League of Legends: MLG Raleigh Recap. AKA The Tournament No One Cared About Until 30 Minutes After The Final

This weekend saw 12 pro League of Legends teams come together in a tournament, MLG Raleigh, widely hyped up as “Not mattering” and “Eh”.

It wasn’t that people weren’t excited to see that some of their favourite teams come together in furious keyboard and mouse combat, but rather that Raleigh suffered from taking place a week before PAX where the NA season 2 regionals are going to play out. And when it comes down to it, that’s more important. Even some of the teams thought so, with powerhouses Team Solomid and Counter Logic Gaming NA both declining to attend. Clg.na prefering to remain in Korea until PAX, and TSM simply preferring to stay at their house and do whatever it is they do alone together (I think it might be butt stuff, but that’s just a rumour).

However there were some things to look forward to. With the two assumed winners out of the picture (TSM having come 1st in 6 of the last 8 tournaments they participated in, and CLG looking strong from their stint in Korea’s summer OGN tournament), it left the door open for potential underdogs to clinch victory in this tournament, and maybe even nab enough circuit points to sneak themselves a spot at the NA regionals.

There were surprise performances from Monomaniac Ferus, grabbing 5th after the addition of Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black. Relative newcomers Orbit Gaming also put on quite the show beating out TSM.evo and others to grab 4th, unfortunately due their fairly recent formation this position wasn’t high enough to gain the circuit points required to attend the regionals, though their legion of new fans will be looking forward to future endeavours in season 3. Team Dynamic returned with their noted aggressive style, and with re-recruited Joshua “NintendudeX” Atkin, to smash their way to 3rd.

Of course, some performances surprised for other reasons, such as TSM.evo continuing to grind out sub par results after originally bursting onto the scene. Seemingly hurt by Aphromoo’s departure and an irregular practice schedule, fans will be anxious to see if Nhat “Nhat Nyugen” Nyugen and friends can pull it together by PAX.

Whilst a fairly decent tournament in it’s own right, the real interest comes from the final game.

Team Curse and Team Dignitas (No, not that one, the gaming one) pushed through to the finals after gruelling double sets against  Orbit Gaming and Team Dynamic respectively, coming up from the losers brackets.

The finals were on, a best of five. The fans waited with baited breath, could Curse pull out their first LAN victory in… ever, or would tournament regulars Dignitas once again reign supreme. The commentators came on screen… champion select… bans… THE MUSIC… THE FANS… THE EXCITEMENT ALL COMING TO CACOPHONOUS PEAK OF FEAR, ANXIETY, JOY, SADNESS AND THEN… confusion. The champion picks made no sense. The commentators completely perplexed, and the viewers left wondering if MLG had managed to screw up yet another League event. However, when the game began, all became clear.

It was an ARAM (Champion selections randomised, all players go mid). In the finals of a major event. The reactions were mixed. A number of fans found it hilarious and the logical step in a tournament that, as mentioned, few thought truly mattered. An equal number thought it hurt the professionalism of e-sports, which was already struggling to be taken seriously.

No matter opinions, Diginitas claimed victory in that game, as well as the next game, which played out in a more regular fashion. 2-0 down, Curse looked to be heading for business as usual. BUT NAY. A hard fought win, ANOTHER… AND ANOTHER. Despite the piss about first game, both teams seemed well on task for the final four, neither wanting to screw up or make a misplay. They were good enough games, not the greatest by far, but certainly respectable for a finals set.
The stream ended, the Curse fans went home happy, and everyone prepared to hibernate until PAX. OR SO THEY THOUGHT (More capitals. Deal with it.)

Not long after the tournament ended, MLG released a statement. Here’s the important part:

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 statement also went on to say that “Both teams have agreed that the disqualification was warranted”, but also mentioned that there was “contention over the exact nature of the actions (sic) which led to the disqualification”.

Well shit, what happened? Rumours abounded, and still do. The main reasons people have suggested:

  • The ARAM
  • Agreeing to split the prize money
  • Dignitas agreeing to lose

The exact reasons still haven’t been confirmed by all parties, however a number of sources are out there. Tweets by an MLG, MrMLGAdam higher up suggest match fixing, and deny that the ARAM was the cause for the DQ.

BUT WHO CAN YOU REALLY TRUST

 

Not long as the news came out, Curse posted this video to Youtube, with the whole team apologising for the ARAM game, saying it was unprofessional blahblahblah. Well okay, but that’s not really addressing the issue. However, they soon followed up with this video, where they again apologised for the ARAM, but denied all other allegations made against them.
In stark contrast to Curses protests, on the official League of Legends forums, a moderator (or red) named RedBeard said this:

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.

The final word so far has been from the Dignitas organisation, who released a statement following the controversy

It has come to our attention that during yesterday’s Major League Gaming Summer Championship League of Legends Event, our League of Legends team have engaged in misconduct. We have found at least some of the accusations to be valid. As a consequence, we have decided to investigate the situation fully to accertain all the facts. We will release a statement describing our responsive actions within two days.

 

So in summary:

  • Curse swear they didn’t do anything other than the ARAM
  • Riot and MLG swear Dignitas agreed to throw the final game (For reasons as yet unmentioned)
  • Dignitas is keeping fairly schtum, though admit one of the many accusations may be true.

Right now, all that can be known for sure if that Curse aren’t getting a trophy for their cabinet, and once again drama has ravaged the League community… and we love it.

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