An Update Regarding The Asia-Pacific League Playoffs

After the recent Asia-Pacific League Playoffs, we’ve been reviewing feedback from teams, and fans, related to some tournament operations decisions that were made throughout the course of the Playoffs. We’d like to address these, and provide an update to fans in Asia-Pacific on how some of these decisions were reached, and what we’re looking to improve on in the future.

Player Latency

When players are competing against each other from across Asia-Pacific, latency, or ping, is always a concern. In the recent APAC playoffs, we were made aware of an issue related to The Chiefs’ high in-game latencies, which the ESL tournament operations team identified as severe, and negatively impacting on the competitive integrity of the games that they were competing in. The tournament operations team worked with The Chiefs initially to see if we could address the issue by improving routing at a local, Internet-Service-Provider level, which unfortunately didn’t pan out.

As a secondary solution, and based on prior successful tests that were done in the region on limited occasions during previous seasons, the use of a VPN to balance latencies between affected teams and their opponents was implemented. The tournament operations team conducted ping tests with a VPN to check if this was a viable solution, with the tests completed in the week between Playoffs Day 2 (21st April) and Day 3 (27th April). Throughout these tests, it was identified that a stable increase in in-game latency could be achieved, and the decision was made to implement this solution for future games in the playoffs. Unfortunately, communication between our tournament operations team working on the problem, and the teams who were affected by the new VPN solution, was sub-par, and some teams were not given adequate notice prior to the solution being implemented.

As a result of these issues, we are putting new communication processes in place to ensure that teams are given appropriate heads-up, and more chances to review proposed solutions in the future.

Consistency In Rulings

During the start of The Chiefs vs DWG KIA match, one member of The Chiefs playing roster was unable to join the lobby by the allocated 15 minute timeframe, and the tournament operations team made the call to give them additional time to join. The decision to allow for The Chiefs to have more time to enter the lobby was based on one primary factor:

  • The Chiefs followed protocol to have a valid sub ready, and had their sub ready to play, in the lobby whilst working on solutions for their core player

In another match between Dire Wolves and Invictus Gaming International, one of iG’s core players was unable to join the lobby prior to the 15 minute timeframe elapsing. Tournament administrators worked with iG to determine if a solution could be found, and allocated an additional period of time to resolve the issue, but as iG was unable to field a valid sub, and could not give a timeframe to when their internet outage issue would be resolved, the decision was made that the match was to be forfeited. We understand that our lack of communications on this matter lead to speculation as to why these decisions were made, and have identified that in future, a more proactive approach to highlighting why these decisions were made would benefit everyone involved, from players to fans.

Public Communications

Whilst in the process of tackling some of the challenges listed above, tournament administration representatives instructed some competitors to refrain from the sharing of sensitive information. Whilst the goal of this instruction was to protect private VPN IP addresses from being shared on Twitter, this instruction was also incorrectly directed at some players' tweets which did not contain sensitive information. We acknowledge that this was in error, and will be taking steps to ensure that a more open channel of communication is available between teams and our tournament operations team.

Additionally, we’re committed to improving our communications to ensure that APAC fans aren’t left in the dark when it comes to important rulings that may be made in the league. Keep an eye out on our social media for more frequent updates and information, starting from next stage.
mitch, Sunday, 15/05/22 22:53
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