Major League Gaming has reset its Pro League after a spate of DDoS attacks
The third season of the Major League Gaming (MLG) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare pro league kicked off on June 29 with a schedule that spanned 22 matches and ran until Sept. 2. But the league has decided to throw those results out the window, resetting the standings and beginning the season anew with a round robin schedule where each of the 12 teams will play each other one time.
In addition, all 12 teams will appear at the LAN playoffs once the season is complete, with the regular season matches serving to seed teams into the playoff bracket.
In a huge departure for the league, which serves as a vehicle to promote MLG’s streaming platform, MLG.tv. Live streaming of the remaining games will be at the discretion of the teams involved.
The announcement comes one day after OpTic Gaming’s fiery Ian “Crimsix” Porter said his team might be done with the league after finally getting fed up with a scourge of DDoS attacks that have plagued teams and especially his team, who seem to be a primary target.
But MLG’s Adam Apicella indicated the league has been mulling over this decision for about a week. On July 24, MLG postponed league matches to discuss contingency plans with teams and educate them on protecting themselves from attacks. The league believed they may have isolated whatever vulnerability is allowing attackers to discover players' IP addresses, a requirement for a DDoS attack to work. But it sadly appears it was wrong.
This plan was then the league's last resort to salvage the competitive integrity of Call of Duty’s top league.
This is the third season of MLG league play this year after three successful seasons of play in 2014. While DDoS attacks are always a threat for any online or streamed competition, players are usually able to stave off assaults by protecting against common vulnerabilities, like the use of Skype, which gives potential attackers easy access to your IP address. But even events like this weekend’s The International are not immune to the DDoS threat.
As esports continues to grow and reaches a higher and higher profile, the threat of DDoS attacks will only increase, and leagues like MLG must be ready. Resetting the standings is not an action a league like MLG can take lightly, but it’s only a band-aid fix to what’s likely to continue being a massive problem.
Image via Activision