2K Sports has crowned a champion in the Major League Baseball 2K12 Perfect Game Challenge. The winner, 21-year-old Christopher Gilmore of Melbourne, Fla., will be featured in a 30-minute special on Spike TV on May 24, 2012 at 11:30 PM ET/PT, and awarded $1 million for winning a live, single-elimination tournament at the MLB Fan Cave in New York City.
Gilmore prevailed in the head-to-head tournament by defeating 25-year-old Charles Bates of Conway, Ark. in the tournament final, 10-1. The tournament field was made up of the top-eight ranked individuals from a massive qualifying phase that included more than 900 verified perfect games and nearly 1,000,000 attempts. The eight finalists were determined by a dynamic leaderboard ranking the “most perfect” games thrown. 2K Sports used an algorithm to rank individual perfect games based on degree of difficulty (such as the opposing team’s offensive prowess and selected pitcher’s skill) and degree of perfection (number of strikeouts, pitching efficiency).
First off congratulations to Chris for taking the win in the head to head matchup but this whole tournament will probably forever be in question because of a glitch. The issue at hand is that some participants figured out that they could alter their opponent’s lineup while staying in compliance with the validation checks. Each potential perfect game was assigned a “score” based on the difficulty of the match-up, the problem is that the score wasn’t dynamic. Therefore, you could find the most lopsided matchup you could, then take all the CPUs best players out of the lineup and that wouldn’t affect the difficulty score. This of course means that it would be much easier to throw a perfect game against a less dangerous lineup. Think about taking A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira out of the Yankees lineup, how much easier would it be to throw a perfect game against them while getting the maximum difficulty score for doing it against the Yankees.
This would have been easy for 2K Sports to avoid, they could have and should have just not let people change the opponents lineup or they could have just had the difficulty scores change dynamically, neither of which would have been particularly difficult for them to do. It’s clear that several people knew about and tried to take advantage of this exploit. Did any of the 8 finalists use this “cheat” to increase their chance of winning? We may never know but one thing is for sure folks will always wonder.