- Alliance’s coach ppd was giving his team guidance through an ongoing DPC game
- Although people considered it a cheat, it turned out to be allowed by ESL and DreamHack’s rule set
- This sparked a further discussion and then quarrel on whether this rule should be changed or not, resulting in ESL and DreamHack taking action
ESL and DreamHack’s rules that allowed a coach to help his team mid-game blew up in a huge esports controversy. Amid it, the two organizers were pressured to quickly take action.
How This One Rule Blew the Community Up
Coaches have been an irreplaceable part of esports. Often former professional players themselves, they would pass down their knowledge to a newer generation of esports athletes. However the recent situation with Alliance’s coach ppd and ESL and DreamHack’s rules raised some questions on where should be the line drawn when it comes to coach interference.
It all began when Peter “ppd” Dager, Alliance’s Dota 2 coach was seen calling his team during a DPC game. Esports fans immediately blew up and accused him of cheating. However as the situation unfolded, it turned out coach interference was actually permitted by ESL and DreamHack, the tournament’s organizers. Consequently all the community got involved in the situation as people expressed their disgruntlement with the aforementioned rule, both because of its novelty and the fact that it is in power only in the EU and CIS regions.
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein from OG immediately jumped at his competitors by accusing them on taking advantage in loopholes in the rules. N0tail’s allegations towards Alliance displeased many people and proceeded to spark a discussion. N0tail was apparently so flooded with hate mail that he jokingly posted that he currently accepts N0mail.
After that several other people started expressing their opinions on the new rule.
Sivatheeban “1437” Sivanathapillai had a pretty chill take compared to other people. He was surprised but kept his cool and discussed how coach interference may reshape the competitive play.
Filipe “Astini” Astini provided a coach’s point of view. Being a coach in South America, Astini was discontent with coach interference being allowed only in the European and CIS region. Astini added that if he knew about this rule, he wouldn’t have taken a break from coaching.
Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling didn’t take the idea of the new rule too well. According to him, it greatly benefits bigger and richer teams that could afford hiring a coach. As Aui_2000’s pointed out, this rule creates an inherent disadvantage for smaller teams.
Aui_2000 continued by saying Alliance are not to blame for following the rules and that the rule itself is what’s problematic.
Andrew “Zyori” Campbell, a Dota 2 commentator, emphasized the need of establishing universal rules to avoid such drama occurring in the future.
The Quarrel Between Ceb and Kellymilkies
The highlight of the controversy was probably the mutual accusations between OG’s offlaner, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs and Alliance’s chief strategy officer, Kelly “kellymilkies” Ong.
It started with Ceb making a post on Twitlonger. He talked about how the rule wasn’t communicated well enough. OG’s player then said he considers Alliance’s actions to be disrespectful.
Kellymilkies was appalled by Ceb’s accusation and scrutinized his intentions of dragging Alliance in the fray. She emphasized how her team hadn’t done anything against the rules.
Ceb tried to play it smooth by accusing Kellymilkies of not contacting him directly and instead making a public fuss, to which Kelly responded that she tried to and Ceb was the one to ignore his inbox make public statements instead.
ESL and DreamHack Move in to Save the Day
Seeing how much fans were opposed to coach interference, the two organizers spoke with Valve and finally decided to remove the bothersome rule. As of now, coaches will be unable to communicate with their teams once the drafting phase is over. ESL and DreamHack apologized and told fans they didn’t fully inform Valve about the rule and this was also a part in it being badly communicated.
The drama surrounding the coach interference resulted in some pretty salty takes but it certainly sparked an interesting conversation as well. As many fans pointed out, such a rule will effectively add a sixth player to the team equation. And the whole situation went to show that even if an organizer would like to make such drastic changes, they would best make sure to communicate everything loud and clear.