After discovering that the top two League of Legends teams in their Summer Championship tournament this past weekend had colluded, Major League Gaming gave both teams the boot. These are the facts as they are known. Everything else is somewhat murky, with both teams — Curse NA and Team Dignitas — confirming some misconduct whilst still denying other allegations without ever saying exactly what it is they’d actually done to warrant the disqualification. Cue massive speculation across the Internet.
First off, MLG released this somewhat vague statement on the debacle yesterday, August 26th, at 8:08PM EST:
MLG regrets to announce that we will not be awarding 1st or 2nd Place finishes for the Summer Championship League of Legends Event. We have determined that there was collusion between the two final teams, Curse NA and Team Dignitas. This is in clear violation of both the letter and spirit of MLG’s Official Pro Circuit Conduct Rules: “competitors may not intentionally Forfeit a Game or conspire to manipulate Rankings or Brackets.” As such, both teams have been disqualified, and no placements or prize money will be awarded.
Riot has agreed with this decision and, in accordance with their Season 2 rules on Unsportsmanlike Conduct, will not be awarding Circuit points to either team.
The 3rd and 4th Place teams will receive the prize money and Circuit Points they have earned, and all other results stand. No 1st or 2nd Place will be awarded for this event.
Both teams have agreed that the disqualification was warranted. While there is some contention over the exact nature of the actions taken by Curse NA and Dignitas which led to the disqualification, both teams, as well as MLG and Riot, agree that any collusion, or anything involving not playing a tournament match to win, warrants disqualification.
This seems pretty cut and dry — until you get to the final two sentences. Basically, MLG alleges that the two teams conspired to “manipulate” the game, that Riot Games, the developer of the game, agrees with them, and that the two teams agree that the disqualification was warranted, but not on the specific charges.
However, one of the members of Riot, RedBeard, has also stated in a post on their forums that both teams admitted to and apologized for colluding to throw the match:
Just to be crystal clear, MLG’s decision here has nothing to do with ARAM. Both Curse and Dignitas admitted to and apologized for colluding prior to the finals to throw the match.
This seems to be in direct contrast to what Curse is willing to publicly admit, though. In a YouTube video meant to dispel any rumors, the group only further muddles things by claiming that their collusion comes from agreeing with Dignitas to make the first game an ARAM — All Random, All Middle, a mode of play where champions are chosen at random, then only the middle lane is used — which is in direct conflict with RedBeard’s post.
In their own statement, Dignitas acknowledges some misconduct and makes it known that they will be investigating the matter further. Of all the official responses, their own is perhaps the most clear. They admit fault, admit they don’t know the depth of said fault, and conclude that they will strive to find out.
What can we take away from all this? Well, something happened that all parties agree was worthy of disqualification. What exactly that was remains to be revealed, though they apparently all disagree on what that unfortunate action was. Also, scandals do happen in eSports.
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