Follow-up to SK-Gambit Situation | LoL Esports
Follow-up to SK-Gambit Situation
After our decision to remake the SK vs. GMB game, we wanted to shed more light on the thought process that went into it. There have been other games in the past that appear to have been impacted by bugs, but this one was unique for a few reasons: the bug was immediately verifiable with 100% certainty, and the disadvantaged team paused because of the bug affecting play. Ultimately, the fault in how this situation played out lies on us, and that’s why we remade. As we mentioned previously, the correct decision was to remake, and while we wish that we had followed that course of action in the moment, we felt that not remaking the game afterwards would be unfair to SK, who followed all of the rules throughout this process.
The big problem we ran into with this remake was the clarity of the rules. In the LCS ruleset (Rule 220.127.116.11), it states that a game can be remade if it "experiences a critical bug at any point during the match which significantly alters game stats or gameplay mechanics." When a team experiences this kind of bug and notifies the referee, we expected that the disadvantaged team would request a remake of the game (or that, at a minimum, they knew that they could). Unfortunately, the teams expected the opposite: that we would ask them if they wanted a remake.
So what happened was that the LCS referee didn't offer the chance for a remake because they thought the player was supposed to request it, and the player didn't request a remake because he didn't know it was possible. This might put us in conflict with Rule 8.8.3, but we came to the conclusion that no decision was formally made and that the decision to not remake was defaulted to (due to unfamiliarity with the rules).
After the game finished, we looked at the bug and how it related to the integrity of the game. Because the bug happened so early, we couldn't predict how much of an impact it had on the overall conclusion. What we did know was that some aspect of the game was changed because of it.
Rather than asking SK if they would have preferred a remake (and risk pressuring them to make a public decision), and given the lack of clarity in our rules that led to this, we took what we considered to be the fairest approach. SK did not approach any LCS officials to request a remake; this was decided to be the appropriate course of action because we made the mistake and felt obliged to remedy the situation. We also had to make the decision quickly, given that the landscape of the game changes with patches (and the teams also have a number of games to play next week).
Once the decision to remake had been made, we followed the rules in place around remakes (Rule 9.4.3), which allowed both teams full freedom in picks and bans. Our rules allow for new picks and bans in any remake that occurs after Game of Record is established. This is designed to allow teams to employ a new strategy instead of starting a new game with foreknowledge of their opponent’s plans.
The biggest lesson we've learned here is that rule 8.3.3 and rule 18.104.22.168 aren't sufficient for what we designed them for and we need to make sure that a full framework exists to empower our referees to make (or not make) in-game decisions. We'll be editing our rules to be more applicable and will release a change log when the updated ruleset is ready (soon™). We'd love to share the updated rules with you, but we want to take the proper time first to make sure the rules are well-designed so that we can avoid unfortunate situations like this in the future.