In a January 21 website post, Valve confirms, “today, we permanently banned over 40,000 accounts that were using third-party software to cheat in Dota over the last few weeks.”
The exploit in question was allowing players to see information that normally wouldn’t be displayed in-game, and has plagued the MOBA for some time. Valve states that it “released a patch as soon as we understood the method these cheats were using,” which effectively created what it refers to as a “honeypot.”
This is “a section of data inside the game client that would never be read during normal gameplay, but that could be read by these exploits. Each of the accounts banned today read from this ‘secret’ area in the client, giving us extremely high confidence that every ban was well-deserved.”
“While the battle against cheaters and cheat developers often takes place in the shadows, we wanted to make this example visible, and use it to make our position clear: If you are running any application that reads data from the Dota client as you’re playing games, your account can be permanently banned from playing Dota. This includes professional players, who will be banned from all Valve competitive events.”
“Dota is a game best enjoyed when played on an even field, where victories are earned by skill and tenacity. We expect that some players will continue to develop and use new exploits, to continue to try to gain unfair advantages at the expense of other players. As before, we will continue to detect and remove these exploits as they come, and continue to ban users who cheat.”
Unfortunately, Dota has become rife with cheating over the years, with players criticising Valve for its slow response to removing hackers. Some exploits are well over a year old, meaning that they’ve been causing chaos for years. While ban waves often present bad actors with a new challenge, hopefully Valve is steadfast in removing them as they pop up in future.
If this recent wipe has inspired you to dive back into the world of Dota 2, be sure to check out all of the Dota 2 cheats and console commands (not illegal ones, don’t worry, we’re not bad people), as well as our rundown of the Dota 2 ranks and what they mean.