Even a massive competitive game like League of Legends has a few bugs. These can be disruptive and frustrating for players. But, for pros whose careers are on the line, these bugs can be soul crushing.
In the LJL (League of Legends Japan League), a glitch related to the Hexflash rune instantly respawning players caused a pause in a match between Detonation FocusMe and SengokuGaming, the #1 and #2 teams in the LJL, respectively.
This game was very important when it came to how each team would be seeded in the playoffs, and the outcome of the match would have massive repercussions for either team.
From game-breaking to chronobreaking
Sengoku’s jungler, Jang ‘Once’ Se-young, was using the Hexflash rune and respawned immediately after dying due to the bug.
In the above clip, you can see Once die in mid lane and then immediately respawn on the minimap.
What many thought would be a brief pause turned into an almost two hour long wait to get back into the game. Except the game being played between both teams no longer existed.
The lead DFM accrued was almost insurmountable for Sengoku at the time of the pause, and DFM’s victory was all but assured. However, for the sake of maintaining competitive integrity and keeping the game completely fair for both sides, the game had to be remade.
Not for lack of effort from the team behind the LJL, either. Administrators attempted to Chronobreak, a failsafe that essentially resets the entire game up to the point of the pause and attempts to restore the exact same game state prior to the bug’s occurrence.
Unfortunately for DFM, Chronobreak attempts weren’t able to fix the issue with Hexflash, and the entire game had to be remade.
Sengoku used what they learned from the prior game and wound up winning their game against DFM, a match result that likely wouldn’t have come about if it weren’t for the full remake.
A tough loss
Many of DFM’s players took to twitter after the result to talk about their concerns with League of Legends’ competitive integrity.
Of particular note is DFM’s mid laner, Lee ‘Yaharong’ Chan-ju, a veteran player who asked in a twitter thread what would happen if a bug like this occurred during the Finals of a World Championship. He also raised some concern about his career and the stability of League of Legends as an esport.
Detonation FocusMe is a beloved organization internationally, with many players on the current roster representing Japan at international events and winning against some of the best teams in the world.
Players like Shunsuke ‘Evi’ Murase have given international audiences a reason to love this Japanese team with their unique playstyles and vibrant personalities.