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Dota 2 team dumped from tournament for cheating with a programmable mouse

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Redditors smelled a rat

The Razer Naga, a mouse designed specifically for MOBA games like Dota 2.
Photo: Razer

Peru’s Thunder Predator Dota 2 team has been ignominiously dismissed from the qualifiers for Valve’s The International 8 tournament later this summer, which is likely to accrue a total prize pool well in excess of $20 million. At issue has been the use of a programmable mouse by the team’s “carry” player, Atun, which the qualifier organizers have deemed to have given him an unfair advantage. You might recall that Razer likes to jokingly promote its gaming gear with the tagline “gain the unfair advantage,” and that’s exactly what Atun did, by programming macro commands into his Razer mouse using the Razer Synapse configuration tool.

An exhaustive Reddit post on the matter details and provides evidence for the allegations — which primarily revolve around being able to execute multiple commands simultaneously, something even the most adroit of humans wouldn’t be able to do — and Thunder Predator have confirmed, though not apologized for, Atun’s actions.

The odds of such a small team making it all the way to The International were already slim, so this is no great disgrace within the Dota 2 sphere. When teams compete in LAN events in person, under the glare of lights and cameras all around them, such mouse tricks would be relatively easy to spot and expunge. The incident does illustrate, however, the allure of the glittering prize pools that Valve is able to pull together and the desire to find any sort of edge possible to beat out the competition.