Corruption and competition fixing at Wargaming EU
Corruption and competition fixing at Wargaming EU, Paris
This is for the record: history is written by the victor. History is filled with liars. Let’s uncover some, shall we?
My ingame nickname is Silentstalker. I am a member of the EU forums. For the last 7 months, I have been in contact with the Czechoslovak community organizer Czechout – real name is Michaela Pesinova, aka Michelle Pesinova - here's her facebook page and here's the proof of that claim. We talked a lot (over 15 thousand exchanged messages) over Facebook and over the phone (her Czech cellphone number is 7282****3 - for those who know it and want to verify it). During that time, I performed numerous tasks for her, including writing articles that she used (even without knowing Czech, you can see those texts clearly match). It was for example me, who found the restaurant where the Czechoslovak community meeting took place, after her and Tuccy failed to do it on time and there were like 3 days left to the meeting (those, who were there can testify to that). On occasion I translated stuff for her. Right to the very end, I thought we were friends. I was wrong. Not only she treated me like shit in the end (I can live with that), but she also did spread rumors about me - and that's not something I will swallow.
During that time, I witnessed numerous serious breaches of trust between Czechout and Wargaming (as I am about to describe in detail below, along with respective proofs). Namely, it was:
- competition fixing (players knowing quiz questions in advance, players even WRITING quiz questions, tampering with question results)
- information leaks (forwarding private Wargaming mail to players, leaking info)
- internal Wargaming rules circumvention (Czech moderator named Idahou was appointed despite the fact he did not fullfil the requiremends for that position - specifically the number of warning points - and this fact was covered up by Czechout and possibly her colleagues)
- fuelling conflicts between employees within Wargaming and between the members of Czechoslovak community
- improper behavior on the workplace (specifically being very "friendly" to her boss, who in turn turned blind eye towards this stuff)
These pieces of information I passed (along with the proof thereof) to Overlord, who told me an investigation directly from Minsk would be launched. However, as far as I know, weeks passed and nothing happened. I believe the European community has the right to know about all this. Here is the proof I promised.
I know this for a very simple reason. I helped her with all that. Specifically, I wrote questions for several of the Twitter quiz events (logically, it means a player knew them in advance). Most of the time I knew the questions in advance. Want proof? Here it is.
Michelle Pesinova: "Even though you knew the correct answers, you still mess it up?"
Me: "I messed it up? In what?"
This screenshot is related to this competition event, the prize of which was one week of premium account
Here, Czechout tells me what questions will be there before the abovementioned competition even started. Notice the time stamp: it says 7:43 PM, while the competition itself started at 8:00 PM and the first question was given at 8:30 or so. No translation really needed I believe, you can check the Czech text against the one in the link above, where the questions were published after the competition was over. They were identical.
Here, related to the very same event, we are discussing the answers before the competition was over
Michelle Pesinova: What do you think, should I accept this as an answer or not: LT vz.35 and LT vz.38
Me: Definitely not
Michelle Pesinova: oki, why do they have two possibilities in the answer?
Me: Because you asked for them? You asked for two tanks
Michelle Pesinova: I didn't!
Here, related to the same event, the conversation continues, Czechout herself messed this whole thing up (I wrote the question to be difficult, she doesn't know much about tanks) and gets confused:
Me: You didn't ask for that (SS: as a reply on previous part of conversation where she is convinced she asked something else). The question was: *the question*
Michelle Pesinova: Jesus. I am an idiot. Right.
Me: You're not an idiot but you confused the hell out of me
Michelle Pesinova: So what's the other name for TVP? LT vz.35?
This screenshot is perhaps the most serious one. Here, Czechout clearly offers me to fix the aforementioned competition result so I win. I refused. But someone else might have not....
Michelle Pesinova: At the last question it's only you and Clearevil who got it right.... and the counter selected Clearevil :( Or, do you want it to be you? ;)
Me: No, let it be fair :)
Michelle Pesinova: With all 3 questions you answered first... the first question had only 3 winners and the counter selected second one
Me: Oh well what can I do :) Since I knew the answers, I shouldn't have taken part in it. It wouldn't be fair for me to win :)
As you can see, Clearevil is listed as the third winner, because I refused to cheat. Clearevil, if you are reading this, I really hope you have a good time, it was nice meeting you in person :) You're alright.
For all the rest of you WoT players... I refused. Someone else might have not. Think about it, next time you partake in a Wargaming competition.
Here, in an unrelated event, she posts me to doublecheck another question. This time it was from the twitter quiz and I wrote it myself (hence my smileys - it was pretty entertaining to find out they are still re-using the old questions I wrote).
Michelle Pesinova: "Polish vehicles were based on foreign designs. Name two of the most known ones and their counterparts"
Me: Hmmm I've seen that before :) TKS was a Carden Loyd tankette copy and the 7TP was a Vickers 6ton copy.
Michelle Pesinova: Shit wait those are twitter questions :(
Me: Yea and I wrote it :)
And the cherry on the top: on 9th of December 2012 I wrote a question for Czechout. She never used it... until now. Despite the fact we stopped communicating and I left the Czechoslovak community, she had the guts to actually use it in a competition LAST SUNDAY (the results are even out yet). Here, me posting the question:
And here, it's being used in the competition (to explain, it's a video stream by one of the "friends of Czechout" where they ask questions given to them by Czechout and she provides the prize (in this case, it was a bunch of Pz B2 bonus codes)). I don't bother with the Czechoslovak section anymore, but I visited the stream because I got tipped off something like this might happen.
As you can see, she didn't even bother with changing the wording. She was not happy when I said the answer in the chat about a second later. As a result, she had her friends-streamers ban me from the channel.
And the last screenshot from this topic here:
Translation (from 5:05PM):
(after I wrote a question for Czechout and she consulted with some guy from WG, who thought I was wrong but later admitted my question is sound)
Me: A question presents itself why he doesn't make the questions himself? :)
Michelle Pesinova: Because I want them from you :) And because he'll use them for another forum section. We want our own questions don't we? :)
I have literally dozens such screenshots. As you can imagine this is a SERIOUS breach of WG policy. A player who knows the competition questions in advance, who could have told literally anyone, a player being offered to win even if he didn't... yea.
On numerous occasions, Czechout provided me with pieces of information I wasn't supposed to have. I knew about some stuff well in advance (such as the fact Idahou would be named a moderator - we'll get to that later - or things going on within Wargaming (nice to know you, Ryan Murphy aka Ectar, sitting right across the desk/room (can't remember) from Czechout)). By the way, the "social life" of Wargaming community organizer office is better than a soap opera. Of course, as you can imagine, something like this is difficult to prove, but I have some internal mail correspondence Czechout forwarded me. Here is a conversation with a prominent ex-member of the Czechoslovak community she had:
As you (and most importantly, as the WG employees) can see, there is no way I could have gotten this info from anyone else. She simply forwarded me the conversation to have a great laugh at the expense of the guy (who, by the way, deserved it, but that's a story for another time).
Another case was even "funnier" - an internal WG mail conversation regarding - well - me. Yes, Květa, I knew all along about the letter you sent to Czechout's boss, Mr. Fadl. Czechout forwarded me the whole conversation.
I explained to Overlord I was ready to forward all the internal info I got from Czechout to a WG employee. I however cannot post that here as a whole as it concerns people who have nothing to do with the whole case. That wouldn't be fair.
Pushing her friends into "places"
Czechout's new "best forum friend", the moderator Idahou, has been pushed to the moderator position despite not meeting the criteria (0 warning points). Czechout, with some of her colleagues actually covered that up so he could become a moderator. Czechout is on very friendly terms with everyone, apparently including the moderator staff.
Michelle Pesinova: If we made you a moderator, we'd start World War 3. Also, you wouldnt like the job.
Me: A moderator? Yea, you're right, I probably wouldn't
Michelle Pesinova: Or would you like to do that for 150-200 Euro? pffffff.... also another thing, the person has to have ZERO WP! With Idahou, I had a huge problem with this.
Yes, they covered it up. An employee pushing his friends into company places is really not good for the company. Why would she want to do that? Simple, the other Czechoslovak moderator (Jeykey) is really not on friendly terms with her, as you can see here:
Michelle Pesinova: btw sorry for OT, but don't you think Jeykey might be leaking some info?
Me: *shrugs* It's possible. He's "just" a player, I don't know how much he knows more than teh usual player
Michelle Pesinova: I don't trust him..... one word and he's fired.... yes? He pisses me off for long time already... when I give him a task to do, he has thousand remarks to it, he won't do it at once, I have to doublecheck his results, he's not online, when I need him etc.... and he's smartmouthed too... oh well, I'll try to monitor his activity more and then we'll see
Fuelling conflicts within Wargaming and within the Czechoslovak community
This will make sense to the members of the Czechoslovak community mostly, but I'll keep it in english. Ever wondered, why I was rather aggressive towards the unofficial web forum, AKA "neofiko"? Well, yes, it was because I am a dick and because I really, really despise some of the unofficial forum leadership from the bottom of my heart, but I wasn't alone in this. I was... let's say... encouraged. For those who donť know, Czechoslovak community is sort of split into "official" (WG) forum and "unofficial" forum.
Translation (on the topic of the unofficial community forum):
Michelle Pesinova: "hmm, it's clear to me that we can't await anything reasonable from these people. To hell with them, they aren't even worth the bother. They won't ever have anything to do with us and they can only dream of any kind of sponsoring or cooperation. At least while I am here. And btw., today I reported that stupid facebook page of theirs.... officially, via legal department and it went thru the boss there :*"
As you can see, the fire was fuelled not only by me. Another screenshot on the same topic says it all:
Michelle Pesinova: I think they'll be really careful now. Nothing will come from their side. But I wish I could destroy that Facebook of theirs nevertheless.
Me: Well, in that case it's a win-win, no?
Michelle Pesinova: :)
Me: You can do that anyway, that's not tied to their behavior.
Michelle Pesinova: No, for me win-win is when they close down their whole stupid forum along with their Facebook page.
This conflict fuelling was never limited on the community only. She does the same stuff within the Wargaming itself too. Want proof?
This is what she thinks of Tuccy - another Czechoslovak community organizer, her colleague and a very nice person in general (I know he really doesn't like me though, sorry mate - I respect your history and tech opinions a lot, but you lost it with that unofficial forum part):
Michelle Pesinova: "and Tuccy is a manipulated fool without his own opinion"
Me: "Yes, he does seem that way"
Michelle Pesinova: "It's enough to howl at him and he shits himself scared... rather than to argue with that person, he lets everything pass. At least that's how it looks. As I was saying, I don't know much about it, these are just conclusions... but..."
And Dargnon, her new colleague (a very decent guy, when I write you are a nerd, I mean it in a good way tbh).
Translation (we were talking about laptops):
Me: Sorry :) As I was saying, I really am not an expert on this. But from what I saw, Dargnon is quite a nerd, why not ask him? :)
Michelle Pesinova: Pfff if I did, he'll spend a week explaining it to me. He's really slow. It irritates me.
Me: *something unrelated*
Michelle Pesinova: They can shake hands with Marek (Tuccy)... but even though Marek is slow in any organizing, Dargnon is slow in speaking... it looks like this... *mocking Dargnon's speach* pfffff FACEPALM
And I am not even speaking about the Community organising vs Content department conflict, that's really something for WG representatives only, as innocent people are involved in this and I really don't want to shame them. I passed the info to Overlord. For now.
Well... her affairs with WG employees are none of my concern really. However, as I stated before, she's on very friendly terms with her boss, basically she thinks she's got him wrapped around the finger (the same thing she was spreading about me in fact). Maybe that is the reason why the report I made to Overlord got probably neglected. With her boss' backing, a lot is possible.
This conflict with Czechout is the only reason I really left the Czechoslovak community. It's completely pointless to stay in a community where all the moderators and community organizers are hostile to me, especially when it's in fact the work of one single person.
As for the rest of the EU community: this is a warning, how far things can go. I don't think anything will be done in this case, ever - she won't get fired, she's too "well connected" for that - but one really has to wonder, if I know this and if this could happen... what else happened in Wargaming? What else we don't know?
This is for the record. History is written by the victor. No matter what happens now, I however will always be the loser in this case, as I trusted and respected a person that turned out to be quite different than I thought. Let this also be a warning to the friends of such people: your friendship will last as long as your usefulness does.