There's a lot of rumors flying around about the AE brackets for SBO, but this is basically the confirmed truth.
SBO staff had 33 teams for a 32 team bracket.
The problem starts in the Last Chance Qualifiers.
Normally, a single "wildcard" spot is reserved for all the teams who didn't get into the main bracket through the red/blue ticket qualifying tournaments in sort of a battle royale.
This tournament is called the Last Chance qualifier.
To make matters worse, because there are usually tons of people or teams trying to qualify, chances to even play in the last chance qualifier are drawn out of a hat.
So you have to have good luck to even play in it.
For AE, they had already written up the brackets with an unprecedented two "wildcard" LCQ spots, so the top two teams of the LCQ tournament would get to be in the main bracket.
Furthermore, Daigo and Iyo, who did not qualify through normal tournaments, were given a guaranteed spot in the LCQ bracket.
This means the hat drawing was actually for only 15 teams in the LCQ.
This is why poongko didn't even get to play in the LCQ, his name wasn't drawn from the hat.
So the top two teams out of LCQ are Daigo and Iyo's team and Neurosis and Shiro's team.
And then shit hits the fan.
They forgot to put the Taiwanese team into the final bracket list from at LEAST a week ago, so they now actually had 33 teams instead of 32 teams in the main bracket.
When they realized their mistake, they decided to REMOVE the American team that qualified from Planet Zero, namely, Hsien Chang and Jose/BananaKen.
Keep in mind that for SBO spots, while Planet Zero compensated travel for the Blaz Blue spot, they said they would not for AE spots.
Hsien also qualified for BB at Planet Zero so no problems there, but Jose basically spent 1K plane ticket to NOT BE IN SBO.
Anyway, fubarduck negotiated with SBO staff for a long time and in the end, the decision was made for the USA team to fight the Kuwaiti team, who also had a legitimate spot.
When Bananaken said that was unfair to the Kuwaitis, SBO flat out said their alternative was not playing at all.
SBO REFUSED to have the two Last Chance Qualifier teams play each other so that there would be a single Last Chance Qualifier team entering the tournament.
Instead they chose to fuck over two foreigner teams who already had guaranteed spots in the main bracket (Both their team names were already in the program menu), and who had paid 1K+ to fly there.