After almost a month of deliberation the Digital Gaming League (DGL) have come to a final decision regarding the alleged use of an illegal player by Ventus Gaming at the Digital Gaming Championships (DGC) this year. After we received evidence that Ventus did in fact field an illegal player, who was then accused of identity theft, it turns out that this may have not been the case.
We do apologize to both Ventus Gaming and the two players involved, but as a journalist it is our duty to investigate when presented with compelling evidence. Apologies aside, let’s discuss the DGLs decision and whether it fits the crime.
The Tribunal Decision
According to an article by the DGL yesterday, the case was handed over to an independent tribunal officer who reviewed the case, and all evidence, and eventually passed his judgment on the matter.
“The Tribunal Officer recommended that the Ventus® team be banned for 12 weeks based on the current DGC rule-set. In addition, the Tribunal Officer recommended that Ventus® lose its seeded position, forcing Ventus® to re-enter the DGL from the lowest division once the ban period has expired. Furthermore Ventus® has been disqualified from the DGC and both the team’s prizes and second place finish have been revoked.”
It was clear that Ventus broke the DGL rules, their player had both an incomplete profile and was supposedly smurfing, using his brother’s account which underwent a name change. While this was not exactly smurfing, as he used the name which was registered on the team list, he did use his brother’s account which could have given him access to heroes, runes and masteries which he may not have had on his own account.
For clarification, if you search for “Ventus Prestito Lolking EU” on Google, the page will automatically direct to “Ventus Roxorman.” This is a clear violation of the rules, although not stated in the DGL rule set under smurfing.
Do we accept this punishment?
Since it is a first-time offence the punish does fit the crime. A 12 week ban (four months), being stripped of their seed (forcing them to start fresh in the DGL) and their spot removed at the DGC does seem fair as a whole, but what I do not agree with is the team being awarded joint-fourth place. DGL should have used this opportunity to make an example of Ventus who were knowingly trying to cheat their system fully aware of the consequences. There’s also the claim of negligence from the management of the team who said they had no idea, and if this is true the players themselves should be fined by the organization, but this won’t happen either. Ventus themselves should make an example of the team and help promote a more professional competitive scene, as this would not be tolerated at the highest level of play globally.
Personally I partially accept this punishment and applaud the DGL for taking the matter this seriously. The use of an independent officer shows progress in the legalities involved in eSports South Africa and removes the DGL from any false legal decisions which may have been incorrect. My question is, however, what took so long?
What took them so long?
Some people may have forgotten about the case entirely, but not me. I tried to follow up as much as possible on the process and in the back of mind I assumed the lengthy deliberation was due to the accusations against the team and Ventus. The original accusation, as mentioned above, was that Ventus knowingly committed identity theft and perhaps this could have been the reason for a more serious investigation which does take time. Unfortunately several credible sources stated that the player there was not the player on the roster, which I couldn’t ignore as a journalist. This issue could have been resolved behind closed doors to protect the privacy of the players mentioned, but for the better of humanity let’s assume it was a false accusation and Ventus committed no crimes at all. After all, that the is verdict I wanted.
I still strongly maintain that both the DGL and Ventus should make an example of the team, and I won’t be surprised if they disband completely. One thing we cannot dispute is that this team did play really well, and perhaps deserved their second place finish at the DGC – which is a shame that they had to go these lengths to make it happen. Many last minute changes were made before the DGC by teams in other disciplines and there is also a legal way of going around these things. Despite my original problems with the DGL, they’re not completely unreasonable and share with the rest of us our interest in the best local competition possible.
A final word of advice: If you’re ever in a similar situation make sure your management is competent enough to deal with the issue and ensure you’re not breaking any rules before making any final decisions.
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Last Updated: November 18, 2015