CDE vs. Dignitas – controversy hits World Cyber Games’ League of Legends competitive scene

Update 5: The WCG has posted a full explanation that should help clear up some confusion over the rule changes and Jatt's team eligibility.

Update 4: Riot has confirmed with us that Matt Marcou “at no point suggested a rule change,” and that “All decisions were made by the WCG."

Update 3: Riot's Matt Marcou has posted an official comment on the forum, explaining some (but not all) of the events that took place.

Update 2: Since posting we talked with Michael O'Dell, the Managing Director and Team Manager of Team Dignitas, about the controversy. He gave us a brief look into their side of the story, saying, “Basically from our point of view we have done nothing wrong at all. Jatt was cleared to play in the qualifier by WCG USA and we were told by WCG USA that it was best of 3 double elimination after we enquired about that...,” O'Dell said. “Really its WCG USA who should clear that up officially not us.”

He also reaffirmed Dignitas’ stance on the mid-game pause, saying that it was a game crash – something every League of Legends player can likely sympathize with.

Update 1: We've made some clarifications and updates based on additional information.

Original story: The League of Legends community is up in arms today over the events of this year’s World Cyber Games qualifiers, which wrapped up over the weekend. All over the globe teams competed to win their country’s tournament in order to be sent to Korea for the finals.

But fingers are being pointed at the winning team, Dignitas, who took the crown from Chicks Dig ELO (CDE) in the qualifiers for the American competition. The community is in a frenzy over two major points of contention.

The first surrounds Jatt, a player that originally played on a Canadian team during WCG Canada qualifiers. Because Jatt is both an American and a Canadian citizen, he changed to an American team after his Canadian team was eliminated, an action which flies in the face of WCG’s rules of players not being allowed to be on multiple teams. When WCG found out what was going on, it disqualified Jatt’s Canadian team… the one that was already eliminated. With Jatt’s help, his American team, Dignitas, went on to win the WCG for America.

But should they have? That’s the question that’s even more troubling competitive League of Legends fans. Because World Cyber Games doesn’t have a representative in each country and there are no standardized guidelines, each country’s qualifying tournament had a different set of rules. WCG Australia, for instance, was single elimination for all of the qualifying rounds, and then best of three for the final, whereas the US and Canadian tournaments switch to best of three at the semi-final levels. 

Once the competition got to the finals, WCG posted rules that stated that the winner of the upper bracket would have a one game advantage over the winner of the loser bracket. This means that in order to win, CDE needed to win two games, and Dignitas had to win once. CDE won the two games they needed to win.

This is where it gets really fishy: the rumor is that Matt Marcou, the e-sports representative from Riot Games, suggested a modification to the rules for the final rounds. It was changed from a best of three game system to a weighted best of three set system. Thus, CDE and Dignitas had to play another set of matches, which Dignitas won. There’s rampant speculation over why this actually took place, with many suggesting that Dignitas complained about the fact that they had to play more matches to win.

There are other bits of dispute spread across the community as well, including some accusations of blatant cheating on Dignitas' part (some say that Jatt paused the game to view the other team's locations by checking out their streaming footage), but we're not able to confirm any of that – it may just be the gossip of angry fans.

We’ve reached out to Riot Games for a comment, and to find out how much of these stories are true, and how much can be chalked up to exaggerations on the part of the community. We'll also update this as we get more news. Stay tuned!


  • Crabhand - November 1, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Man, this really has turned into quite the poopstorm. When you consider the failfest of the WCG Australia, the entire tournament looks extremely poorly organized and unprofessional. Oh well, guess I'll just have to play LoL and have fun rather than stress out about another person's problems =P
  • Fox_Mulder - November 1, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    I don't know who this "Jatt" character is, but he sounds like a whiny little child who hates losing. I say f**k him.
  • FemJesse - October 31, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    Voyboy was going to stream some games. His thread was at +500 upvotes. Now its -260 downvotes and counting... the community is HARSH!
  • zoraya-gonzalez - October 31, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    Riot is doing it wrong, many things. Look at the Anniversary celebration, they call it birthday and sold a skin... instead of giving a happy celebration and compensation of free gifts to their community and fans. They wanted us to give them instead. And what about Halloween? no events no anything... But they did won the Joy stick awards with our votes, yes they did rewarded us with IP boost... sounds like an exchange to me. What a sad world, i do like Dignitas team, but i dont like cheaters and they just lost a fan. GG That guy Jatt should have stepped out and have some honor and dignity.
  • IronYoshi - October 31, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    "These are old rules, and have been around for a while, and were supposedly out of date." No proof for that. "And Dignitas wasn't complaining, they were inquiring about the rules." No proof for that either, sorry.
  • NakedSamurai - October 31, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    WCG screwed up a lot of this tournament, but disqualifying Jatt from the Canada qualifiers was not one of the mistakes. The final rounds of this event occurred within the last few weeks, that's true. However, the matches just to get to the finals had been going on since April in the U.S. ( and since August in Canada ( Jatt first appeared as a member of Rock Solid in the second round of the U.S. qualifiers, which occurred in June. As this event occurred before the Canada event, it's the one he should have been restricted to. Now, WCG messed up. Completely. Jatt used the same name for both teams; this should have been caught by an official before the Canadian event even began (it really isn't that hard to cross-reference registrants). And while it's sad that the Canadian event had to be finished before Jatt's double registration was caught, the retroactive disqualification from the Canadian tournament was the correct move, at least as far as the rules WCG has shown us are concerned. If you're of the mind that he should've been completely disqualified for breaking the registration rules, I can't really argue against you. That honestly seems like appropriate punishment, but (at least from what I've been able to dig up on the matter), the rules state a competitor can only participate in the qualifiers for the first country registered for.
  • Akdar - October 31, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    I'm completely disgusted with how this was run on Riot's and WCG's part. There is a SotL (State of the League) video where Marcou gets on and is explaining why they did it this way.... everyone is just sitting there blankly staring at him the same way I was. I was like "This doesnt make any sense at all... not even a little bit." So WCG was supposed to post some INSANE rules but didnt. So then after everyone played by the rules posted (that made sense) Then Dignitas cried and had them review what happened. So now instead of a final best of 3 game... it was a weighted best of 3 MATCHES. AND in addition to Dignitas being up 1 in the MATCH they were ALSO up 1 game in EACH Match. So anyone not keeping track of this... Even MM was getting tied up and saying the wrong thing on SotL because it just sounds retarded when you say it out loud. Let's look at it this way. Match 1 = Dignitas wins due to seeding (NO GAME 1 OR GAME 2 PLAYED) Match 2 Game 1 = Dignitas wins due to seeding (NO GAME 1 PLAYED) Match 2 Game 2 = CDE wins an actual game Match 2 Game 3 = CDE wins an actual game = Match 2 won by CDE & Matches are Tied Up @ 1 each Match 3 Game 1 = Dignitas wins due to seeding (NO GAME 1 PLAYED) match 3 Game 2 = CDE wins an actual game Match 3 Game 3 = CDE wins an actual game = Match 3 won by CDE & They win the "Weighted best of 3 Games & Matches" *Crickets* So AFTER the team cheated to get a player on their team. And then LOST with that cheater. AFTER CDE Wins and we'd say in the middle of a TOURNAMENT but it was after the conclusion of the tournament. You have to WIN by winning 4 straight games. If at ANY Point CDE would have one ONE Game.... they win the whole thing. Because not only were they awarded 1 Match win but they were awarded 1 Game in each Match. COMPLETELY INSANE. It was brought up also that Canada and US were supposed to follow this rule for ALL of the finals... including Semi-Finals. So it was brought up that the losers of the Semi-Finals have a claim to play again and start the whole Semi Finals / Finals over. It's just beyond belief they would do this....
  • flere - October 31, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Lol I like how much this article is littered with misguided facts, and I pity whoever reads this and believes these are the facts. Let me clear this up a little bit, one, you state WCG posted the rules, and in the context which you phrase this it sounds as if you are saying they posted this recently, they didn't. These are old rules, and have been around for a while, and were supposedly out of date. Now there is fishiness on why they weren't updated and such, but that's at the fault of WCG. And Dignitas wasn't complaining, they were inquiring about the rules. Next you say this updated rule for the 3 match set was Matt Marcou's idea which is blatantly false. We're not sure who came up with the ruling, so I guess if you're fine with libel, and you know, defamation of character without any facts, go ahead. The meetings held with the players were in private, you have no source outside he said she said, no direct confirmation. So maybe you should try to talk to Riot or WCG before stating such misleading facts before posterizing someone who may or may not be the reason behind it. And finally, saying Dignitas hit the pause to check streams is once again, another backhanded slight, with no backup sources, mere speculation, and you put it, with a slight "caveat" that it may or may not be true, then why put it up in the first place? It has no bearing in this argument, nor does it have any factual basis behind it aside from your own speculation. Professionalism. If you're going to write a serious argument about what was happening in the WCG tournament, at least do some investigative research, and find out what actually happened, by I dono, talking to the people in charge, talking to all sides of the party, both CDE AND Dignitas, before writing some article that will mislead anyone who reads it.
  • Akdar - October 31, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    Wow... so you are trying to clear it up with the facts. So then you must be involved. Which player are you? And watch the SotL... MM said they asked him and he went with those rules that were not posted anywhere in the "Spirit of competition" I believe was his quote. So letting someone into a tournament they shouldn't be in. Then after they lose "they were inquiring about the rules" ROFL!
  • GR HollanderCooper - October 31, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    None of this is based on my "own speculation," it's taken from the game's community, and labeled as such.
  • bigwill1221 - October 31, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    Yeah some news, been confused what everyone has been talking about.
  • FemJesse - October 31, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    Finally! Thank you for getting this all together in one place. The community has been entirely unhelpful in describing what actually happened without derogating everyone's integrity. I think this incident underlines competitive LoL's need for stricter more fleshed out rules. I'm really surprised that Riot hasn't reached out for a comment yet, even if its just to reiterate what happened.
  • Limbo - October 31, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    That's completely idiotic of them to let Jatt play. It seems like Dignitas in general is being very shady about the whole thing. Very interesting article. I've actually really gotten into League of Legends lately. It's a great competitive game.
  • kingsmikefan - October 31, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    That's some fishy "poop" going on down there, but it's bound to happen in any competitive circuit. Now that's gam jarnalism. Good work, Coop.
  • profile0000 - October 31, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    Even though I know nothing about League of Legends, I found this a fascinating bit to read.
  • CrashmanX - October 31, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Jatt shouldn't have been allowed to play for the American team. Plain and simple. He already played for a team that was eliminated.
  • BenBoy93 - October 31, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    *Mean while in africa* "Ajud give me water please." "No you worthless peice of life mine me more gold." Yea this news just so pointless it makes news about expecting a skyrim review in the next issue of PC gamer seem important
  • FemJesse - October 31, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    I think you're on the wrong site. Try or something...
  • anthony-caruso - October 31, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    It's a video game website, with video game news. You want video game websites to start posting news about bad situations in Africa and things not related to video games? Why even come on this site and then complain about it being news about video games.
  • Zeb364 - October 31, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    That's hardcore. Anyone who says video games don't have the same credibility as sports need only look to this story, it is identical to countless proffessional sports scandals.

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