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

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.


I don’t follow Egames, let alone DOTA. But I do know macros are common place in the online multiplayer community. Does it give you an edge? Yes. Does it also limit how well you can adapt to changes ingame? Also yes. You can only have some many macros mapped. I dare say it would be impossible to have a set up for every different occasion.

The reason some teams/players are online warriors and crash and burn at LAN Tournaments.

tried to edit, but waited too long

On the opposite end of the spectrum:

Reminds me of a time in Counter Strike Source season 1 of CAL. We had a teammate that could "pick the crack" on Dust 2 nearly every time with an AWP. He was actually banned by CAL (they "reviewed" the footage and deemed him a cheater). We went to LAN and he picked the crack every single time

CAL has a history of weird calls on cheating bans.

I got forced through the review process for going 8-0 on the opposing side twice in a row in CoD (the original and I was vindicated; the second time I melee’d half the enemy team because they were too busy looking in bushes for me and the judge had admit they simply weren’t going to be able to tell if I was cheating when the other side was being dominated that hard).

I can’t count the number of servers I got banned from simply for landing shots from across the map, nading choke points, and in one instance killing the entire opposing team with nothing but the six-shot revolver and binoculars.

this macro is VERY specific though and very essential to how this hero works, it’s like the "shoot" button on steroids, if that makes sense.

Why are you making a comment like this is you don’t play DOTA or follow it.
In competitive anything, even the smaller advantages can help greatly.

The macros are vital to making Meepo dominate. The way the character works is that he can create 3 clones of himself (4 with an item), which can each get gold and experience. You can also combine the attacks so you’ve got five Meepos doing nukes on a single target, which is devastating, and they can teleport all over the place to each other. That’s crazy powerful.

Except that you have to micromanage each clone, so it takes Starcraft levels of cps to deal with all these Meepos. Well, if you macro-ize them you can make them a synchronized army, like multiboxing WoW characters, and suddenly all the power/skill tradeoffs are gone. They’re not fully synced, but macroizing gives you a crazy non-skill-based advantage in this case.

Multi boxing for wow, but on steroids.

Sounds more like bad game design.

Not really. The offending hero, Meepo, is designed to have a high degree of mechanical difficulty, which matches his higher ceiling for dominating a game. You can’t accuse Valve of bad game design if someone goes out of his way to modify the hardware he plays with.

It’s a very pure example of rewarding skill (at aps). Assuming you’re not cheating. I guess you could argue that almost everyone playing a MOBA is a filthy cheater, so assuming otherwise is bad design.

Meepo, played without macros, is poor to mediocre in the hands of roughly 96% of people playing DotA2. In the hands of people who can push past 300 apm he’s a monster. That’s the intended design trade-off.

Most people play him via these macros, which isn’t intended but does make the character a lot more accessible. But it’s one thing to do it in non-ranked games and it’s technically a bannable offense in ranked games, IIRC. So it absolutely makes sense that they’d DQ a pro team for it.

LOL at the team’s excuse that the macro is on the mouse rather than on the keyboard and that the macro is part of the regular mouse software (of course), so it’s not a hack. So therefore it doesn’t violate the rules against macros.

Basically this macro turns a combination of 12 mouse and keyboard inputs into 4 clicks of a button on just the mouse. Meepo’s blink/Poof combo requires you to select a clone, press Poof, then click ‘near’ Meepo, rinse repeat for 4 clones within 1.5 seconds. In total the actual combo is ~16 inputs including blinking on the target, netting them in place, and casting Poof in place. The macro makes the most input intensive blink combo in the game pretty trivial to perform.

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