In the case that occured between SJK eSports and Written in the Stars in the ECL Elite semi-finals, the following outcome has been agreed on:
No extra time will be given.
Before the ECL 5 Playoffs, the Staff took heavy criticism for lack of clarity in terms of deadlines. Not only in ECL 5, but in previous ECLs as well. Since the beginning of the ECL 5 playoffs, extra effort has been made to improve the clarity of that information. Therefore, the statement "Each pairing, Elite or Pro, must be finished within 7 days from today, meaning last evening to play games is December xxth. Don't expect any extensions!" has been included whenever possible (including in all Elite playoff news communication). Furthermore, a notification above the chatbox with the exact information of the last day to play has been visible for the past two rounds. We have not seen any valid arguments as to why extra time should be given.
Precedent is a legal term that is defined as "an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.". In the ECL 5 Playoffs, there is a precedent for this type of case. In the Pro playoff matchup between Gotham Knights and J P T J, Gotham was awarded 2 WO wins due to J P T J not being able to produce a lineup on the assigned day. Ruling to give extra time in this case would suggest that teams are not equal and that the rules do not have the same meaning to all teams. This is not true for the ECL.
Both Captains were lacking in communication
The fact that LA received this information on the day of the last scheduled playoff date is the reason for this verdict taking so long. Always remember, if you are experiencing trouble scheduling games, getting in touch with LA as early as possible is not only encouraged - it is also expected as these decisions need to be discussed thoroughly before deciding.
This is LAs understanding of the availability of both teams:
Wednesday: SJK available, SKY unavailable
Thursday: SJK available, SKY unavailable
Friday: SJK available, SKY unavailable
Saturday: SJK available, SKY unavailable
Sunday: SJK unavailable, SKY available
Monday: SJK available, SKY available - 4 games played
Tuesday: SJK available, SKY available - but at different times and could not come to an agreement on starting time
This gives a total of SJK available on 6/7 days and SKY available on 3/7 days for the round. If we look at traditionally scheduled game days (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) SJK was available on 3/3 days and SKY on 1/3 days.
The LAs understanding of availability is based on official communication from both teams with regards to this case. In the case of SKY, their extended unavailability is also understood to be due to one of their preferred forwards (Bugimir) being away on vacation until Sunday the 3rd of December - information that was communicated to LA at an earlier point when SKY appealed for more time to play their games in the previous round versus Dynasty. Furthermore, FlyerKungen's (SKY captain) very public comments on a previous news story gave the clear impression that SKY were not interested in playing any playoff games without their top 6 lineup and that leniency in the form of extra days should be given to ensure the integrity of the league. In this context the 8-player roster limit, that has been part of the ECL rules since the first season, was questioned as well.
LA argues that the integrity of the league is ensured by teams following the deadlines that have been communicated with the utmost clarity throughout the entire playoffs. A key aspect to meeting these deadlines is keeping a healthy roster size, which the vast majority of teams in all divisions have been working on. Running a 6-player core roster accompanied by two "dummy" players turned out to be the main dealbreaker in this case.
SJK is awarded 2 WO wins and moves on to the ECL Elite finals. The decision rests heavily on the amount of days both teams were available as that is the only valid parameter this case could possibly be ruled on - once the option of "extra time" was precluded.
Walkover wins in the playoffs are never a good thing, no matter what round or division. However, having a League Administration that sticks to rules and announcements and treats all of the teams equally builds trust in the platform. While things still weren't perfect throughout ECL 5, we are adjusting parameters every season to eradicate the remaining hiccups. This means we will need to ask you some questions before the start of ECL 6: Is the 8-player limit a well-deemed rule? Are 7 days enough to complete possibly 7 games in a single playoff round? Do we need to take an entirely different approach to scheduling and enforcing deadlines?
An additional post announcing the Elite finals will be released, but finalists Aapon Taikasauva and SJK can start scheduling their games.
Edited by gzell60