The International DOTA 2 tournament is underway, but a reported DDoS attack forced Valve to suspend the matches for several hours. The tournament has had several Internet-related problems since it began, but commentators confirmed that a DDoS attack was indeed to blame for today’s outage. It’s a funny thing that even an official Valve tournament, with all the top players in the world on the same stage, still needs to deal with all the same outage problems that average gamers have to deal with all the time. There is no LAN mode for DOTA 2.
We’ve contacted Valve for comment and will respond with any update. The matches are up and running again.
A DDoS is a rudimentary form of hack where people overwhelm a given server with a gigantic number of false requests, rendering it unable to respond. DDoS attacks and other Internet tomfoolery are a an unfortunate side effect of video games in general: virtual vandals have a habit of knocking down everything from smaller PC games to PSN and Xbox Live. Video games have an outsize presence amongst the young and internet-savvy, making them an ideal, if monumentally annoying, target for coordinated groups and lone actors alike.
The international DOTA 2 tournament carries with it a record $18 million prize purse, raised through crowd-funding and in game purchases. It’s a landmark purse for eSports, carrying with it the sort of legitimacy that only outsize rewards for obsessive skill can provide. You can watch the proceedings below on the live Youtube stream, though Valve also provides a newcomers stream with explanation and commentary for people who don’t know the ins and outs of the game. It’s complicated, no doubt, but then again, so is football.