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Collusion and DQ at MLG Raleigh

After multiple winter and spring Arena events, Major League Gaming has kicked off a new season with a major tournament event in Raleigh, North Carolina. But controversy may cast a shadow over future events as the 1st and 2nd place teams in MLG’s League of Legends tournament have been disqualified for collusion.


This isn’t the first time MLG has hosted an event in Raleigh, but MLG still struggles to gain legitimacy from mainstream audiences and media.  A story from a local newspaper poked fun at both competitors and attendees, relying on stereotypes and ignorance to marginalize the growing esports scene with quotes such as “Hundreds of fans poured into the convention centre Friday, some even accompanied by their mothers.”


This isn’t the first time there have been allegations of cheating or collusion in esports, in 2010 eleven Korean Starcraft Broodwar progamers were found guilty of match fixing, resulting in bans and criminal charges. With this recent accusation of collusion, organizations such as MLG, NASL and IPL will have to fight even harder to help continue the growth of U.S. esports.


The controversy was compounded by the team’s decisions to play the first match in the best of five series as an ARAM match. This is the same as basketball teams deciding the first match of a playoff series by playing 21 or deciding a game with a home run derby in baseball. There are still conflicting accounts of the exact transgressions. Riot games, parent company of League of Legends claims that the two teams Dignitas and Curse conspired to throw matches. MLG claims the collusion was due to both teams deciding to split the prize money in advance. Both groups have said that while unfortunate, the less than serious ARAM match was not a factor in the disqualification.


This controversy combined other issues during the tournament such as unusually long delays between matches and a blackout for a large number of stream viewers have combined to make this the most disappointing esports tournament in recent history. MLG and fellow gaming organizers are going to have to work even harder now to win back fans gaming fans that may have been turned off by this past weekends event. The next major events will be MLG’s Fall Championship in Dallas on November 2nd followed by IPL5 in Las Vegas on November 29th.

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