A top seeded team at The International was penalized for using two coaches during the tournament’s group stage.
VGJ.Storm had an impressive run at The International 2018’s group stage. They were the only team to remain undefeated throughout day one, finishing the group stage with an impressive 12-4 record and safely securing an upper bracket spot in the main event.
However, Valve discovered that VGJ.Storm used two coaches during the drafting phase. VGJ.Storm coach Aaron “Clairvoyance” Kim and analyst Ilya “Illidan Stormrage” Pivcaev were both helping the team decide their drafts.
Valve stated that only five players and one coach are allowed in the room during the drafting phase, but this rule was not properly clarified to VGJ.Storm who said that the PGL staff had told them using two coaches during the drafting phase was fine.
In a statement released by Valve, the developer explained that the incident is more likely a result of miscommunication between the PGL staff and VGJ.Storm than a purposeful breaking of the rules, but they would still hold VGJ.Storm responsible for not following tournament rules.
Jack Chen, Team Director of VGJ.Storm, shared their side of the story in a Twitter post.
He explained that there are no written rules regarding the two coaches situation, so the team decided to ask a PGL admin and were told that it was allowable.
Chen also insisted that they did not try to hide this fact and that no authorized personnel informed them that having two coaches was against the rules.
As a result of the incident, Valve issued a minor penalty to VGJ.Storm preventing them from using a coach in their first main event series as well as applying a draft time penalty.