For the uninformed, MLG Raleigh didn’t go off without a hitch. As a matter of fact, this controversy is quite a concerning one, considering that ethically there are people on both sides of the fence on this one. It appears that professional League of Legends teams, Curse and Dignitas, colluded at some level to decide the outcome of their championship match. To start, both teams dropped the normal meta in one of their matches and ran an ARAM game (All Random All Mid). At that point, both teams were visited by MLG officials and the next matches were played out in a traditional fashion. After the matches were played, the trophy was whisked off stage and the event ended abruptly.
While many people watching the stream were confused by these events, the truth quickly came out. Curse and Dignitas were both disqualified for colluding and thus breaking the rules set in place by both MLG and Riot. Fans immediately reacted as expected, there was anger directed at MLG, Riot and then at both teams, no one really understood exactly what just took place. In truth, prior to their match, Curse and Dignitas agreed to split the prize money and (allegedly) for Dignitas to take the loss. As Riot staffer RedBeard explained:
…they decided who would win prior to the match – it’s not about their strategy during the game or what they are doing with the money afterwards, it’s about respect for the game, the sport, the other teams and the fans.
Now, both teams have claimed that there was no collusion between the two, other than an agreement to play the ARAM game. I find this hard to believe, considering Riot themselves found it appropriate to step out and make a statement about the situation themselves. The gravity of this situation is that it shows exactly how little control Riot has over a highly competitive event, even if the MLG event wasn’t as high profile as the upcoming PAX Prime Regionals. eSports is just hitting it’s stride and earning the right to enter mainstream coverage, tampering will do nothing but set it back further and personally, I feel examples may need to be made to show that this behavior will not be tolerated at future events. Teams need to have the maturity and common sense to know that their decisions will impact the entire world of eSports as a whole and if they cannot make intelligent decisions, they should be prepared to have the book thrown at them.