Hmm, well, that was our event and thus my responsibility. Unfortunately I did not see this particular incident and I didn’t know anything about it until I saw this video. I do not believe anyone brought this to the attention of myself or the EP, and I don’t know if the refs saw it and/or what discussion they may have had on it.
That said - clearly this is not “match affecting” (the rules are crystal clear - match affecting means specifically it changes who wins the match, which did not happen here). SG4 is also clear that minor violations (which are defined as not match affecting) will receive a warning. So, the rule violation is clear and the consequence is clear - the team should receive a warning. However, this was obviously a pretty blatant (even if minor) violation. Hopefully the team was warned firmly. If I saw that happen again with such an intentional action then I would have supported a decision to DQ the team.
To offer some more general insight after having been in this program from the start and having spent a great deal of time with GDC members and having been privy to many discussions on topics like this with them: basically, the GDC, VEX, and RECF want to give teams every chance to be successful and have fun that they can. GDC members have said to me many times that whenever possible they want to give teams a chance to make mistakes and learn from them. The “match affecting” rule is in the spirit of that - if a team does something that is wrong but it doesn’t really matter, then just warn them. If it matters (i.e. caused them to win the match), then you have to DQ them (because otherwise it’s unfair to the other teams). But if it didn’t matter, then just give them a warning which is almost always sufficient to prevent repeat occurrences.
RECF and VEX have stressed this at many of the EP Summits - they specially tell EPs that the job of event staff is to do everything they can reasonably to make sure teams get to play and have a good time. This means things like waiting an extra 30 seconds if a team is late to their match but you see them coming (though maybe not if they’ve already been late the last 5 matches). This might even mean letting a brand new team with a basic push-bot (i.e. no real chance of winning the event) who is 1 millimeter over the size limit play anyway at an early season event with a strong warning that they won’t be allowed to at later events unless they fix it. DQing someone who probably mindlessly flipped a cube that had no impact on the match at all doesn’t really do anything except discourage that team. A stern warning from the head ref is, in my experience, almost always sufficient to ensure that the team pays more attention next time.
The rules, at least as they apply to this video, are very clear. The action did not affect the outcome of the match thus the action only deserves a warning. A rule was broken, yes. The prescribed consequence of breaking that rule was a warning. Repeated offenses would have resulted in a DQ. I guess you could call it “cheating”, but the cheating was caught and (presumably) punished as called for in the rules. You say that the rules allow teams to cheat as long as it is unnecessary - the rules don’t allow this - they assign a punishment for this kind of “cheating”, it just doesn’t happen to be very severe. I highly doubt anyone would intentionally cheat thinking “Well, as long as it doesn’t cause me to win I can get away with it” because what would be the point? If they do win because of the cheating they’re DQed. If they don’t win, well they didn’t win anyway so did the cheating really help them?
The rules do not say “intentional actions result in a DQ”, they say “match affecting actions result in a DQ”. You may not like this rule, but the GDC structured the rules this way on purpose. In fact, I think a long time ago the rules used to talk about intentional actions (rather than match affecting) for determining whether to DQ, and the common complaint back then was “how does a ref determine if something is intentional” (like entanglement or driving into a protected zone, etc). Determining match affecting is generally easier than determining intent, which is one reason I think it was changed.