Valve has announced that VGJ.Storm used two coaches during their drafting phases, breaking tournament rules, and will be issued a minor penalty for their first series of the main event.
In a series of tweets via the official Dota 2 account, Valve explained that VGJ.Storm violated the rule after a PGL-affiliated employee incorrectly informed them that they would be able to have those two admins, as long as they left after the drafting phase. The official ruling is that it was “likely a misunderstanding rather than malicious.”
Today we learned that VGJ.Storm had used two coaches during their group stage drafts. When we asked VGJ.Storm, they said that they asked a PGL employee if they could have more in the draft, and he told them that he doesn't care as long as they left at the end of the draft. (1/4)— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) August 18, 2018
We had clearly instructed all teams in the required players meeting that only 5 players and 1 coach were allowed in the competition room during the draft. (2/4)— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) August 18, 2018
We think this was likely a misunderstanding rather than malicious, however it is still their responsibility to follow the instructions provided like the other teams have. (3/4)— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) August 18, 2018
As such, we are applying penalties to just their first series of the Main Event; they will not be allowed to use a coach during the draft and will have a level 2 draft time penalty. (4/4)— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) August 18, 2018
Taking from past years, and in the Dota 2 client’s lobby system, the “level 2” penalty appears to be 70 seconds off the drafting reserve time. This is in addition to the no-coach penalty.
Jack Chen, manager of the Storm division of the VGJ organization, explained in his own tweets that they couldn’t find the official rules written anywhere, and so they asked the admins to confirm. The rule was not clarified, and there was no intervention, until this morning.
Regarding the coach situation: we were not sure if two coaches would be allowed during the draft. There’s no ruleset where this is written, there are no rules in general beyond format. Because we were uncertain about it, we asked a PGL admin, who checked with a higher-up (1/2)— Jack Chen (@KBBQDotA) August 18, 2018
Before telling us it was okay as long as they left the room after the draft. At no point did we conceal this and at no point did any other admin, referee or staff tell us this was not permitted until this morning (2/2)— Jack Chen (@KBBQDotA) August 18, 2018
The VGJ.Storm account shared these as well.
Earlier this competitive season, after the conclusion of The International 7 in August 2017, Valve announced that one coach would be permitted to accompany the team during the drafting phase. This rule persisted during the first year of the Dota Pro Circuit.
We have reached out to the VGJ organization for further comment, and The Flying Courier will update this piece as more information comes.