Like the Madden Cover or Call of Duty there are very few annual traditions that gamers can count on to get them excited, and while most are purely superficial MLB 2K12‘s $1 Million Perfect Game Challenge is the real deal. However, if rumors surrounding this year’s phase of the contest, which included rule changes and an eight-person tournament, are true, we might see 2K Sports really start to reevaluate their contest.
With $1 Million on the line there are bound to be some that doubt the legitimacy of the top eight’s accomplishments, but apparently, in this case, those accusations have some grounds. According to a member of the top 10, number 10 to be exact, the individual who earned the number 7 spot in the Perfect Game Challenge did so by eliminating some heavy hitters from the opposing line-up.
For those that might not know, this year’s $1 Million Perfect Game Challenge required that any participant pick a game being played on that day, and use that pitcher to complete a perfect game. If say for example, you were looking to use CC Sabathia to pitch your perfect game, you’d have to wait until CC was actually pitching, and only then could you make your attempt.
2K Sports built a little more incentive into that rule change, however, one that scored players based on which pitcher they used and which team they were facing. Some of the players who made the top 8, and who are heading to New York to complete in the final round, pitched a perfect game with a lesser pitcher and against a heavy-hitting team.
And that leads us to the exploit that finalist William Haff reportedly used to crack the top 8. What Haff discovered was that, although switching a pitcher broke the seal of approval for the contest, switching the opposing team’s batting line-up did not. In essence it is believed that Haff’s qualifying submission versus the Boston Red Sox was without Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury in the batting line-up. Not necessarily outside the official rules, since they don’t make any mention of changing the line-up, but clearly not in the spirit of the competition.
This whole story comes to us by way of Kotaku who has an extensive text message conversation between Haff and Scott Young (who holds the number 10 spot) where Haff jokingly admits to finding the loophole. When approached for comment Haff wouldn’t acknowledge whether he made any line-up changes, but was defensive in the way that a guilty party might be.
It’s up to 2K Sports to determine whether Haff officially earned the right to go to New York and compete — the eight finalists must pitch the best game possible and the winner comes away with the cash — but from here on out the contest is definitely going to come under some scrutiny.
MLB 2K12 has struggled to compete against MLB 12: The Show in a lot of ways, and it was this million dollar contest that gained the franchise a ton of notoriety. However, if the contest turns out to be bogus, and cheating is found, then that might undermine the whole thing.
Do you think that if switching the batting line-up was not in the rules that players who did so and pitched a perfect game should be allowed to compete? Has 2K Sports completely botched what was otherwise a fun contest?