Olivia R. February 13, 2019
LCS commissioner Chris Greenley has taken responsibility for the rule controversy that shook the League community after 100 Thieves used creep blocking to their aid in a recent win over Clutch Gaming.
Creep blocking is an in-game mechanic that allows players to walk in front of the game’s first waves of minions, slowing down the incoming waves from reaching the opposing team. This tactic creates an imbalance in the lane that results in a lane freeze, forcing enemy laners to overextend themselves.
Discovered years ago when players noticed that minions could run into turrets and terrain, Riot Games released a patch that allowed minions to ignore unit collision until they reach the halfway point of each lane.
Streamer Adrian Riven posted a video demonstrating where in the lane this “ghosting” mechanic ends, but multiple coaches were informed by league officials that this mechanic was still considered illegal in competitive play and would result in a match forfeit if used.
This latest issue began when 100 Thieves coach Neil “pr0lly” Hammond tweeted that Riot had told him that blocking minions is not an offense, and that only trapping minions into the tower was illegal. Greenley confirmed that minion blocking is not an exploit so long as the minions weren’t pinned to towers or terrain in an effort to delay the full waves from crashing.
This was news to many of the league’s coaches.
“We did a poor job of explaining to teams and players what is legal (blocking) and what is not (pinning),” admitted Greenley.
He went on to explain that some coaches were told “no” when they asked if minion blocking was legal, while others were told minion blocking was permissible when inquiries were made more specific. This included officials telling Clutch Gaming head coach Brendan McGee on multiple occasions that Clutch would automatically forfeit a game if players attempted minion blocking.
Greenley apologized to the LCS teams and players for the miscommunication, mentioning Clutch Gaming specifically.
Misfits coach Hussain Moosvi has stated that multiple teams have now gone to Riot to demand that they further clarify the rules.