compete at MLG Dallas and have fun and worry about this issue afterwards if they do not get back to you.

If MLG doesn’t accept you, then screw them. There are other lower tier Gaming Websites that have tournaments, why don’t you try your luck with them? I respect your courage and strength and not letting your disability get in the way of your dreams. I wish you the best of luck, your story is truly touching and inspirational.

> I would advise the OP to go and compete at MLG Dallas and have fun and worry about this issue afterwards if they do not get back to you.

I would love to, however I cannot. Perhaps if I had come forward sooner with my inquiry… but no. I have work.

I would however plan to be at the next event.

Again thank you for seeing things from my point-of-view.

Good luck. I personally think you should not be able to play with other equipment other than the standard approved controller. It might not be fair to people who cannot use them but that is life. Short people cannot use stilts in the NBA, no special controllers in MLG.

This is a difficult situation. Both the arguments for and against the use of keyboards in an MLG tournament setting is strong but I’m leaning more towards letting you use the keyboard and mouse.

Though the main problem I can think of is that what if you get good enough that you are consistently winning? Whether the keyboard and mouse is the reason or not, your competitors will complain and MLG will be forced to re-look into it.

That being said, I really hope this goes through simply because no-one should be left out. I plan on playing in an MLG tournament sometime in the future myself when I get the money for a holiday across America; it would definitely suck to not be able to.

Of course if MLG doesn’t work out, why not try a competitive computer game? (Though I say that knowing full well how appealing Halo is)

> > I would advise the OP to go and compete at MLG Dallas and have fun and worry about this issue afterwards if they do not get back to you.
>
> I would love to, however I cannot. Perhaps if I had come forward sooner with my inquiry… but no. I have work.
>
> I would however plan to be at the next event.
>
> Again thank you for seeing things from my point-of-view.

Thats too bad…hopefully you can compete in the next event if MLG picks up H4.

There are Pros that come jacked up on Adderall to these events, its never a completely even playing field.