Spacestation Gaming Competitive Rulings Leave Rocket League Community Split
Rocket League fans were infuriated at a call made during a match on April 25 in the regional semi-finals match for Envy vs. Spacestation Gaming. At first, the play on the pitch made it seem as though a player for SSG was lagging, namely Caden “Sypical” Pellegrin. The admins made the judgment call that he had experienced a server disconnect caused by connectivity issues and high ping on his end, which allowed the play to stand and Envy to score the last crucial goal in overtime.
Why Did Psyonix Reverse Their Envy vs. Spacestation Gaming Ruling?
However, upon reviewing the tape, Psyonix determined that a controller disconnect caused the issue. Sypical had entered a command to accelerate just before overtime began, but his controller disconnected right after. While he tried to alt+tab to get his controller back online, this last input was still active and caused him to appear as though he was lagging.
“While the circumstances have changed upon further investigation, the review process was not up to our standards as a League,” Psionix said in a statement. “We always aspire to work with players and coaches on reaching resolutions in a way that is as fair as possible for all parties involved. An incorrect call was made. As a result, we will be awarding Spacestation Gaming an additional 70 points, or the equivalent of Second Place points, in the North American Regional Event #3 (350 total points). In addition, we will be reevaluating our player/team dispute protocol to better deal with similar situations in the future.”
Retals Punished for Lashing Out at Psyonix Admins
While Psyonix did reverse their call, this was not before one of SSG’s other players had it out with tournament officials through Discord. Slater “Retals” Thomas was revealed to have repeatedly violated the Rocket League Championship Series and Rocket League Player Code of Conduct in a separate competitive SSG ruling.
“After Spacestation Gaming’s Semifinal match against Team Envy on April 25, Retals repeatedly violated the RLCS and Rocket League Player Code of Conduct,” Psyonix said. “This behavior included but is not limited to berating and harassing tournament administrators and Psyonix employees through Discord and Twitch. We take player behavior extremely seriously. This type of behavior is completely unacceptable and will not be taken lightly. Any additional infractions will result in increasing penalties, and we reserve the right to administer any additional discipline at our sole discretion.”
Of course, this should come as no surprise to any fan of esports, or even the Rocket League community – harassing admins via Twitch and Discord is a surefire way to draw the ire of the League, no matter how justified the incident was. As a result of his actions, he’s been sidelined for the Group Stage (the first day) of the upcoming North American Spring Split Major.
The Community Is Split on the Call
While much of the Rocket League community applauds Psyonix for owning up to their mistake on the call for Envy vs. Spacestation, they are more split on whether Retals deserved to be punished.
Much of the reaction in the community stems from whether Retals was justified in his reaction to the call initially, as well as how he handled the situation and dealt with admins. As some have pointed out, harassing admins is not a good way to handle a competitive ruling after an initial objection has been filed.
The fact that he used his fanbase to direct vitriol at Psyonix also comes into play here. Many of Spacestation Gaming’s fans were already incensed with the call, and Retals’ rather public reaction could have fueled more harassment for the admins than was necessary. And that’s before you account for anything more direct that he said over Discord, which seems like it was pretty toxic based on Psyonix’s account of the situation.
However, it should be noted that Retals is only 17. Many pro players do not have the wherewithal at that age to understand when it’s best to let events take their course and not let their anger get the best of them. While it should have been on Spacestation Gaming management to counsel their player and talk him down from taking on public action, some have said that he shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions and that this punishment should have just been a warning. On the other hand, others don’t think a one-day ban is harsh enough, even given the circumstances.
Regardless, this case should set some precedents in the Rocket League community, namely that the refs and admins aren’t always able to make the right call in heated situations and sometimes require review. And the other – pros need to respect admin calls and request review in a respectful manner or face the consequences.