LGD Gaming management’s key figures accused of manipulating Dota 2 item bets
New troubles brew within China’s Dota 2 pro scene.
LGD Gaming manager Pan “Ruru” Jie is reportedly being accused of manipulating item bet through Chinese item betting platform VPGame.com, in which she is also a major stakeholder, using a stolen Steam API Key which she is said to have acquired back in 2013. In the thread over at zhihu.com by user douma, former Vice President of VPGame, Ruru is said to have utilized the said Steam API-Key to transfer or move items in between different item betting platforms, whether from VPGame or from its competitors,have VPGame’s competing websites get accused by its users of “stealing” items, examples of said websites were cited as 大力菠菜 (which we assume as dota188.com according to Google search results) and DOTAMAX. An example such manipulation can also involved moving nearly 2000 pieces of high value items from competing platform dota2top.com to another competing item betting platform DOTAMAX which then resulted to dota2top’s owners to report DOTAMAX to Valve in regards to the said missing items.
Backdoor access to team secrets
In addition to transferring items in between platforms, the stolen Steam API Key is also said to grant access to Scrim or practice matches by China’s other pro Dota 2teams which in turn helps grant LGD Gaming the information advantage regarding strategies and picks, as scrim or practice matches are done via private online lobbies, there will be no way for anyone to easily access them other than a high-level access pass such as the said Steam API Key. douma provides evidence to this accusation by providing a screenshot of private lobby records of Chinese team Invictus Gaming, douma although cites that he doesn’t believe that any of LGD’s players have used the exploit to their advantage.
So if Ruru has long been utilizing the said stolen Steam-API key to manipulate China’s item bets for Pro Dota 2 matches why did it take a long time before douma surfaced and revealed such accusations and why is he going up against his former company as he is the former Vice President of VPGame.com? In a brief translated explanation from the original zhihu.com thread, it is revealed that douma has left VPGame in order to work with his friends on a new item betting platform called C5Game resulting in Ruru to sue douma on grounds of copying VPGame’s services and in turn, pushed douma to reveal these said accusations that are hitting the Chinese pro Dota 2 scene at this very moment
Valve’s crackdown on item bets
Earlier this year it can be remembered that Valve issued a Cease and Desist order to multiple item betting platforms and websites that utlizie Steam’s OpenID API in order to operate, this following a massive scandal involving a couple of prominent YouTubers who secretly held major stakes to numerous Counter Strike: Global Offensive item betting platforms and websites, however, despite the said notice, other major item bet platforms such as VPGame.com still continue to operate and cater to a global audience.
A translation of the original zhihu.com thread made available by reddit user Ajijiji and is currently becoming the centerpiece of discussion on the Dota 2 subreddit. Aside from LGD and VPGame, Ruru is also said to manage KeyTV, the event organizer which became infamous because of the Shanghai Major tragedy, as of the moment, we are still waiting for any statement from the accused party, whether through LGD, VPGame or from Ruru herself.