In our follow up statement we would like to discuss the negative implications of the remake and provide our insight on how to avoid these implications from affecting parties involved, should more remakes be appointed in the future. We realize that we are not the only party that suffered in this situation, since both SK and Riot Games received a lot of unjustified criticism. Therefore the purpose of this article is to explain what went wrong and how to avoid it from reoccurring. In the grand scheme of things, we believe that League of Legends community will benefit from this accident in the long run, but we feel obliged to share our outlook on this situation, since we were the first "test subjects". We appreciate Riot Games' effort to make a precedent, since bugs occur in professional games from time to time and may cause impacts of various levels, and therefore they have to be addressed.
To remake or not to remake?
We believe that the full remake of the game should only happen, if at least one of these conditions holds true:
1) A bug was experienced after one of the objectives was secured, and by objectives we mean First Blood, Turret, Dragon or Nashor.
2) This bug cannot be addressed immediately.
Otherwise, for the purpose of competitive integrity, the game should be restarted with the same draft, otherwise one or both of the teams accrue important benefits.
Danil "Diamond" Reshetnikov:
"When you are playing at LCS or at the tournament with the similar structure, there are two foundations that allow you to succeed:
1) Synergy among your players that you have to maintain and try to develop over extremely short periods of time;
2) An ability to utilize a week prior to the upcoming games to prepare strategically for particular opponents. You have to discover their latest patterns, predict possible misplays and come up with reasonable counterpicks to champions that may end up not getting banned and will be picked by them.
We usually think it through and our game against SK was not an exception. We were lucky to predict that Jezis plays a mediocre LeBlanc and managed to get him to pick her. Moreover, we predicted freddy122 to end up playing on Renekton and managed to pull out one of the few champions that can hold his ground against him: Aatrox. It was also beneficial to come across Svenskeren in soloq for a couple of times. It became apparent that upon banning the only three imbalanced junglers, he will settle for Fiddlesticks, and we used it to our own benefit.
After the initial game ended, I believe, they realized that Jezis's LB and nRated's Vel'Koz didn't work out and that Lucian was one of our core picks.
It is worth to mention that it became apparent by the end of the game and not when the bug was identified, and when the decision whether to remake the game or not had to be carried out.
In the end, our opponents gained a huge advantage in terms of getting to know the strategy used to beat them, and therefore they simply avoided picking LB, Vel'Koz and Fiddle, and thus our weeklong efforts of preparing to face them got nullified.
Events mentioned above are not meant to justify our loss, but rather to provide more information to people about the way this situation was perceived by us."
If that's not the case and the decision to remake the game is made after the game is over, we suggest that both teams are informed about it after the current week of LCS is over, and the game is scheduled to be played during the next regular week (i.e. not Super Week, unless there are no more regular weeks left until the end of the split). Exceptions should obviously be made. For instance, if that's the last week of the split, you want to inform the players by the time they finished all of their games and play the game after all the remaining games are over. Below we explain why it should be handled this way, instead of informing the players in the middle of the week and forcing them to play the same week.
Why should the remake be postponed until the next week?
This issue was already addressed in Diamond's statement. The structure of LCS suggests that teams have an entire week to prepare for the upcoming games, otherwise one or both of the teams can gain an arguably unfair information about their opponents that they cannot get otherwise. It can be clearly exemplified by our encounter against SK. Our opponents made a gamble and brought two pocket picks to the table, even though we expected one of them. "Cheese" didn't work out and SK paid for it by losing the game. It didn't make sense for them to pick these two champions again and therefore they, as a team that lost, learned an important lesson that improved their chances to succeed in the remake. Whereas for us, a team that won against a pocket strategy, there was nothing to learn and reconsider going into the remake.
If referees make a decision to remake the game, it should be scheduled to play the next regular week, so both teams can start from ground zero and thus be treated equally.
Emotional roller coaster
Before we try to make a point, let's compare what representatives of both teams had to say, when they found out about the remake.
Quote from onGamer's interview with nRated:
"Well, to be honest, we were gladly happy, because we had a loss, and having a loss and getting the opportunity to get back a win format is a big deal for anyone of us, and we are playing at LCS, so the standings right now in Europe are very close and every win matters. So, we feel like it was a bit of a relief, instead of going like already 0:1 in this week, we had like already 0:0 and just restarted the week for us completely, but on the other side, we already noticed like, if that goes on Reddit, we will already get so much hate, because... But it wasn't even our fault, like not at all."
Alexey "Alex Ich" Ichetovkin:
"We arrived to the second day of LCS thinking and realizing that we are holding the first spot and were focusing on the upcoming game against Supa Hot Crew. A couple of hours before the game we were informed that the game is going to be replayed and instead of theorycrafting about the game we started to think: "Why? What for?". This decision was unexpected and caught us off guard. We were wondering whether we can file an appeal and what we are supposed to do in the given situation. We became worked up and were doing our best to put ourselves together in time for our games against SHC. I cannot say that was the decisive factor in us losing, but you cannot say that it didn't influence our thought process and concentration either. After losing to SHC, I think, we lost our cool. I think, even if it was decided to make a remake, it had to be postponed until the next week to provide us with an opportunity to be mentally prepared instead of thinking about the upcoming game, the verdict and everything else regarding this decision. All in all, it was really unpleasant."
If we omit SK's anticipation of the community feedback, which to be fair was negative, yet the negativity was unjust, we can see that both teams experiences' were opposite. Given that this event wasn't natural (i.e. it was not an accident, but a decision made by Riot Games' representatives), we believe that both teams weren't treated equally, with us getting the short end of the stick.
As a professional gamer that strives to be the best, you must succeed at LAN tournaments, which are the most prestigious events given the current state of eSports. Players competing in LAN environment have to be resilient in order to prevent themselves from being affected by variety of factors, like the presence of the audience, playing on uncommon setup, adjusting your biological clock, etc. There are plenty of examples in eSports history, where players considered to be the best online, just failed to deliver off-line or at least it took them some time to get used to it.
Players in Gambit Gaming are obviously seasoned veterans, who played competitive games in like ten different countries across the Globe, so they are used to most of the situations that can happen off-line, be it unsatisfactory catering or huge delays. We actually consider ourselves resilient and have proven over the years that we can secure top 4 placements with this roster no matter what. Nevertheless, sometimes you come across new challenges that you have to deal with, and this remake was clearly something not only us, but none of LCS teams has experienced before over the past three splits.
When exogenous factors are considered, it is important to distinguish between accidents, for instance, technical complications, and conscious decisions. No matter how well the event is planned, minor accidents can happen and that's perfectly alright, but we consider it unacceptable when poorly thought out conscious decisions are implemented and put certain teams at a disadvantage.
No matter how strong a team or a player is, a person can be brought down for personal reasons. Ultimately, the negative morale can have a negative impact on one's performance. What made it worse was that this decision influenced our players going into two games. We cannot take anything away from SK and SHC, but we believe that our performance was negatively affected for this particular reason. Therefore teams have to be informed about remakes after the current week is over, so their upcoming games during the current week aren't affected, and they have more time to deal with negatives emotions.