This past weekend saw some amazing matches as 12 teams competed for the MLG Summer Championship title. Crucial circuit points that would directly effect participation in the PAX Regional this coming weekend were at stake, and it was a weekend full of close matches, upset victories, and tons of action.
After thorough investigation, MLG representatives discovered that the two teams had colluded with one another to split the 1st and 2nd place prize money. Starting the first round of the match with an ARAM sure didn’t help convince people they were actually playing competitively during the finals. And as the MLG Pro Circuit Conduct Rules clearly state, ““competitors may not intentionally Forfeit a Game or conspire to manipulate Rankings or Brackets.” VP of eSports Redbeard confirmed Riot’s agreement with the decision.
What does this all mean?
For starters, neither Dignitas nor Curse were awarded any circuit points for the competition. While both teams had already qualified for PAX, Dignitas’ hope of taking the 2nd seed and a more favorable match-up from CLG.NA heading into this weekend was destroyed. Instead, they’re now all but sure to face Team Dynamic in their first round at PAX – a team that has given them problems in the past.
Perhaps even worse, though, is the backlash this has on Curse. In a truly amazing display of perserverance, Curse had actually come back to defeat Dignitas in the last 3 games of the best of 5. Forever seen as the dark horse – a team noteworthy for their skill but never quite able to finish – this was actually the first major tournament Curse had won in either the NA or EU scene. And while it is my personal belief that a trophy isn’t necessary to proclaim how good a team is, defeating Dignitas to become the official MLG Summer Champions surely would have legitimized Curse as a team to be reckoned with among their naysayers.
Following these events, Curse released an official statement to their fans and the eSports community. For what it’s worth, both teams apologized and agreed with the final decisions. As SVP of MLG Lee Chan best summarized, “We’re all trying to build eSports into something bigger and professional. Riot, MLG and all the teams. There’s no way that matchfixing is ok”.
While this may go down as a negative blemish to LoL eSports, it should in no way cheapen the exciting matches that took place this past weekend. Be sure to catch all the replays on the VOD from MLG’s website this week.
Was this the right call? Should there be a greater punishment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!