The second League of Legends World Championship game between European team Fnatic and Chinese challenger EDG was put on hold today due to an issue with one of the player’s “Q” keys. After determining it was a “game altering bug,” Riot decided to start from scratch.
The Q key issue first began to show itself 20 minutes into Fnatic and EDG’s second match of the day. The game was just about to heat up after an extended farming phase during which EDG managed to get a single kill off Fnatic. Then Fnatic player Reignover, who was playing as the big fat barrel-chucking League champion Gragas, started having trouble with his “Q” ability. That’s the one that lets Gragas throw his barrels; it’s a central part of his character’s gameplay kit and identity.
The game was put on hold while technical support flooded around Reignover’s desk and tried to troubleshoot the problem and determine if it was a hardware problem (i.e. one with his keyboard) or a software problem (one with the game). After a few minutes, Riot switched its broadcast and back to the analyst desk that’s normally only shown pre and post-game. 20 minutes later, Riot determined it was an “extremely rare” bug that affects Gragas and messes up his barrel-throwing abilities.
You can watch the moment when a one-in-a-million bug took out the biggest eSports event of the year here:
It switches back to the analyst desk just before the seven-minute mark in that clip. They’re still on the analyst desk as of this writing (about 30 minutes later at this point), but the game is supposed to restart soon.
Riot’s analysts said that the Gragas bug, while “game-altering,” was determined to be rare enough that they are going to keep him enabled in the World Championships going forward. I’m betting that Fnatic won’t want to choose him again, though!
It’s a huge bummer that this, of all games, was the one to be taken out of commission by a friggin’ bug. It was the first (and probably one) game in Worlds where Morderkaiser and Gangplank, both of League’s most OP/broken champions at present, were being played—against each other, no less! That would’ve been a real Highlander-style showdown.
Ah well. At least this is the kind of thing you really don’t get when watching analog sports. aSports?
UPDATE (12:05 pm EDT): Before the remade game officially got underway, Riot’s three shoutcasters for the match took a moment to explain what happened with the Gragas bug:
The shoutcasters confirmed that the game was put on hold due to a problem with Gragas’ Q spell, and said that Fnatic was offered a remake, which they of course accepted. They also said that while Gragas’ Q bug is a known issue with the 5.18 patch in which the 2015 Worlds games are being played, Riot will keep him enabled for now “due to the popularity of the champion in the current patch.” If the bug affects another game, however, they said that he will be disabled for the rest of the tournament.
Fnatic’s reignover ended up selecting Gragas for the remake, which is really starting to heat up right now. Watch it here.
UPDATE #2 (10/18/15 2:50 pm EDT): Riot has now disabled Gragas and two other champions for the rest of Worlds. In a small post on the LoL Esports site, they said that all three champions have abilities that make the bug “reproducible” and “more likely to recur than we initially thought.” Full statement below:
After further investigations following the Gragas bug and remake during Game 2 of the Fnatic vs. EDG series, we have more information about how the bug works and the likelihood of it reoccurring. We know that champion disables are disruptive to team strategies and didn’t want to rush a disable when the exact cause and the likelihood of the bug occurring were unknown.
Having looked into this further and isolated the cause, we now know the bug is more likely to recur than we initially thought. We don’t want to endanger the integrity of the upcoming games or risk additional remakes, so we are are disabling Gragas for the remainder of the tournament. The bug is also reproducible on Lux and Ziggs, and so to be safe, we are disabling them for the remainder of the tournament.
We have chosen to do this at the end of Quarters and with a full week before Semis so that the teams will have time to adjust their strategies. We know that Gragas has been a high priority pick so far in Worlds and we want to make sure all four teams have the chance to adjust as necessary.