The League of Legends World Championship Semifinals has ended but the drama appears to be continuing. In one of the streams posted by Riot Games, fans watching at home reportedly stated that they witnessed some of the team members from World Elite physically turning their heads to view the mini map of the other team, but this was not the only encounter of cheating viewed by the audiences at home.
However, at the time Riot Games eSports coordinator/referee RiotTiza responded in the forums with this statement:
We keep a constant watch on all the players on stage at all times. We have cameras as well as live people walking onto stage to keep tabs in everything. All players are told that they need to remain sitting, facing forward, and with headphones on at all times, including during pauses. I can personally confirm that no WE player looked at the minimap at any point during the match.
Players make eye contact on stage fairly regularly. Team WE in particular talked directly to each other a good amount. A single, limited camera view with a field of a few feet is not enough to determine where a someone is looking on a cross-stage scale. We directly monitor players to assure this is not the case, and maintained due diligence at all times over the course of the event.
With the additional evidence hitting the web and players like TSM’s Dyrus tweeting that he had cheated after finding out the other team had cheated, VP of eSports Dustin Beck quickly jumped into the forums.
In hindsight, the potential visibility of minimap screens for players was a mistake. Despite on-site referees, close monitoring of player cams backstage, and stage design that ensured players would have to turn more than 90 degrees to be able to catch a glimpse of the minimaps, even the possibility of unfair play was simply unacceptable. We’re taking steps to ensure the minimap screens are not visible to players.
We are re-examining photos, videos and renders of the stage layout to definitively understand sight lines between the players on-stage and the minimaps overhead. We’re taking it a step further moving forward to completely ensure the screens aren’t visible to players.
So now the question is whether the temptation to see the mini map was Riot’s fault, the fault of professional gamers, or both? Leave a comment below letting us know what you think.