One of Dota’s most prestigious leagues is causing headaches as questionable administrative decisions have turned a routine match into a confusing mess.
European hopeful Aftershock Gaming and newly minted international challenger Team Tinker found themselves in a bureaucratic entanglement on Tuesday when the two met in the DreamLeague Season 2 European West qualifier. With two of Aftershock’s players traveling during the qualifiers, DreamLeague administrators were called in to determine how matches would proceed, leading to an unusual impromptu decision.
The ruling, handed down by Christian “Hellspawn” Lord and Robert “Nukes” Larsson forced both teams to use equal numbers of substitutes, despite Team Tinker’s ability to field their full roster. The administrative ordeal took both teams over an hour to untangle, during which DreamLeague handed down multiple decisions, and subsequently overturned them, until the match was finally played.
At the heart of the issue? Modifying one team’s roster based on the availability of their opponent’s players. In a situation like this, where two players are traveling, it’s not uncommon for teams to just adjust their schedule. But DreamLeague’s qualifiers are tightly packed to accommodate the impending start of league play.
According to Skype logs between Team Tinker’s manager Brian Chapman and the two administrators, the unique ruling was neither flexible nor pre-established in league rules. Chapman’s team agreed to use one substitute before Larsson demanded that they match Aftershock’s substitute number or forfeit their match without negotiation. Chapman then confirmed on Twitter that the ruling was established only for the match on Tuesday.
Team Tinker won the match two games to zero, but the misstep is unusual for a league that consistently demonstrates aplomb in running and presenting competitive Dota. Teams from across Asia, Europe, and North America compete for a $100,00 prize pool. Coverage includes live broadcasts of league matches in front of a studio audience and past champions have included International champions Natus Vincere and Alliance.
Managers from both teams declined to speak on the record about the incident.