- Team Involved: The Grim Depths
- Region: North America
- Subject: Smite Minor League — Player Misconduct
- Date of Ruling: 9/11/2019
During the early weeks of Phase 2, Spacestation Gaming chose to part ways with their Minor League roster and the SML spot was given to the team’s captain, Mattypocket. Following this change, there was some confusion around securing a new team name, clan name, clan tag, and team logo for that roster. Because the team was unable to secure a Skillshot-approved name and logo, the Skillshot staff came up with a name and logo to assign to the team: The Grim Depths. This process is consistent with what the Skillshot staff has done previously for every other team that was unable to create a Skillshot-approved team name and logo.
In spite of this being the established process, the team refused to use this as their clan name and clan tag for their next league match. While this issue did not directly cause the ensuing issues with our Grim Depths vs Armada set, we are including these details in order to show that there was a pattern of misconduct prior to the match in question.
Ahead of our Week 7 broadcast, an unfortunate technical issue in the NA SML game that was originally scheduled for broadcast meant we had to change which set would be aired. Our tournament admins let the Grim Depths roster know that their match (vs Armada) could end up being broadcast instead.
Prior to the day of broadcast, we reviewed the Grim Depths vs Armada match with our league operations, production, and talent teams — and we determined that the team displayed a blatant disregard for the competitive integrity of the match. Ultimately we decided not to air the set, as we did not want to waste our viewers’ valuable time with a match that did not abide by the rules of our league.
In reviewing both games of this set, we felt that Game 1 of Grim Depths vs Armada was not an intentional throw, but rather a case of strategy gone wrong. Skillshot does not punish teams for trying out new strategies or new builds in league matches. We cannot dictate what teams decide to try, even if that strategy does not have a good end result — and in Game 1 of this set, we did not see enough evidence to prove that Grim Depths was throwing the game.
At the start of the game, it looked like Grim Depths was attempting to execute a hyper-aggressive play style. When this didn’t work out, they switched to a more lane-based style of play — but ultimately still got punished for their early game decisions. After 22 minutes of play, Game 1 ended with 37 kills for Armada and 15 kills for Grim Depths, which we determined wasn’t skewed enough to qualify as a throw.
However, there was a clear difference between Game 1 and Game 2 of the set. In reviewing Game 2 vs Armada, our league ops, production, and talent teams all saw Grim Depths make a clear attempt to throw the game or get it done as quickly as possible. Once again they pulled out some early game hyper aggression — but this time around, they continued doing the same thing no matter how many times they got punished for it. They would dive a single lane, group up and wipe, push towers until their whole team tied, and completely ignore other lanes that were being pushed in order to continue diving a single lane. Game 2 ended in just 13 minutes (without a surrender), and in that time Armada secured 42 kills while Grim Depths secured 5 — a clear sign that they threw.
- Note: While Grim Depths has had multiple weeks of DQs, forfeits, and other complaints regarding their roster’s representation of the league in the past, it is important to note that Skillshot is only making a competitive ruling regarding their match versus Armada this past weekend. Any forfeits, DQs or other punishable behavior has already been applied to the team (such as fines for illegal content being used – ex: Player Titles, or fines for not competing in league matches) and as such are not relevant to this competitive ruling.
After investigating this issue in its entirety, the Skillshot staff has determined that administrative action is warranted against all members of The Grim Depths. Each player in the starting roster will be fined $500 ($2,500 in total) from their salaries for their misconduct in our Week 7 games.
The team will also be removed from the league with the spot being placed in Skillshot’s control until a new team can be found that represents the competitive nature and values we want in the SMITE Minor League. The decision on the remaining salaries for the season will be communicated to that team. The spot will be given to a new team prior to next weeks matches.
3.1 (Participant Conduct) a.ii: Participant will use Participant’s best efforts to display superior integrity and well-mannered behavior during the Season and for so long as Participant is or intends to remain a SML Participant. Participant shall communicate in a responsible, appropriate, and positive manner in all public forums, including, without limitation, social media platforms and inside the game so as not to cause embarrassment to League Operator, the SML, or any Participant.
3.1 (Participant Conduct) a.iv: Participant will abstain, at all times, from:
(a) poor, undesirable, or negative behavior towards League Operator
or its respective shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, professional advisors, employees, independent contractors, and agencies, or toward sponsors, or other Participants; and
(b) any action or inaction that brings either Participant(s) or League Operator into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or that shocks or offends the community or any group or class thereof, or that reflects unfavorably on League Operator or reduces the public relations
or commercial value of League Operator’s association with the Participant(s).
3.1: b. (Prohibited Conduct) vii: Acting in an unsportsmanlike manner, including, without limitation, (a) taking inappropriate actions toward other Players, Organizations, Organization Representatives, the community, Administrators, League Operator personnel, or the general public, (b) taking inappropriate actions in a SML Game such as “intentional feeding” or collusion, (c) repeatedly spamming emotes or other taunts in the Game, (d) verbally taunting another Team or Player, (e) sending inappropriate messages to
another Player before, during, or after a SML Game, or (f) spamming the “ping” tool in the Game, including during a pause;
5.2 Rules Violations, (b) Fines: If League Operator or an Administrator determines a Participant is in breach of any provision of these Rules, Participant may be subject to fines, the amount of which shall be determined by League Operator in its reasonable discretion. Furthermore, Participant understands and agrees that League Operator reserves the right to deduct, divert, withdraw, or set-off the full amount of any fines assessed against Participant from any compensation League Operator may owe, now or in the future, related to Participant. Participant shall, upon League Operator’s request, promptly take such action and/or provide any such authorizations, consents, instructions, or other documentation, which may be required in furtherance of the foregoing.