This past weekend big things were happening in League of Legends at MLG Raleigh 2012. On the first day Aphromoo had his revenge against his old team, TSM. EVO had a disappointing performance, and WildTurtle and TheRainMan returned to the pro scene.
Then, later in the semi-finals the two teams predicted to win were forced into 2nd rounds against their opponents and a crazy ARAM game was held in the finals, but despite all this the real story was about MLG and how messed up the end of the tournament was.
Before the whole mess of the Grand Finals, that resulted in Curse and Dignitas being disqualified, things were bad. The semifinals were scheduled to stream at the same time meaning you either had to choose one or try to follow both in miniature size, which really lessened the experience. This in itself however is not a fatal flaw, just more of a misstep. However, posting a scheduled time for the Grand Finals and then changing it is unacceptable.
I do not know how many other people do this, but I plan my weekends around e-sports so that I can see everything I want to, while still being semi-productive. So imagine my surprise when the game is changed to 1:30 and I miss the first, and probably only, ARAM, All Random All Mid, game in a major tournament. It was less surprise, and more seething rage to be honest. “But you can just go back and watch the VOD’s”. Ok you’re right and I have. The games were great and I still wish I had seen the live. The real kicker was MLG’s announcement to disqualify the 1st and 2nd place teams. This is what they said on their website:
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. -http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/news/an-important-message-regarding-mlg-summer-championship-league-of-legends ”
Yes there was colluding (the ARAM game never would have happened otherwise). I personally enjoyed the ARAM very much and though I did not see it live, I feel it made for a nice change of pace and something to maintain my interest. I was able to watch the final four games and can safely say that neither team forfeited any of their games; in fact they were some of the best games I watched from the tournament.
As far as conspiring to manipulate rankings and brackets the only thing that the Grand Finals could have changed would have been Dignitas’ seed in the upcoming regional tournament. If they had won they would have been higher seed, but either way they were going to face off against some team they will likely destroy (no offense to whoever they go up against). Even given this I still think both teams wanted to win the finals if for no other reason than personal pride.
So after all of this when I look at MLG’s decision all I see is a group that is complaining because some teams instead of taking their tournament 100% seriously, decided to have fun playing video games (go figure) which made for a very entertaining finals (I have yet to see one post saying they did not like the ARAM game). But MLG is not entirely to blame for the disqualification. The teams instead of contesting the decision went along with it. This gives me the feeling that the players thought that they had done something wrong to e-sports as a whole (which both teams have acknowledged in official statements).
In the end, the tournament was a complete and utter failure and instead of being remembered for all the great game play, it will be remembered for its annoying drama.