Game 2 was also taken by Dignitas, but as soon as Curse got some momentum going it could not be stopped. Some notable mentions to the Singed pick in game 4, and a shout-out to Jon 'Westrice' Nguyen's dominant Darius play, slam-dunking everyone in teamfights. In the final match of this tournament it was clear Dignitas was off their game, as the Darius/Morgana/Shyvana combos from Curse hooked 4 consecutive blue buffs over the wall and away from Dignitas.
Overall great teamfights from Curse, and what one might call sloppy play from Dignitas. Definitely a must-watch for anyone who missed it live. But the real reason this tournament won't soon be forgotten is the ARAM game 1. For anyone unfamiliar to what an ARAM is, it stands for All Random All Middle, a game type that was unofficial for quite some time, where one would go in to a custom game and instantly lock-in at champion select, going mid-lane with whatever champion you were given. There were some other extraneous rules, but I won't get in to those.
The real reason this is an issue is because it was clear from the start that the two teams had agreed to this ARAM before the series started, internally. Why, you may ask? It has been made public that both teams were going to split the money at the end and just "have fun" with the finals. MLG has deemed this decison to split the pot a direct violation of rules, and has denied the monetary winnings and circuit points form the two teams. There were no first or second placing teams at MLG Raleigh 2012.
Both sides have come out with some valid points for and against this decision by MLG, I'll try and go over both sides briefly and give my two cents. The side against the decision is blasting MLG for punishing players having fun, the primary purpose of gaming. From hearing personal testaments from players after numerous live events, I know it can be very taxing at these events to play so many "serious" games back-to-back. This may have been a plea from the players to give them a break.
To understand why these players have to endure such gruelling conditions, we have to look back at the beginning of E-sports. Tournaments such as MLG used to run for competitive Quake and Counter-Strike. These tournaments hosted a much broader team base, and the matches were much shorter. Additionally, you could only hold tournaments on weekends; players had jobs and school to go to, they couldn't spend all week out of town at a video game tournament. This is why the structure is the way it is, but gaming has changed since then.
We can see with OGN and the Korean tournaments that they hold them over weeks at a time, allowing for quality matches every series. Is it time we in the American scene take a page out of the Korean handbook? Curse, CLG, and TSM all have gaming houses and play 24/7. This is their job, and the tournaments should take that in to account and may have to extend their running times to reduce player fatigue and increase the quality of the games.
The other side has argued in favour of the professionalism of E-sports. This isn't you and a couple of buddies sitting in the basement eating chips and drinking pop. This is high-level competition, and if we as a community want to be taken seriously we can't allow this level of messing around in the finals of a tournament. This act disgraced every team they had beaten to get there and everyone tuning in to watch high-level play, some even paying for an HD pass. I know I wasn't impressed.
Let me know what you thought about the decision to ARAM and to split the money in the comments.
I'm the ACM for LoL.NA. I think one of the best things about E-Sports is the connections and communities that are built around the game. My hope is that we can get E-Sports on the same level of traditional sports in the broader world's minds.
If you find me on the League of Legends NA (and EUW some time soon) server, feel free to add me! @YouGoJoe on NA and EUW.
See you on the Rift, Summoners!
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