The pile of mishaps and controversies surrounding The International 8 qualifier tournaments just keeps growing.
First there was a game-breaking bug that prompted organizers to ban the use of an ability altogether, followed by an errant ruling related to the glitch which caused a team to be incorrectly disqualified from the Chinese qualifier. In between both incidents, the game coordinator also went down, forcing the second North American open qualifiers to be wiped clean and restarted.
This time, though, it’s about cheating to get to TI8. Earlier today, users on the Dota 2 subreddit posted evidence of macro usage in the South American regional qualifier, with Thunder Predator’s Juan “Atun” Ochoa being accused of employing a third-party application.
The evidence in question includes a copy of the combat log in the third game of Thunder Predator’s best-of-three series against SG e-sports, which took place yesterday. The combat log itself shows Atun, who was playing Meepo in the third map, using the Poof ability on three separate Meepoes at the exact same time.
Normally, this would be impossible given that the ability must be cast separately for each Meepo. In order to do so, the player first has to hit the Tab key, followed by the W key, then the left mouse button on the target for each Meepo clone that is to be teleported.
The thread also contains video evidence of the aberrant ability timings, which shows the two incoming Meepo clones appearing next to the target without any delay whatsoever. When compared side-by-side to gameplay footage of Johan “n0tail” Sundstein on Meepo, the lack of delay becomes even more obvious—even without slowing the footage down first.
This is in violation of the game’s terms of service, according to a post made in 2012 by a Dota 2 dev forum moderator. Scripts and macros that actively assist gameplay beyond what is provided by Valve via the Dota 2 client fall under the category of “illegal software”, a VAC-bannable offense.
Thunder Predator went to win the series, allowing them to advance to the grand finals of the tournament.
As of the time of writing, however, there have been no reports of Atun’s Steam account getting VAC banned. Neither he nor Valve have made any statements regarding the accusation. Should Valve find the evidence solid enough to conclude that Atun was indeed cheating, though, SG e-sports may be given the default win.