Competitive Rocket League took a huge blow from down under
Rocket League was on the fast track – growing steadily, gaining interest from more and more fans and investors alike. That may have just come to a grinding halt thanks to a scandal in Australia.
In what was the first major scandal at this level of play, two Australian players were banned from all events until April next year. delusioN and Frenzyy, both players for Team Esper, have been banned from Psyonix and Lets Play Live (LPL) events.
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The two have been banned for ‘deliberately compromising competitive integrity’ as per the official ruling. Psyonix and LPL evaluated game footage as well as chat logs from the two and found evidence that they had been deliberately losing games.
Their third team-member, a player named SSteve wasn’t punished, as he was apparently unaware of and not involved in his teammate’s play. The incident in question was the last week of the Oceanic league. The battle was between Team Esper and FURY .
By game five, Team Esper deliberately missed the kick-off and gave FURY a goal within seconds of the game starting. That’s not all though – during gameplay, the two offending players repeated pushed the ball towards their own net, missed easy saves, and even sat motionless mid-play.
Sabotaging the game
In other words, their throwing was anything but subtle. The commentators caught on almost immediately and reprimanded the team for what they were doing. Despite this, the match ended 6-3 in favor of FURY.
They did not reveal exactly why they threw the match however. One suspected reason was to keep a rival team out of the qualifier rankings by allowing their opponent to rank higher than they really should.
After reports from the commentators, Psyonix investigated and Team Esper dismissed all three players after the match. The one-year ban is a strong punishment, but it’s unlikely these players will be able to get back into the scene even after the ban has expired. Especially not with their reputation forever damaged, and after a year of not playing in any major events.
The match-throwing incident obviously directly impacted these players careers, but it also had much larger effects on the industry itself. After a long struggle for legitimacy, short-sighted and petty actions like this hurt everyone in the industry.
Not only does it tarnish the reputation of rocket league as a sport, it cautions investors, bookmakers, even potential players from committing to esports. After all, why would they participate in something that isn’t fair or objective?
Aiden “delusioN” Hendry did not keep quiet after the fact.
Very unprofessional of Psyonix to be influenced by the Ssteve's outburst and the media and not give me and Frenzyy a fair trial. Disappointed about the immaturity of all the pros and fans who have attacked us without knowing our side. Absolutely crushed. Cya in 2021 rats 🐀
— delusioN (@dellfyre) April 7, 2020
The now former Esper player seems to double down and has show little remorse after the fact.
This isn’t the first or even biggest game manipulation scandal in esports, but it is the biggest in a while and one that will leave its mark on Rocket League, being a smaller esport altogether. Hopefully, the punishment for these players behaviour will discourage other potential perpetrators from doing the same. It certainly showed that the esports world doesn’t have a place for no-good players like these two gentleman.
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