DeKay Scope: Admin Decisions Should Never Include Players

Photo courtesy of StarLadder

The MIBR vs. FURIA match in the upper bracket semifinals of the BLAST Premier Spring Series was one of the most compelling matches of 2020, mainly as a result of what happened in one specific round. Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo’s game froze mid-round on the first map of the series, but damage was dealt before the team was able to call for a “not live” round. By definition of the rules, the round should have counted in FURIA’s favor and not been replayed like it was.

Instead, a long delay ensued and led to the admin of the match asking FURIA if they would like to replay the round or not. After some deliberation FURIA agreed to replay it, which resulted in a round win for MIBR, putting them ahead 13-12 on the map. While it sounds like a generous gesture by FURIA, it was actually a dangerous mistake by the BLAST Pro Series admin. Involving the players in decisions to restart should never be done, especially considering what we learned from the first time the MIBR core was involved in a similar situation.

Back in 2015, Luminosity Gaming wound up with one of their computers getting accidentally shut off while playing mid-round against Team Liquid at the RGN Pro Series. The admin in that situation made a similar mistake by mentioning that a replay of the round was up to Team Liquid, despite damage having been dealt before the disconnect occurred. Team Liquid would not agree to restart the round, which led to abuse aimed primarily at Spencer "Hiko" Martin by the Luminosity players and their fans. As a result, Hiko almost sat out of a future tournament in Brazil that would have led to Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt playing as a stand-in for Team Liquid. However, he would go on to attend the event, but with bodyguards with him as a precaution.

Just as it did almost five years ago, involving a team in the admin decision making process only creates more issues than it solves. If FURIA had not chosen to restart the round, it would have opened them up to the same abuse Team Liquid received from the community. In fact, they were accused by members of MIBR of only restarting the round because they were pressured rather than in good faith. It was a lose-lose situation that no team or group of players should have to endure.

Rules are created so they can be followed precisely in situations exactly like this one, but unfortunately they weren’t. Even if the decision deserved a bit of nuance, the decision should have remained solely with the admin. Not following the rules puts players in uncomfortable positions that they should never be in, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances are.