E-sports teams disqualified for collusion
August 29, 2012 // 7:54 a.m.
The top two League of Legends teams at the Major League Gaming (MLG) Summer Championships, Curse NA and Team Dignitas, have been stripped of their titles and prize money after evidence of collusion between the two teams came to light.
At least one player from Curse admitted to agreeing to play the first round of the final in 'All Random, All Mid' style, meaning all players select random champions and fight in the middle lane of the map.
Talking on Twitter however, MLG senior vice-president Lee Chen suggested that there was more to the collusion than this and that the two teams were considering splitting the prize money between them.
As a result of the decision, Dignitas and Curse have been denied prize money totalling $40,000, which will instead be distributed between the teams that placed between third and sixth.
Although not an example of explicit match fixing, esports organisation MLG ruled that the collusion was 'in clear violation of both the letter and spirit' of its pro circuit conduct rules, which state competitors may not intentionally forfeit a game or work together to manipulate rankings and brackets.
'None of the parties involved, especially the teams, are happy about this occurrence, because they all take League of Legends esports very seriously,' said an MLG spokesperson.
League of Legends developer Riot Games agreed with the ruling and as a result will not award any Circuit points to the teams, which allow players to enter the game's global championships. Several spectators have however questioned the decision, stating that they do not believe the game was in any way intentionally forfeited and that both teams still appeared to be playing to win.
The teams themselves have agreed that the disqualification was necessary and have not appealed the decision. Curse issued a video apology for 'disrespecting' esports and acting unprofessionally and Dignitas has stated it will fully investigate the collusion claims.
'Team Dignitas, our members and all of our partners have never, and will never, stand for conduct that disrespects our team values merit, prestige, worth, dignity,' said Team Dignitas managing director Michael O’Dell.