Phoenix1 Arrow Rightfully Claims NA LCS MVP Award After Suspicious Voting Process

A little under four months since arriving in the United States, Phoenix1’s No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon has quickly established his status as an invaluable asset within the P1 lineup and the best competing AD Carry in the region. By the split’s halfway point, many analysts had already highlighted Arrow as a strong candidate for the MVP award. Yet upon finally earning his deserved accolade, dissenting voices are now arguing that Arrow should not have been given MVP status.

Ahead of Team SoloMid and Cloud9’s playoff grand finale, the reserved figure of Phoenix1’s No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon took to the stage to receive his award for NA LCS Spring Split MVP. The reserved ceremony should have reflected Arrow’s remarkable achievements over the course of the season, but were instead overshadowed by critics who felt strongly that Team SoloMid’s top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell was a more deserving recipient.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Arrow’s Spring Split achievements are not to be understated. An integral part of Phoenix1’s climb from ninth place to third, the Korean has maintained his consistently high level of performance despite playing with three different supports (two of which were rookies), in addition to working with two different junglers with polar opposite playstyles. In a previously foreign nation, with a dramatically different culture and language, nothing should discredit the adversity Arrow has battled in his first split; the Phoenix1 star is a worthy winner based on these factors alone.

Even when considering player value and role statistics, Arrow still emerges on the top of the pile when balancing efficiency and potency. The P1 ADC’s statistics affirm him to be the best in his position within the North American region: Arrow boasts the highest damage per minute (589) and the highest damage percentage among his team (27), whilst absorbing a lower percentage of his team’s overall income.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Upon being announced the victor of the MVP ballot – in which Arrow claimed 13 out of a tallied total of 38 first-place votes – the P1 ADC was promptly met with a backlash from the League of Legends community, prominently from supporters of Arrow’s nearest rival in the voting process, Hauntzer.

Many Team SoloMid fans quickly dismissed and discredited Arrow’s win, expressing that Hauntzer was cheated of a prize that was rightfully his. The TSM top laner and newly crowned 2017 Spring Split NA LCS Champion has enjoyed one of his greatest periods on a competitive stage; there was little to separate the inherent value both players brought to their respective teams.

Upset at the amount of negativity he was receiving via social media, Arrow lashed out at his critics:

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Though the actions of the minority group of Team SoloMid fans who sought to discredit Arrow are to be condemned, it is worth addressing the source of their sense of injustice. Both Hauntzer and Arrow quickly established themselves as clear frontrunners in the race for the title, reflected in the ballot results. But as a balloted contest, the MVP voting process leaves itself open to tactical voting, a ploy many feel was employed to prevent Hauntzer from winning the award.

There is certainly a case to suggest that parties deliberately voted to invalidate Hauntzer. Both Phoenix1’s player representative and coach, Derek “Zig” Shao and Kim “Fly” Sang-chul, produced a curious set of votes. Fly opted to exclude Hauntzer completely, whilst being the only voter to put Team EnVyUs support Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent forward as his second choice.

Two of Zig’s options were deemed invalid after voting for teammates Arrow and William “Meteos” Hartman. To add further weight to the conspiracy theory, five of the Riot Games employed shoutcasters omitted Hauntzer from their top three votes.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

The current ballot system employed by Riot for the MVP awards are far too easy to manipulate and distort. Where Team SoloMid voted fairly for Arrow, the sense of fair sportsmanship was not reciprocated, consequently putting the prize out of Hauntzer’s reach.

Team politics and favouritism have made the MVP award somewhat redundant in its current state. It is obscene that by voting honestly, Team SoloMid cost Hauntzer the title, whereas employing voting strategies like Phoenix1 would have given their top laner a better shot at lifting two trophies on the same evening.

Arrow is certainly a worth winner of the NA LCS Spring Split MVP award, yet the circumstances by which he earned the accolade put an asterisk to his name in the eyes of the community.


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