During the match between T1 and DAMWON KIA, T1 mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-Hyeok used his flash on accident after requesting an in-game pause. This led to a long pause and much discussion within the League of Legends community.
What exactly happened during the match on February 23, 2022 between the two powerhouse teams? Why did this situation enrage so many fans, and what was the final result of it all? Let's take a deep dive into the situation.
Faker Requested an In-Game Pause
T1 and DAMWON KIA faced off for a second time during the 2022 LCK Spring Split. The first game of the best-of-three went to T1 and after a break both teams came back on stage for their second match of the evening.
After pick-and-ban, the teams started the game but right away Faker noticed that something was off with his audio, demanding that the game be paused to fix it. Translators on Twitter have translated the conversation between Faker and the referee.
At first the pause was not given to T1 and according to translators online Faker weas told to 'deal with the audio issue'. This prompted the veteran mid laner to pause the game manually, but while typing /pause he accidentally hit the flash button, flashing right before the pause.
Upon this situation Riot Korea had three choices, remake the game from scratch, use a chonobreak to go back to the moment right before Faker used his flash or leave the situation as-is.
The Elongated Pause
The referees asked both the T1 and DAMWON KIA coaching staff which options they preferred. According to sources on Twitter, DAMWON KIA did not weant the game to be remade, nor for there to be a chronobreak done, while T1, obviously, wanted the game to be restarted.
It was in the hands of the referees to decide. It concluded that Faker did not use the flash on purpose, and that the referee who had first denied the pause should have accepted the pause request the first time. If they had, then the situation would have never happened.
Summary on the extended pause :— Jh11 (@JHYooHoo) February 23, 2022
Faker had audio issues, and asked for a pause to the referees. The referees said that he'd have to cope with it. Faker immediately disagreed, and burned his flash while pausing the game himself.
The reason for the long pause was mostly due to the referees trying to make the right decision, while DAMWON KIA tried to refute the remake or chronobreak. Former LCK pro player Ganged by Mom also found the situation curious, stating that "in these cases, normally teams just agree to terms, have a chronobreak, and move on with the game as soon as possible. Wonder why this is taking so long".
Another issue raised was that the DAMWON KIA squad were informed of Faker burning his flash, which was another main reason why the game had to be remade or chronoshifted. Whether this is true is not proven, nor is it stated within the LCK PR statement pertaining to the incident.
How Has the Community Reacted?
Many fans are upset about the situation. From the video, it is clear that Faker is upset. This type of situation during an important match when tension is already high isn't something a player needs.
Fans who watch the English broadcast have also criticized caster Max "Atlus" Anderson, who stated during the broadcast that this could open up a 'can of worms' where players don't like their flash and pause the game. Whether this take is right or wrong, we'll let you decide that one.
In the end, Faker got his flash back, got a new headset that worked on both sides and T1 managed to earn their 11th victory in a row. They look to be the strongest team in the LCK, winning games they have no business winning thanks to their insane macro knowledge. Meanwhile, the reigning LCK champions, DAMWON KIA, still haven't found their stride this split yet.