On August 13th, a really strange moment occurred in League of Legends esports: the final 5th match in a series for entry to Worlds 2023 had to be canceled and restarted. A serious error was noticed that could only be solved by restarting the match.
What was that match? It was the playoff semifinals in the lower bracket of the US league LCS. The winner secured 3rd place and thus bought a ticket to Worlds 2023. The loser had to buy his ticket in a duel with an LEC team:
- Team Liquid had won the first 2 games of the series.
- The Golden Guardians then fought back and won games 3 and 4. There was a “reverse sweep” in the air. It came to the decisive match 5.
- The irony: Both teams are nominally “US teams”, but play with 3 South Koreans and only 2 North Americans.
League decides ‘invalid’ and ‘restart’ after 12 minutes
What was the problem? About 12 minutes into the game, the match had to be stopped and restarted. The supporter Hui from the Golden Guardians suffered from a gamebreaking bug, as the LCS decided.
Due to the bug, Huhi permanently had the Summoner ability “Teleport” instead of the selected ability “Flash”, which is considered essential for survival in LoL.
The LCS ruled: The Golden Guardians had suffered a significant disadvantage as a result of the Summoner game being played incorrectly. The situation could not be resolved by a chrono break, i.e. resetting the match within the game.
Therefore, the officials ordered a “remake” of the game.
After a break, the team first loses momentum and then the match
How did that turn out? There was a 40 minute break before the match resumed. The Golden Guardians now lost the final match and yet didn’t get the reverse sweep that had previously been in the air.
A key factor in Team Liquid’s victory was a pentakill from their Jungle Pyosik. It was the first jungler pentakill in LCS history:
Following the match, it was discussed that the bug and long hiatus could have caused the Golden Guardians to lose momentum and allowed Team Liquid to get back into the game.
The Golden Guardians must face off against an LEC team in order to still qualify for the Worlds. It is critically discussed that the fourth-placed US team now has a month longer to prepare for the duel than the fourth-placed EU team: Because the final of the league is still being played in Europe (via reddit).
How is this discussed? With a lot of mockery. Again and again one reads: “Small Indie Company – can’t fix their bugs,” Riot is one of the largest games companies in the world.
Such mistakes in the game weaken the integrity of e-sports. Unfortunately, they keep coming up. Fortunately, they are rare at such a crucial moment.
Serious technical problems had already occurred with the MSI 2022:
LoL: MSI tournament mess – Riot takes 3 wins from a team, RNG has to replay all games