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Published: February 15, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • They messed up side selection sheets
  • The mistake was made before a match between BRION and KT
  • BRION noticed and reported the mistake but it didn’t reach the management team in time

Several assistant referees have received a 10-game suspension from the KeSPA referee committee for making a mistake by not checking side selection sheets.

Referees Make Mistake

Esports organizers are not immune to mistakes and fans are often quick to scrutinize and dunk on every mistake that happens in a tournament. League of Legends is no exception to that and this year’s competitive season has already had a few hiccups. Just the other day, the LCS apologized for airing a controversial player segment about Doublelift and his former team that sparked a non-trivial amount of internet drama.

But the LCS’s colleagues from around the globe also make mistakes. Most recently, several assistant referees of the LCK have received a 10-game suspension by the KeSPA referee committee for messing up side selection sheets. Riot Games outlined today that the mistake, which forced BRION to “make a quick decision” in side selection, happened in a match on February 5. BRION was up against KT in a best-of-three series, in which the former lost 0-2. 

According to Riot’s explanation, the LCK assistant referees mistakenly filled in KT’s side selection spreadsheet from another match. Normally such a mistake should have been avoided if another assistant referee double-checked the spreadsheets, as the rules dictate. However, the mistake was missed by the person in charge of checking as they already had other work on that day. 

LCK Change Practices

The mistake was finally noticed by BRION who alerted the staff of it. However, it was not reported further up to the management team so it went unfixed. This is a big deal because, as Riot pointed out, BRION was rushed to make a decision during side selection. This stage of the game is crucial in building up a team’s strategy, especially in a best-of-three series. The efficiency of the jungler can depend on which side the team is playing.

The decision was taken by KeSPA due to referees being employed by the Korean association. The involved referees have received a 10-game suspension and the LCK has decided to now include one more assistant referee for safe-checking selection side spreadsheets filed by teams. Side selections will also be sent to both teams via email ahead of the match to hopefully sort out any confusion that might arise. 

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