The players chime in with their opinions on the bug and Riot’s competitive ruling
In what would have been an otherwise innocuous, yet thrilling finish to FPX beating XSET 2-1, Riot admins ruled that the final round on Ascent would need to be replayed due to an in-game bug involving the Killjoy turret. As the production crew, crowd and players were exiting the venue, Riot dragged them back on stage to play out the final rounds, much to the chagrin of the players and staff.
The now Infamous Ascent Turret Bug
The bug in question has been around since beta. And in the crucial final round of Ascent, it reared its ugly head. With XSET holding a 3v2 player advantage and the bomb planted on the A-site, Jordan “AYRIN” He placed the Killjoy turret on the center boxes to cover the flank, while the rest of the team watched short.
Many recognized the turret bug played a factor in the end result of the round. Nonetheless, the idea of a replay was quickly dismissed by pros discussing it online. However, Riot admins decided to replay the round as the bug made enough of an impact to warrant a replay. According to rule 9.4.2 of the VCT rulebook, “tournament officials may perform a Round Rollback when a bug has had a significant impact on the outcome of the round.”
The rulebook goes on to state, “Round Rollbacks may be used for unintended bugs that give a competitive advantage. Round Rollback may also be issued for a major bug that impacts the integrity of the round, but is not the fault of any Player or Coach.”
XSET Head Coach Syyko confirms team did not ask to replay round
Moreover, XSET weren’t the ones protesting the result but were in fact approached by Riot. XSET head coach Dan “Sykko” Muir cleared up the misconceptions floating around social media.
“We finished the game and got on Twitter and started making tweets. Saying ‘1-2 good game’ and going outside and gave everyone a speech. You know, it was a great season and everybody played really well. I’m really proud of everyone’s development. That’s when Riot came to us and said, ‘Hey, before you go up to your press conference, there’s something we want to talk to you guys about.’ That’s when they brought us upstairs and explained to us the situation that there was a bug and that round was going to be replayed."
“I just want to make that very clear. We did not at any time, at any point, or in any way ask to have this round be replayed. This was 100% Riot’s decision. I hope they put out an announcement clarifying that. I don’t think it’s fair for players to be getting hate from Twitter or this other team. It’s not anything that we asked for even remotely. We are happy Riot noticed the bug and allowed us to replay round and allow the match to be played out fairly, but that being said, don’t want anyone thinking it was sour grapes and something we asked for.”
Syyko was understandably upset in the post-game press conference. He confirmed that XSET had no say in the ruling and that players or coaches shouldn't face blame. In past rulings, for example, Acend replaying the round against Vivo Keyd at Champions 2021, created a whirlwind of unnecessary hate directed at players, when players or coaches have virtually no control of how the events transpired.
FPX's response to the controversial ruling
As for the winning side, FPX found the whole situation maddening. ANGE1 questioned the competitive integrity of such a ruling. While ardiis pulled a Marshawn Lynch, refusing to speak his mind knowing he’d face repercussions.
"If I gave my honest opinion... Firstly, I would get fined by FPX. Then I'd get fined by Riot, and my career would probably be canceled..."
Team IGL and leader ANGE1 wasn’t going to let Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks answer honestly. But, he did chime in with his own opinions on the ruling:
"From my point of view, it ruined competitive integrity.”
“There are a lot of bugs in any game, especially when played competitively,” said ANGE1. “There are a lot of small details like Kay/o knife not fixed or the Turret bug or anything else. There’s a lot of stuff happening, a lot, in a lot of matches and it’s not the best idea to replay rounds, especially after the match is over because all the teams will question all the bugs, which is going to happen in the history of Valorant. Should it be replayed now or not?"
"And, I think it’s just a very bad situation to have and that’s why I was very angry about it. I don’t think it should be replayed just because of the turret bug. It’s not our fault to be involved in this. From my point of view, it ruined competitive integrity.”
Replaying the round at 2:20 am local time
Aside from the turret bug itself, one of the main issues was how long it took to come to this decision. In Istanbul, the replayed rounds started around 2:20 am, almost two hours after the match ended normally.
“It was two hours AFK. We don’t know if they watched the match, maybe some highlights. Maybe they knew what we were going to do.”
Players had long faces on the cameras. They were slouching in their chairs. The filter was off for commentors Lauren "Pansy" Scott and Michael "hypoc" Robins. Despite the controversial nature of the call, it was an entertaining hour sifting through all that had happened and why players were performing in a hugely important game at 2:30 am.
Regardless, these are complex, moving situations. While the call might have enraged viewers, none of these players warrant any hate. The same goes for Riot officials attempting to keep the game fair. It does set a dangerous precedent for future decisions, but this situation should help in future rulings.
Featured image courtesy of Lance Skundrich/Riot Games