TFT player banned from Fates Open Qualifier raises concerns over Riot’s rule enforcement

The enforcement of competitive tournament rules should be consistent.

Teamfight Tactics Fates Championship
Image via RIot Games

Teamfight Tactics player brokeboidarrell was recently banned from NA’s Team Liquid Fates Last Chance Open Qualifier for “talking out loud about [their] decision making” in a private Discord channel, according to the player.

The Diamond III player discussed their ban in a lengthy Reddit post after placing top eight in the qualifier, claiming “[they] thought it’d be harmless for [them] to think out loud with my friends.” Brokeboidarrell was allegedly told by a TL representative that they were banned by Riot for “getting outside help.” But fans are questioning Riot’s decision to enforce a rule that’s been broken before during the Set Three OCENA Championship.

According to the player conduct rules in the TFT Global Player Policy, the collusion section would likely apply to getting help from outside sources. Riot also prohibits the use of “social media” via the unauthorized communications section within the player policy. 

“For live events, all mobile phones, tablets and other voice-enabled and/or ‘ringing’ electronic devices must be removed from the play area before the game,” according to the TFT Global Player Policy. “Players may not text/email or use social media while in the match area.”

Brokeboidarrel fully admits to chatting with friends in Discord and claims he wasn’t given help at any time during the competition. He did, however, break the unauthorized communication rule by using social media during a live event. Communicating via in-game chat can also be considered “social media,” which led another Reddit user to post a video from the TFT Set 3 OCENA Championship, highlighting a high-level player messaging another competitor tips to win his match. 

At the timestamp of 40:33 within the video, a message from GrandVice8 can be seen via the in-game messaging system telling Kurum that “Vayne and Ekko have to be on the same side.” Kurum did in fact move the Vayne to the same side at the 38:07 timestamp after previously having the champions in opposite corners at 36:27. 

Players move champions for better positioning at all stages of the game, making it unclear as to whether the advice from GV8 was taken into account by Kurum. Neither player was punished by Riot Games following the tournament. The events that occurred at the OCENA Championship appear worse than brokeboidarrel’s violation—leaving many in the TFT community confused and frustrated.

The TFT esports scene is still relatively young and mistakes have taken place at previous high-level tournaments. Consistency is key to competitive integrity, where inconsistencies within the enforcement of the rules could possibly discourage up-and-coming players from wanting to compete at the highest levels. 

Results from the TFT TL Fates Last Chance Open Qualifier will be revealed later today, along with the top 12 players who qualified for the NA Fates Regional Finals, which starts tomorrow. 

Update March 6 at 1:30pm CT: This article was updated to include the Teamfight Tactics Global Player Policy, provided by Riot Games to Dot Esports.